Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
Series: The Verona Trilogy #1
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
First published: January 14th, 2011
Source: Received from author
Format: Paperback
Pages: 322
Goodreads Summary:
There's hope for the future, but what about the past?

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.

My Rating: 3.0 / 5

First thoughts:
Set in both, a post-dystopian future (2347) and the past (1347), The Lens and the Looker keeps the reader's interest and turns out to be telling an exciting adventure. The love story is sweet but doesn't distract from the main focus, which is cleary set on the experiences Hansum, Lincoln and Shamira make after having travelled into the past.

More detailed:
While The Lens and the Looker isn't like the books I usually read, I enjoyed it nonetheless. I'd definitely recommend it for a younger audience or readers who prefer Middle Grade novels - I'm sure you'll be able to appreciate this intriguing tale even more than I did, if you prefer to read adventure novels with only a little bit of romance.

Especially Lory S. Kaufman's writing made me want to continue reading. He managed to describe the different time periods The Lens and the Looker is set in (2347 and 1347) perfectly and made me feel like I could see the places right in front of me. You can definitely see how much research the author must have done to describe everything so accurately.

But sadly I missed getting to know the characters better. Even though I love the detailed descriptions of the surroundings, I would have wished to find out more about the characters' feelings. The narration is more concentrated on actions and the lack of real emotions made it a little bit hard to identify with Hansum, Lincoln and Shamira.

All in all, The Lens and the Looker was a really fast and well written read for me. I'm definitely intrigued to find out how Hansum and Guilietta's love story will develop, how the group's actions will affect both the past and the future and whether they'll ever return to their home. If you like adventurous and historical Middle Grade novels, you should definitely give this a chance.

Books in this series:

1. The Lens and the Looker
2. The Bronze and the Brimstone
3. The Loved and the Lost (to be released)

Have you read The Lens and the Looker? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?


  1. Wow! it sounds like a enjoyable read, specially for kids! Im glad when books are well written yet, I am not very much of a middle grade reader but it is always awesome to get to know more books! thnx for the grate review my dear ^_^ muah!!

    Dazzling Reads

  2. It sounds pretty interesting. I enjoy middle grade books once in a while. Thanks for the fantastic review!

  3. Oh thsi cover is freakish! Haha. I'm a big character oriented reader though so not sure this one would be for me.


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