Weekend Reads: “Vortexes”

VortexesVortexes by Holly Barbo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had the pleasure of meeting author Holly Barbo during InDScribe 2018.

In this novel, Barbo draws not only on the history of 1930s Germany but also from today’s headlines to bring us a dystopian tale in which those who are of a different faith, have certain genetic ailments, or even make their living via art, journalism, and education are sent to reeducation “farms” or worse.

Emma Ando is a scientist working on a cure for diseases like Parkinson’s and Essential Tremor, the latter of which she has herself. Her refusal to use “undesirable” humans as experimental subjects puts her in the sites of the regime, and she is captured and tortured. As a resistance cell invades the research facility one night, she is fortunately and accidentally rescued … and now has to stay in hiding.

The titular Vortexes are art glass pieces through which Emma has discovered she can travel. In her new guise as Maya, she assists the resistance in using Vortexes to do their work.

This was often a hard book to read as I recognized the parallels to events both current and historical. Still, it was enjoyable and entertaining. Barbo has created a cautionary tale filled with people to care about and despise … and keep the readers turning pages. Well done.

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