A Review of Adrian J. Walker’s The Human Son
You and I were born with a purpose; and I’m a little bit unsure what mine is. But Ima, the protagonist of The Human Son, knows hers. “Mine was to save the world,” she says. And as the story begins, she already has. Ima is one of the Erta, a race of superbeings created by humanity to roll back the damage we had done to the planet. The Erta are stronger than us, they live for hundreds of years, and they are far more logical and less swayed by emotion than we are. Or so Ima thinks.
The Erta achieved their goal by first conducting a reasoned analysis of the problem and realized that there was one contributing factor to the planet’s degradation that simply couldn’t be fixed. Yep, the humans. So they phased us out. Sounds rough, and yeah maybe so, but they did throw us one tiny bone- they promised to reintroduce the species once the planet had returned to its pristine, pre-human state.
In chapters two and three the “High Council,” the top hundred and ten Erta (comprised of the second and third generations), meet in the “Halls of Reason” to debate whether or not to keep their promise (Promise-keeping isn’t always logical I guess). It seems an awful lot of council members aren’t too keen on bringing back the people who trashed the joint now that the council has just finished slapping each other on the back for a job well done (having finally, after five hundred years, achieved their stated purpose). A few noble spirits argue that a promise is a promise. The Erta are not in total agreement. The shocking words, “I disagree” have been uttered. The council is freaked out and unhappy. To end the argument, Ima suggests a compromise- bring back a small group of humans as a test case and see how badly they mess things up. If they get too crazy, humanity is done. If they play nice, the Erta can add more humans to the mix.
In chapter four Ima’s mother, Kai (one of the top ten, the second generation. They run stuff) informs Ima that the council has a compromise to her compromise- bring back one human only. Raise it to adulthood, judge the result, and proceed accordingly. And guess what? Ima has to raise him.
Parents will love the comic nature of the books’ first third as we watch Ima find out that even superscientist quasi-immortals don’t know much about raising a baby and struggle with sleep-deprivation and over-protectiveness. After that things get much weirder and more action-packed as the hyper-logical Erta start displaying varying degrees of emotions including some violent tendencies and big-time secret-keeping. Finding out the secrets is cool, thrilling, interesting. Plus there’s some surfing, a love interest, and what amounts to a wacky religious cult hell-bent on “transcendence.”
The Human Son defies expectations and is fast-paced and full of surprises. It’s for people who like...people.
Other helpful reviews:
By Dan Soule The Human Son by Adrian J Walker - (storgy.com)
Paul Semel’s interview With Adrian J. Walker: