Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Award-winning author Sylvain Neuvel explores an immigration dystopia in The Test.
Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.
Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.
When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
The Test is quick novella that gives an in-depth look at an immigration system, specifically the United Kingdom, and how it can harm those most vulnerable to them.
Ever since reading Neuvel’s Themis Files trilogy, I’ve been waiting to get my hands on more of his work. Neuvel is an incredible writer with a knack for dialogue. The Test is no exception and, actually, displays his keen sense of dialogue. Almost the entirety of the novella is told through dialogue between the main character, Idir, and the British Citizen Test. Without this believable dialogue, The Test would not work.
The Test dives deep into the human psyche as it explores questions about social biases and morality all housed within themes of religion, appearance, gender, and sexuality. Each of these topics are covered extensively with interesting answers explained in detail.
Overall, The Test is a must read as it mirrors and offers insight into immigration as many countries attempt to deal with influxes of people seeking better lives elsewhere. Compassion should be a key component of any immigration program and The Test is a testament to that fact.