Street Freaks by Terry Brooks Grim Oak Press Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 02 Oct 2018
Terry Brooks is well known for his beloved Shannara novels. Classic fantasy is his specialty. Street Freaks is his first science fiction novel, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was astounded. Street Freaks is as innovative as Sword of Shannara was, giving readers a story that will appeal to teens and adults alike. On one level it is a story about growing up and finding where you fit. On another it is an action adventure pitting corrupt corporate and government forces against a teen who may be able to reveal their secrets. The characters have more breadth than found in most young adult novels. All are exceptional in one way or another, labeled as “rejects” by the majority. They’ve made a family of sorts in the workshop of Street Freaks, using their unique talents to design and build exotic street racers for rich clients. The juxtaposition of the beautiful and individualistic cars they build and race to the bot controlled taxis and mass transport of the wealthier city outside of the red zone has a bit of a “Red Barchetta” flavor that will resonate with Rush fans.
Shortly before armored troops break into his apartment, Ash receives a message from his father telling him to run, to go to the Red Zone to Street Freaks. On the run, pursued by elite troops, Ash goes to Street Freaks. He doesn’t know why he is being pursued or what his father was working on. His world is changing and so is he. His new friends have secrets but they are the only ones that can help him find the truth.
Brooks pairs a fascinating dystopian setting with a group of unforgettable characters to tell a story that will appeal to a wide range of readers. It is a refreshing departure from the average dystopian young adult science fiction novel.
5 / 5 Young adult ( 4 / 5 adult )
I received a copy of Street Freaks from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
It begins with a dire call—right before his father disappears and his skyscraper home’s doors explode inward. It is the kind of thrilling futuristic story only New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks can tell. “Go into the Red Zone. Go to Street Freaks.” his father directs Ashton Collins before the vid feed goes suddenly silent. The Red Zone is the dangerous heart of the mega-city of Los Angeles; it is a world Ash is forbidden from and one he knows little about. But if he can find Street Freaks, the strangest of aid awaits—human and barely human alike. As Ash is hunted, he must unravel the mystery left behind by his father and discover his role in this new world. Brooks has long been the grandmaster of fantasy. Now he turns his hand to science fiction filled with what his readers love best: complex characters, extraordinary settings, exciting action, and a page-turning story. Through it, Brooks reimagines his bestselling career yet again.