Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blog Tour: REVIEW of "The Lens and the Looker"

Description from Goodreads: THERE'S HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, 

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 thoughts:
My first thought when I saw the cover was that it looked kind of ... interesting.  It's not the kind of cover that usually takes me in.  So, the first lesson for me in reading this book is that you can't judge a book by it's cover.

In 2347 the people of the world are living in the perfect society.  They know  little of suffering and disease.
For the most part  people do what they are supposed to do.  This story follows three teens who are rebellious and trouble makers.  To tame the trouble makers, society has founded History Camps.  In these camps, teens are taken to remote locations and are expected to live in the conditions that the people from the past lived with.  They actually have to work and are expected to follow rules.  This is an attempt to help them realize the advantages and the superior life that they have.  It should help them conform to society.

History Camp for Verona, Italy 1347 is meant to tame the "hard cases."  In this case that is Hansum (17), Shamira (15), and Lincoln (14).  This group of three make life as intolerable as possible for their camp counselors.  They are forced to play the role of peasants and are expected to learn a trade and do what they are asked.  What the counselors do not know is that Hansum has smuggled in technology and they are using their little hologram "genie" to cause as much havoc as possible.

The non-conformist teens are then abducted by someone from the future who speaks in rhyme.  He whisks them away to the past, to the 14th century Verona.  The teens have no choice but  to conform in order to survive.  They find that history camp was tame compared to the real life past.  Life is harder than they were lead to believe and it is hard to survive.  There are no doctors, most of the people are illiterate, there are diseases, and a high death rate.  Life in Verona is dirty.  It is unsanitary.

I lived the realism in this fantasy book.  I wasn't hooked into the story until I was about 2/3 of the way through.  I found the plot very interesting and compelling. Kaufman lays a foundation that builds to the ending.

I recommend this book to all ages.  It is a young adult book, but it's a great story.  There is not content that  a parent would need to be concerned with in having a young teen exposed to.  I am giving this book four stars and thank Mr. Kaufman for the copy sent to me.  I look forward to reading the further adventures of  the teens in History Camp. I read this book to review with the "Pump Up Your Book" blog tour.

I snagged this info from Pump Up Your Books page  about the author:

“I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. History Camp stories are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter.” -Lory Kaufman
On the artistic side of Lory’s career, he’s written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. He enjoys art, especially sculpture. He loves science fiction and historical fiction and he has been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. All this shows through when you read his work. Lory has three grown children and works and lives in Kingston, Canada.

To find out more about Lory visit www.history-camp.com


  1. I am also on the tour and will be reading this later in the week. I really like the premise and look forward to getting into it.

  2. After reading your review I know this book is going on my wish list. Thanks!


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