Much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, young Dogget Mann is whisked away from the world he knew and spends the rest of the story trying to return. The novel is sci/fi, with enough speculative science to make it interesting and 'believable' without dwelling on details. The world Dogget finds himself in is a possible future, filled with all-powerful corporations, corrupt government, and other greedy folks with no respect for life--yet they all place great value on the pure, unaltered human genetic code, namely Dogget--only they have to kill him first.
Luckily, Dogget is protected by perhaps the last remaining kind folks in the world who surround him with better human qualities, namely intelligence, love, honesty, respect, and self-sacrifice. But, not for long, of course, as adventure must have disaster and armies of bad guys.
The story is told from the perspective of an 11-year old orphaned boy, so the writing is appropriately straight-forward, heartfelt, funny, snarky at times, and often angry and high on emotions. The sappy scenes were a bit too much for my taste, but luckily, those did not occur often. One of my favorite lines is, "Wanting life to be fair is like wanting music to taste good."
The most interesting aspect of the story was the description of the possible future with a genetically engineered population, and social reactions to having a wider variety of human forms and abilities. The world became crowded, necessitating colonization of other planets and moons. Combine this with space rifts and time travel, and the possibilities for this adventure are wide open.
Despite the interesting new world, the story fell short of that 5-star spark. Certainly, the characters were enjoyable, in a Disney sort of way. The writing, pace, dialogue, etc were all very competent. I was entertained, yet not moved or inspired or awed. I also would quibble at the ending, which was no more than an unexpected and abrupt "To be continued...." I would have liked to have known that beforehand...to have had some warning that this was to be a series...it was quite jarring, and I'm such a delicate flower, you know.