Tor, Apr 2004, 27.95, 476 pp.
Frek's father Carb, a notorious malcontent, was forced to leave planet earth a few years ago before the Gov and his goons made an example of him. He left behind his wife and son Frek to live in a bio-tweaked house tree in the correct village of Middleville where technology insures everything is done according to ecological righteousness. Though still a preteen, Frek got the message of what happens to those who challenge the authority of Gov.
By 3003, twelve year old Frek remains cautious until a miniscule alien vessel lands underneath his bed. The Anvil space ship insists that Frek was their destination as he must save the world with an elixir to repair the biome. Gov declares the son a chip off the old block of the father, an enemy combatant. Meanwhile Anvil has marketing plans for Frek and other humans. Frek accompanied by his canine Wow is on the run from the law while on a quest across the universe when all he wants is to become a teenager.
FREK AND THE ELIXIR is a deep, intelligent, often amusing but always impertinent satire ridiculing many of today's “truths”. The story line uses action but ironically provides an outrageous look at a disturbingly closed-fortressed culture in which differences are outlawed as all must support the Gov. Besides Frek being a terrific hero as he grows up rather quickly (aliens and the government will do that), the cast adds depth and the technology is sardonically as off the wall as this wild futuristic tale makes 1984 look freedom loving.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner