Review: Darwin, Singer

Title: Darwin, Singer
Author: Nadria Tucker
Publisher: Sixteenth Avenue Books
Published: March 28, 2012
Paperback, 196 pages
ISBN: 978-0-984-9013-1-9
Genre: Dystopia
Source: Author

Goodreads Summary:

Darwin is a singer, and music is illegal. Real music, anyway.
The Wagner Initiative bans the practice of all non-educational forms of art. Darwin has worked for these jerks her whole life, singing about crosswalk safety and body odor, living with the WI's strict code of morality (no art for art's sake, no flashy clothes, and no massive rainbow-colored sock collections like the one hidden in Darwin's closet).
When she finds out the WI may have had a hand in her father's death, Darwin starts asking questions. She explores the Private Library's dusty basement archives. She discovers rock and roll. She meets Brax, a handsome (if you like the rebellious type) double agent whose recurring disappearances give no clue whether his loyalty lies with the state or the resistance. Brax gives Darwin a media drive filled with illegal music. No bigger than a stick of gum, it's the most dangerous thing Darwin's ever touched. And once she presses play, she refuses to stop listening.
In this young adult dystopian novel, author Nadria Tucker tells the story of Darwin, who moves through the underground, a network of basements, artists, and rebels prepared to fight‑violently if necessary‑for the freedom to sing, dance, write, juggle, or do whatever else lies in their hearts

My thoughts:
Darwin, Singer is a dystopian novel set in a very real possible future, where all art forms are regulated by the Wagner Initiative. Under the WI, all art that is not educational in value is banned. Darwin is a singer. She sings jingles about proper hygiene and crosswalk safety for the WI. Then she meets Brax and he gives her a media drive filled with illegal music. She is hooked, and her life will never be the same.
I really like this story. It presents a very plausible future where obscenity laws and censorship dictate the kind of art that is produced to the detriment of art itself. Gone is any true form of expression, replaced with educational material only. But art lives on in the underground, back-alley places, unseen by the WI. I love this underground network.  The people of the underground are eclectic and diverse.
The style of writing is easy to read, and the storytelling compelling. The characters are well developed and the chemistry between them is good. The main character, Darwin is one of my favorites. She is a strong face for their movement and very passionate about the music. Even before she knows about the underground, she is a rebel with her collection of brightly colored socks. The other characters add a wealth of depth, passion, and humor to the story.
This was an exciting, interesting read from the beginning. It had me from the opening line of Part 1. “One day, about thirteen years ago, an employee followed an order.” I look forward to reading more from Nadria Tucker and would like to see a continuation of Darwin’s story. I would highly recommend this book.

My rating: