Tankborn is a Utopian YA that takes place on a planet called Loka, 400 years after life on Earth has ended. The planet is divided into three classes:
1. Trueborns: The rich, who had the money and resources to travel to Loka from earth and keep the new world functioning.
2. Lowborns: The poor who were indebted to the rich for 65 years in exchange for passage to Loka.
3. GENS: Genetically engineered non-humans, created in a tank to take the place of the loworns in servitude, after their debt was paid off and the rich needed someone to take their place.
The new world works perfectly for the rich and the lowborns are happy they’re no longer the lowest class, but GENS are treated like they don’t think feel or have any emotions. They’re bred to be slaves and if they misbehave can be wiped clean and reset or reused to create more gens.
Tankborn follows Kayla a GEN who is sent to work for a Trueborn family and her best friend Mishalla sent to work as a nurture mother (raise children) as they manoeuvre the word where they’re despised by both classes. They discover the way the world works is not only unfair, but also corrupt and built on a lie. There is a group of people stealing lowborn children from their families and turning them into GENS—a feat thought impossible. Mystery, teen angsty love, adventure, class warfare—this book has a little bit of everything.
The characters were three dimensional and ethnically diverse, which is great for this genre where it’s rarely seen. I must admit it took me awhile to really get into the book, because from the first chapter it began throwing so many terms and unknown jargon at me that it got a little confusing. It did eventually come together. I also think there could have been more world building to differentiate between Loka and earth. There are two more books in the series, so maybe more will be revealed later on. Great read!