Drugs are common. Luxury drugs are still common, but come with a higher price because of the market making them seem less common. But drugs that give you superpowers? Priceless…or at least a couple thousand dollars for a quick hit. F*ktory by Jorge Enrique Ponce delves into the drug world of New York City on the coattails of a young girl.
As a fourteen year old, E has already dealt with much of the adult world as she’s been thrust out of her childhood in order to deal with her abusive father and protect her baby brother Phil from suffering as she has. Selling drugs and knowing how best to manipulate her buyer are things that E is quite good at. When a new drug called Lumen, which gives the users superpowers, enters the scene, E has hit the jackpot on her ticket out of this life, but this apparent blessing has more stings attached to it than she realizes.
The story is intriguing, yet reminiscent of the various comic book universes where a chemical is released and then people develop their superpowers, which makes the narrative easy to accept and roll with, especially with all the witty lines, but also has me saying, “Come on.” While it’s clear that E has been thrown into the seedy adult world in order to survive, much of her behavior and thought processes didn’t sit right with me as what a child, even an “adult” child, would do, even though I don’t have first hand experience with this.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.