Crystal and the Underlings by Jack Kelley should be a literary hit, a novel most suitable for Motion Picture. Crystal is considered the best fighter and strategist amongst the seventh generation of genetically enhanced humans — fast, smart, and strong. In this dystopian world, humans are considered inferior to enhanced humans. So, when Crystal's twin brother goes missing in the Mojave Desert, she makes the resolve to do whatever it takes to bring him back. Leaving the Imperial City, she travels — alone — to the very heart of the underlings, hunting their military leader, Brownstone. She is stealthy and she uses her seductive power to gain the trust of the notorious leader. But her mission is complicated as she slowly begins to develop a strong attraction for him. As time passes, the attraction becomes stronger and she gets revelations that even make her question what she knows about the underlings.
Genetic technology is a reality that contemporary readers are becoming more and more conscious about and Crystal and the Underlings by Jack Kelley examines the moral implications of this advanced science. The author weaves a tale that is twisty with complex characters, building conflict between groups that make up the society and individuals. Crystal is an enhanced character who must make the brutal transition from merely existing as a fighter to discovering the depth of her humanity. In turn enchanting and shattering, this masterpiece explores the inner world of a female heroine who has to deal with strong emotions as she seeks answers while learning to listen to her heart. The dichotomy between the Elite and the Underlings is established through the social and economic realities that differentiate the two groups. From the beautiful prose filled with vivid descriptions and sharp dialogues to the richly developed characters and the finely drawn setting, this novel reflects Kelley's authority as a master storyteller capable of creating works that stand apart. Overall, this novel is a literary achievement that is delightful and exacting in its execution.