“I know you’ve all heard what happened today during fourth hour…(A) young lady was placed into a juvenile detention center for attempting to change the results of a government-issued pregnancy test in an attempt to avoid the required termination. Though pregnancy is rare due to the success rate of our vaccination program, we would like to remind you that the Posterity Protection and Self-Determination Act was implemented for the good of our country…”
“That’s bull.” Darius Delano crossed his arms…”What gives the government the right to tell her she can’t have a baby?”
On the surface, that’s the core conflict of The First Principle, a young adult science fiction novel with a dystopian flavor and set in the near future. However, author Marissa Shrock has added other layers to the story in which nations as we know them been divided up into new regions, federations, unions, and republics. The United Regions of North America are comprised of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and their “term law” — as the Posterity Protection and Self-Determination Act is known colloquially — restricts the number of children allowed, and underage mothers must have abortions.
Additionally, religion — specifically Christianity — is frowned upon, and the faithful must practice in secret. Only the heavily-edited Revised Freedom Version of the Bible is allowed, and even it is later collected up and burned.
While reading, one might be reminded of the state of Christianity in China right now, or how restrictive the birth laws are in that country. The futuristic North America that Shrock describes actually exists right now in many countries, and often in more brutal forms.
But there is hope in this story.
When Vivica — the intelligent, headstrong, sixteen-year-old daughter of the governor of the Great Lakes Region — learns she is pregnant, the law-abiding, non-believing teenager begins thinking and acting in ways she never expected as she strives to protect her unborn child.
My eldest niece and I read The First Principle as part of the CSFF Blog Tour, and we will be sharing our impressions of the book over the next couple of days. Meantime, you are invited to visit these other stops on the tour:
Thomas Clayton Booher
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller