Set in the distant future, the world was destroyed by the Wars of Men and a new world has been rebuilt on the ashes of the old, only this time women have taken control. Women can go to university, they can be leaders, and kindness and empathy are valued, along with feminity, history, teaching and engineering. Men, on the other hand, are not deemed capable of going to university and must give up what work they do have upon marriage. Against this backdrop we meet Andy, a man who does not fit into the common mold and who dreams of one day becoming an engineer, a path that is denied to him because of his sex. Through a chance encounter he meets Olivia, the young woman who has it all; intelligence, beauty, wealth and power. They bond over a mutual love of engineering, but it is Olivia's grudging acceptance that Andy might be her intellectual equal thay sparks a fire within him for change, and the second half of The 716 sees those flames fanned brighter.
The 716 is YA Sci Fi, but at its heart it is a feminist novel begging for gender equality and an acceptance to see gender as a spectrum. The main character, Andy, is endearing and relatable, and his best friend RAY is so brilliant I wish I could meet him. Olivia straddles the line between arrogant and charming, and author SJ Pratt masterfully created a complex character here that will win you over. The writing is fluent and smooth and the pacing is perfect. The 716 is very accessable as far as Sci Fi goes and I highly recommend it for both teenagers and adults, and I think it would make a good book to have a class discussion about in schools.
I received an advanced copy of this book and am leaving an honest review.