Why has the dystopian genre for young adults seem to have blown up in recent years? While this genre has been around for decades, it certainly seems to have blown up and taken the world by storm throughout the past ten years or so. It seems as if there are new additions to this genre rising up every single day. But what is it about this genre that has its readers fascinated and entangled in these foreign worlds? Maybe it’s because the world these novels paint aren’t so foreign after all.
In many dystopian novels, they showcase the protagonist fighting against a corrupt government or other societal power. Skipping over all the details that vary from book to book, this is general overview of dystopian literature. Any society anywhere in the world at any point in time can relate to corruption and disagreements with general authoritarian power. Despite dystopian literature being sometimes fantastical in nature, the basics are always something that readers can have a relation with.
The Titan Strain by Virginia Soenksen is a prime example of the Science Fiction/Dystopian literature that has taken over the young adult genre. The book’s the protagonist, Liane, is a young woman who has been trained by the government to be a genetically trained assassin. She is the perfect secret agent to help carry out the oppressive laws created by the government. However, when she saves the life of and forms an unexpected friendship with a police officer, Seth, they join forces to investigate the dark, underground organizations in their society. The closer they get to uncovering the dark truth about their world, they increasingly become closer to incredible danger.
Perhaps the most prevalent characteristic of dystopian young adult literature is the pervasive concept of young people rising up against authoritarian evil. This is so uplifting and brings hope to many of its readers, who are young people themselves. This type of literature gives its readers strong examples of what people can really do when they are up against problematic forces of control.
Another tremendous aspect of this novel is that the protagonist happens to be a female, which is so uplifting for young female readers. Girls and the heroic roles they play in many dystopian novels are so important because they teach young women that they can change the world too. Strong female protagonists such as Katniss in The Hunger Games series, Tris in the Divergent series, and now Liane in The Titan Strain (part one in the Genetics Chronicles series) are all examples of young women who take power into their own hands and strive for more out of their lives. Dystopian literature is so popular and so important in the young adult genre because it promotes the youth of society standing up for what they believe in and knowing that the power to make positive changes in the world is in their hands.
Virginia Soenksen’s first novel, The Titan Strain, is such an accomplishment and a beautiful accompaniment in the realm of dystopian young adult literature. Any fans of this genre will greatly appreciate this novel on their bookshelf as another addition to this intriguing and inspiring genre.