Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Release: February 12th 2019
Received: ARC from Tor
I received a copy of The Test from TOR in exchange for a fair and honest review.
If the philosophical Trolley Problem could tell a story, it would be The Test. It perfectly captures the complexity of the dilemma, as well as the moral, ethical, and practical concerns. But then it goes a step further. It made all of those fictional people – the faceless ones we don’t hesitate to throw into a ‘what if’ scenario, and it makes them feel real.
The Test is a novella written by Sylvain Neuvel, and if you’re looking for something that’ll simultaneously take your breath away and make you think, than this is the tale for you.
I love the reaction that The Test managed to illicit from me. At times I was curious, at others I felt compelled to argue points, and at completely different times I was angry for Ramzi and the things he was being put through. I can honestly and truly tell you that I have never felt so emotional about a philosophical debate like this.
The twists and turns made throughout the novella were pleasantly unexpected, from the first major revelation right up to the last one. There wasn’t room left for debate in what actually happened, but that still leaves plenty to debate about. The methods used by those running the test, the reason for designing the test, the accuracy of the test, the ethical nature of it. Those are all very much open to debate (and I’ll confess that I’m looking forward to the book’s release so I can have that discussion openly).
Neuvel captured all of these concerns and questions, and presented them to us where it felt like we were being told a story. It was quite beautifully done, all things considered. While I haven’t read any of his other works, I’m clearly going to have to add everything he’s written to my ever growing TBR pile.