The entire time I was reading The Unidentified- Rae Mariz, my subconscious was exploring what I already know to be true of the teenagers I interact with daily and how media and advertising affects their lives.
I pondered the premise Mariz explores in this novel, a world where Education has become a Game, a competition where only the cool can hope to survive and succeed. A world where Education and our Young Adults are one mass pool of nameless faces, used to further market research and feed the Corporate Giant’s egos and ultimately their bank accounts.
It all seems too far fetched. But is it? Is it really? Already in the USA, schools who are drowning in debt and have no funding for books and classroom essentials are accepting corporate sponsorship and effectively ‘branding’ themselves, all in the name of providing an education.
The Unidentified is a timely and welcome novel. It does what all the best novels do. It forces the reader to think about the direction in which humanity is headed, therefore giving those who can do something to change that direction, an early warning.
Much like George Orwell’s- 1984, The Unidentified- Rae Mariz, not only affords us a glimpse of a possible future, but it gives us hope that the human will and spirit will ultimately prevail.
The Unidentified would make an incredibly powerful class novel and could be used with Grade 7 onward. Teaching notes are available on the Text Publishing website.
A MUST READ.