Tracer by Michael Cassata

Set in a future where the government is able to tell you who you were in past lives based simply on the fingerprint they require you to give at the end of your junior year, Tracer follows high school senior Trenton. Unlike most others, he has no interest in receiving his Past Life Letter, wanting instead to create his own destiny without the persuasion from who he may have been in the past. He’s still struggling with the untimely death of his mother, and a best friend who may or may not be up to no good, when he finds himself not only running from his past, but also his government. It turns out that who he was in a past life may hold the secret to saving the future.

Tracer, overall, is an impressive novel. Cassata has created an intriguing world – one that is not too far-fetched to find realistic. One thing I found particularly interesting was the continued references to present-day issues, such as US relations with China. Even in this particular future, the government is in constant competition with the rest of the world to be the first to discover, or develop new technology. Trenton is an interesting character as he not only deals with being chased by the government but also having a girlfriend, a best friend whose actions he finds concerning, and family issues. The character relationships throughout the novel were both well developed and realistic. Though the writing fell flat at times, the unique world Cassata created and the character dynamics more than make up for it.

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