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Damned by DNA

Re­lease Date: 1 Jan­uary

336 pages | Hard­back/ ebook Au­thor: Pey­ton Mar­shall Pub­lisher: Transworld with a ro­man­tic edge; it’s safe to say that Pey­ton Mar­shall’s thriller Good­house ticks all the boxes for Cur­rent Teen Thing. The cen­tral ques­tion: if in the not- so- dis­tant fu­ture we can un­cover a crim­i­nal gene, should we lock up the pre- crim­i­nals so that they can never cause harm?

Our hero James is just such an in­sti­tu­tion boy, strug­gling to con­vey his worth to a world that’s al­ready de­cided he is a mon­ster. Though he has no idea of his orig­i­nal name, par­ents, or what crimes they – or in­deed he – are sup­posed to have com­mit­ted, he’s forced to pay his dues along with thou­sands of other boys, none of whom want to play nice.

But though he can’t trust his ap­par­ently crim­i­nally- lean­ing com­rades, that’s noth­ing com­pared to his sus­pi­cion of those who

A dystopian YA thriller

ac­tu­ally run the Good­house in­sti­tutes. And since James’s first school was burnt down by a cult bent on elim­i­nat­ing boys like him al­to­gether, he’s got a lot of en­e­mies to jug­gle. Then, of course, there’s this girl…

Good­house is good fun – Mi­nor­ity Re­port meets Never Let Me Go, with all the fall­out you might ex­pect. The story bashes along, fast- paced and oc­ca­sion­ally bru­tal; but it all feels a lit­tle like another Or­well cut- out. With­out orig­i­nal­ity on its side, un­for­tu­nately it never quite grad­u­ates from good to great. Natasha Hodg­son Pey­ton Mar­shall spent most of the ’ 90s play­ing bass in The Third Sex, a riot gr­rrl band from Port­land, Ore­gon.

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