Book review: Young Blood

Book cover for Young Blood by Andrew Barrer

If you frequent my blog, you know how much I like a good short story. I’ve been making it a point to mix-in short stories between my longer fictional reads.

I recently enjoyed Amazon’s Forward Collection of six short science fiction stories, so I was eager to read one of the latest additions to Amazon’s Original Stories, Young Blood by Andrew Barrer.

Young Blood is based on an interesting concept, almost a bit Logan’s Run like in spirit. Scientists have discovered they can reverse the aging process by giving people transfusions of younger people’s blood. The catch is that the donors need to be young adults under the age of 35, and they need to be kept in a mellow, content, care-free state. “Donors” are recruited to join a community of their peers where they are provided food, shelter, and endless entertainment at no cost. In exchange, they agree to stay until they are 35 and to regularly donate blood for a scientific experiment, which they know little about.

The story is told from three perspectives, the lead scientist of the community and two of the resident donors – Billy and Frankie. At first, Billy and Frankie are thoroughly enjoying themselves. They soon discover that what’s too good to be true usually is just that – too good to be true. Frankie embarks on a quest to discover the truth, which sets in motion a sometime humorous and other times dark turn of events. If I had to categorize the book, I’d call it a dystopian satire, if that’s even a thing.

I found Young Blood to be OK. If it was a long novel, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. However, as a short story, it’s a quick hour or so read that can provide some cheap entertainment. And as I’ve found with most good stories, it will also leave you contemplating a bigger theme. In this case it’ questions how far we would go to reclaim our youth, even if it came at the expense of the younger generation.