Truancy by Isamu Fukui
In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist, with the help of his Educators. Fighting against the Mayor and his repressive Educators is a group of former students called the Truancy, whose goal is to take down the system by any means possible - at any cost.
Against this backdrop, fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to survive. His days are filled with sadistic teachers, unrelenting schoolwork, and indifferent parents. Things start to look up when he meets Umasi, a mysterious boy who runs a lemonade stand in an uninhabited district.
Then someone close to Tack gets killed in the crossfire between the Educators and the Truants, and Tack swears vengeance. To achieve his purpose, he abandons his old life and joins the Truancy. There, he confronts Zyid, an enigmatic leader with his own plans for Tack. But Tack soon finds himself torn between his desire for vengeance and his growing sympathy for the Truants…
When I got asked to review the Truancy series, I first had to look up what this series was to start with as I was not familiar with the author, Isamu Fukui. I soon found out that Isamu had written this first book in the series when he was only 15 years-old himself... To be fair I got a bit cautious, though I heavily support young authors in their endeavours to write, the books sometimes do not fully come together. But putting that thought aside and reading the synopsis, I really wanted to read these books, having already read a lot of YA fiction in 2012, this was a theme that I had not had the chance to read yet, featuring a heavily controlled school system and rising against it a band of rebels… or are they? Truancy is not only packed full with action but for me also put me to thinking of who, the Educators or the Truants, are right…
Truancy story revolves around a very strict educational system controlled and applied by the Educators and the Enforcers, who are under direct control of the Mayor, who himself leads the City. Do not think that what the Educators and Enforcers have in store if you break a rule is the writing up of a few lines on the blackboard - No, the consequences in Truancy are much more heavy. This books is actually pretty violent in the action scenes, featuring on more than one occasions a few deaths and some spilled blood. For me it took actually a few pages to adjust to this setting; I mean this not in a bad way but I had to come to appreciate the total setting and the combination of the Truants and the Educators. Like I mentioned, on more than one occasion I swapped sides for either the Educators or the Truants. Somehow they both had arguments that struck me as quite reasonable, and in the end I truly liked what was put there. OK, coming back to the story itself. On the other side you have the rebels against the Educators, The Truants. They are made up of high school students that have been expelled, or have dropped out of school, either by the hands of the Educators or voluntarily. You see most of the story unfold through the eyes of several Truant members. But first the main protagonist of the story, which is Tack. As I got to read about his character in the beginning, while he was still attending school he already had to slight nudge of rebelliousness against the oppressive educational system, but on another side it also felt that he wanted to do right by getting good grades, being treated fairly and not letting his parents down. Tack was put away in a great way which allowed me to really feel for his character and I think a lot of younger readers will feel the same for him.
Truancy is divided into three parts, the first part of the book centred more around Tack and his sister Suzie who were coping in and around school. This first part of the book ended in quite a violent and tragic confrontation between the Educators and the Truants, where Tack was caught in the crossfire. It was by these events that Tack’s character is taking some tremendous leaps in terms of development. Becoming very determined to put to justice of what was done to him. And in the second part he finds himself in a world full of action and violence, the struggle for the upper hand of the city between the Truants and the Educators. In his quest for revenge Tack gets deeper and deeper into the ranks of the Truants and soon becomes a favourite of their leader Zyid. Actually from this second part of the book a lot of things are falling neatly together, especially as you read about the relation between Umasi and Zyid and what actually came to pass previously and what the role of the Mayor is. All in all these parts complemented each other quite nicely.
But then something unexpected happened in the book. Umasi, who taught Tack some pretty cool stuff with weapons and fighting, becomes more involved. Umasi is a pacifist who prefers making lemonade over choosing a side. In his past he has trained others like Tack... that did not turn out quite how he wanted it to… Isamu used this to add a new addition to the storyline. Edward. Who thwarted Umasi, nobody knew that he was still alive, but Edward might just be the single push that the Educators need to win from the Truants. It is after the introduction of Edward that the story really takes off, going from a mad battle to full chaos in the city. I was very pleased to read these final confrontations, though they were violent on one side, they did fit in the overall picture that I think Isamu wanted to put out with Truancy. Added to this is the fact that there was not an overwhelming action but that there was also enough time spared to highlight the small detail in the surroundings and the relations between several other characters.
Just in summary: Truancy is a great debut considering it was written when Isamu Fukui was just 15 years old. The setting and the writing style of the book will appeal to many younger readers. There are more than enough fighting scenes featuring ceramic swords, guns, helicopters and RPGs, and all in all they are a great pleasure to read. This non-stop action was not overshadowing the book for me at all. Next to the action there were entire paragraphs dedicated creating a scene around Tack and his coping within this harsh world and how he perceived both sides, The Educators and The Truants. And these two combined made Truancy a great book. And I am really looking forward to start on the prequel Truancy Origins and the sequel Truancy City as soon as possible.
This Truancy book review was written by Jasper de Joode
Have you read Truancy?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Truancy reader reviews
8.2/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Obernewtyn Chronicles
In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. But for Elspeth Gordie, born with enhanced mental abilities, it is also dangerous. Survival is only ...
Cirque du Freak
Darren Shan seems like your average boy--he likes playing football with his mates, passing notes in class and loves spiders. Then, one day, his best mate Steve gets tickets...
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies t...
Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X Isle, the island where life is rumoured to be easier than on what...
The Testament of Jessie Lamb
Women are dying in their millions. Some blame scientists, some see the hand of God. As she watches her world collapsing, Jessie Lamb decides she wants to make her life coun...
The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the people...
Shades of Grey
Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy...
In a world where the undead outnumber the living, Moses Todd (the only recurring character from The Reapers are the Angles) roams the post-apocalyptic plains of America. Hi...
Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs. Or so he thought. But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled ...
Twenty-five years ago the world changed forever. A great war, which had raged for three years ended, and the reign of the Demons began... Within the crumbling walls of Fire...
Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down. A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not de...
The Dark and Hollow Places
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of...
Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surround...
The Secret Book of Sacred Things
The coming of the Great Stone destroyed almost everything that used to be. But high in one remote valley, the Church of Selene has found its way back from ruin. Sister Luka...
Marianne de Pierres
The story follows follows Virgin Jackson, park ranger at one of the last remaining national parks in the world. Her boss has made her responsible for looking after U.S. Mar...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the was...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...