The COVID Legacy

Fiction - Science Fiction
322 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The COVID Legacy by Lance Haynes is a futuristic techno-thriller following the deaths of billions in the aftermath of a pandemic. Eugenics is in play with the remaining 800-million inhabitants of the earth where genetic modification and strict reproduction mandates are introduced in an effort to further reduce the planet's population to a goal of 500-million. Under the leadership of a United Nations authority, it appears that the epidemic, labeled the Dying Time, has had a positive impact, primarily for the third generation who were not yet born or old enough to have witnessed the pre-pandemic world. Instead, the planet they know of is in a state of social balance that is almost universally accepted even as families are separated and the new way of life is heavily regulated. Of this third generation is Brian Thorson, a man who descends from a lineage of service in the footsteps of his grandfather and father—whether deserved or not. When Brian begins to backtrack into his grandfather's history, the implications for Brian, his wife, and his friends, as well as the structure and deeds of the Authority, may just be more destructive than the disease itself.

There's no question that Lance Haynes has written a timely novel with the release of The COVID Legacy. Set sixty years from 2019, it seems almost prophetic given that the book was either written long before the very real, very current Covid-19 pandemic, or he was able to whip this story up in a few short weeks. If it's the latter then Haynes is something of a prolific genius because the work is exceptional, and the world-building of a post-epidemic society, as well as the conspiracy structure it is founded on, is fantastic. My favorite part is when Brian and his friend Ravi are rummaging through Brian's grandfather's house and discover a cache of booze. In their drunken state, they discuss their other findings in a scene that is authentic and human. From a technical standpoint, the book is formed by tight, clean writing and a strong narrative, with the exception of some small blips with word repetition. These don't inhibit the story whatsoever. Overall this is a wonderful work of fiction that will undoubtedly be embraced by the same audience that enjoys the likes of Kim Stanley Robinson, Emily St John, and Gore Vidal.

K.C. Finn

The COVID Legacy is a work of fiction in the science fiction and family drama sub-genres and was penned by author Lance Haynes. Written for adult audiences and including some mild usage of explicit language, the tale engages with the idea of the current global pandemic and catapults us 60 years into the future after a mysterious and tragic period known as the Dying Time. Protagonist Brian Thorson engages in his own family history to uncover secrets about the time before the plagues came, only to discover that the history which he has been taught is nothing like the reality. What follows is a tense family drama with global scale action.

Author Lance Haynes has developed an excellent and thrilling science fiction drama based somewhat on the fear and impact of current events, but lifting the tale out of the here and now and into a well crafted and immersive alternative future. The work is intelligently developed with plenty of well thought out consequences of global viral illness, political challenges which have been overcome, and a kind of peaceful utopia that belies a dark and mysterious underbelly rooted in the past. This makes for truly engaging reading on the plot level, and the work is overlaid with an emotively crafted family drama and the mission of protagonist Brian Thorson, who is an endearing hero that readers will surely root for in his quest for truth. Overall, I would recommend The COVID Legacy for science fiction fans seeking an intelligent and well-written drama.

Vincent Dublado

Fiction lends hypothetical scenarios on the possible outcomes of our present. In Lance Haynes’ The COVID Legacy, he presents a futuristic, eye-opening tale about the worst pandemic crisis that swept the planet and changed human lives. Set in 2019 after a series of viral plagues that reduced the population to 800 million, this tragic event came to be known as the Dying Time. Sixty years after the decimation, life goes on. Surviving societies and their governments do what they can to make life comfortable in the pursuit of overcoming past political, economic, and environmental adversities through interdependence and cooperation. Yet a sinister plot still lies beneath the core. At the center of this is Brian Thorson, who seeks to uncover the truth behind his grandfather’s scientific work. As he comes closer to shedding light on his grandfather’s legacy, he discovers more bitter truths and the possibility of humanity’s demise.

Pandemics and plagues are found everywhere in literature. The subject may appear too vast for a brief exploration, but The COVID Legacy does not cut corners. It brilliantly depicts human life in fair detail after the scourge of a global health crisis. Undoubtedly, Mr. Haynes makes the effort of descriptive enumeration of how life goes on through the lives of his characters. There is uniformity in his layman treatment of the plague. Though the scenario is largely hypothetical, how it reflects the reality of the present is intriguing. The Dying Time is universally presented as an uncalled form of destruction that we rightfully deserve and, in the end, it calls for a reassessment of accumulated knowledge and morals. How man is going to rebuild to continue as a species is a question worth answering, and this question is one of the hooks that make this book good company.

Tammy Ruggles

The COVID Legacy by Lance Haynes is a science fiction techno page-turner perfect for the Covid 19 generation. Set in the future, Haynes's main character, Brian Thorson, is dedicated to discovering and understanding the truth about the past and the future as it relates to The Dying Time, a name given to the time of the pandemic. Thorson gleans and builds from his grandfather's work, trying to make sense of a world poised for an unprecedented era of a utopian existence. The population has been dramatically decreased. Dreams of harmony and community are coming true. But Thorson uncovers truths about the pandemic and the world stage that could shake all of humanity. What will happen if he exposes it?

Haynes's novel doesn't come off as a hastily assembled commentary on the Coronavirus, but rather, a thoughtful, well-meaning exploration of our confusing, sometimes fearful, sometimes fearless times. In a way, this novel is where fact meets fiction with imagination, heart, and a literary voice. The poetic opening alone sets the tone for the engrossing, thought-provoking story that lies ahead. The story involves generations of family and romantic relationships which more or less grounds it in relatable themes, situations, and characters. The fact that the story is based on a familiar pandemic and its kaleidoscope of emotions gives the audience an immediate "Been there/done that, we're-all-in-this-together" point of reference. But Haynes is a writer that takes the familiar to the next level, and this is where the compelling story becomes more than a written response to a medical disaster. Haynes writes with authority, clarity, and clever imagination. The plot is captivating, the ending satisfying, and this would be a gripping story even if you'd never heard of Covid 19. The COVID Legacy by Lance Haynes should be at the top of your Covid 19-inspired books this year. Or any year.

Lesley Jones

In 2019, a series of plagues swept across the world, plummeting the population to 800 million in just a few years. Known as the Dying Time, the brave new world was bleak where only the strong and chosen survived. As the UN authority dictates birth rates and the distribution of wealth, they set out to reduce the population even further. When Brian Thorson, an employee of the UN authority, receives documents after his father's death, he discovers a family secret that destroys everything he believed to be true. Hidden inside an old family home in Swan Valley, Idaho is evidence that the plagues were organized and planned by a secretive and powerful organization to cull the population. Brian is determined to expose the truth to the world by bringing down an organization that is more powerful than any government so the people of all nations will truly be free. Brian discovers a web of deceit and a disregard for human life that he never thought possible.

The subject matter of The COVID Legacy by Lance Haynes is so very chilling. The author has an exceptional storytelling ability. His detailed research is admirable as he creates a world where the events could actually have taken place. The characters were realistic and each had a definite personality. Brian's internal battle to expose his grandfather while retaining pride in his family legacy was executed perfectly. I loved the angle of using other members of Brian's family who had also been used and misled by the leader of the organization, the horrifying villain, Dominus. The twists and turns in the plot were phenomenal and kept the story compelling. This story is so much more than a deadly pandemic and a fight to expose the truth. I thought the author cleverly and subtly makes the reader ponder the question of what is true freedom when those in power control your view of reality, speech, media, and access to information.