Dystopian Mystery

Corinth 2642 AD – Bindiya Schaefer

on
4 January 2022
Corinth 2642 AD Book Cover Corinth 2642 AD
Bindiya Schaefer
Dystopian
Zenith
21 September 2021
Kindle
296

In the year 2642, no one person is ethnically like the other. Globalization, war, and other catalysts have given birth to a diverse and multi-ethnic new world. Not everyone feels this new society is ideal, though. A select group of seven colonies-a pureblood, white supremacist cult complete with arranged marriages and heavily guarded borders-have only had one mission: protect the bloodline from contamination and produce the next generation of survivors. But some young people, destined for a life without choices, make a run for it, including Cara, the granddaughter of Julius Bull, the colonies' leader. Desperate to keep her dissidence quiet for fear of potentially inciting a power struggle within the colonies, Bull brings in Jimmy Matoo-a Special Investigator from San Francisco whose brother was found dead near one of the colonies the same night Cara disappeared. For Matoo, the visit to Corinth, Oregon, is eye-opening. He has never seen a white person before and is shocked by their ideas of imperialism, racial purity, and the prospect of arranged marriages in the 27th century. His investigation reveals that dozens of young colony members have gone missing over the years, and some have been found dead on the outskirts of Corinth. With the clock ticking, San Francisco's Detective Matoo's missing persons investigation soon becomes a fight for survival-turns out the residents don't like a brown fellow in their midst. Can he find Cara, figure out what happened to his brother, and save the leader's family from the Cabal before it's too late? Maybe. But first, he must find out who in the colony has the means and connections to smuggle the dissidents out without being detected because it could be the difference between life and death.

Division

Bindiya Schaefer’s debut book was a surprising gem, delivering a uniquely captivating story packed with drama in a dystopian future. Underlying is an indictment on how we racially see and treat others in our World today. Corinth 2642 AD is a wonderful mix of a dystopian thriller, with contemporary social messages and a plot full of mystery, suspense and danger.

The decades and centuries leading to 2642 AD have witnessed a devasting war that claimed millions of lives, a climate crisis that ravaged the globe, technology advances, globalisation, and the merger of ethnicity, to a generation known as One World. Several colonies decided that pure white communities would not mix, and over the ages, they remained hidden from One World engagement.

Jimmy Matoo is a private investigator in San Francisco and is approached by Julius Bull-Smith, the leader of the seven white US colonies, to find his missing granddaughter Cara. Initially, Jimmy rejects the offer but is informed that his brother was killed outside the Corinth colony in Oregon the same night Cara disappeared. Two mysteries are now at play both entwined in this pacy investigation that will tear into the prejudices and controls of the white supremacy cult. The population issues, breeding limitations, and growing infertility of the colonies are of major concern to the leaders. Their response is to control marriages and pregnancies—a strong motivation for a young girl to skip town. The people of the colonies are sitting on a powderkeg of their own, as some zealous forces want tighter controls, some realising this life is oppressive, and others wondering why they’ve locked themselves away in this cult. Misinformation about the outside is rife but often the truth is there if you can open your eyes.

One noteworthy takeaway from this book is that with so many major societal issues at play, and a double mystery to solve, maintaining a balance of the multiple threads and keeping nail-biting suspense would be complicated. All aspects work brilliantly to build a believable dystopian world, and never once did it feel disjointed or overwhelming.

When Matoo gets inside Corinth and stays with Bull’s family, the subtleties and not so subtle forms of racism are wonderfully painted. Except for Matoo, the characters are generally unlikeable, but are well-drawn and convey the colony’s prejudices and atmosphere. The spectrum of mistrust, cynicism, and repulsion within the Bull family towards Matoo reflect our World today and are essential to driving the story’s peril and suspense. Even though they know Matoo is helping them, the years of white racist prejudices cannot bring themselves to treat Matoo as an equal. It reminded me of the fable of the Frog and the Scorpion.

I recommend Corinth 2642 AD to any readers who enjoy science fiction, thrillers, investigative mysteries, dystopian settings, contemporary issues, and action-packed adventures. I want to thank Bindiya Schaefer, GenZ Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ARC in return for an honest review.

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Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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