Category Archives: Dystopian

Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

Everything turns a beautiful purple when a comet circles the earth. Things aren’t so beautiful the next morning when pre-pubescent children discover all the teens and adults are dead. On the little Castine Island, a small group of children must create a fledling society, but it’s a race against time before the older children get sick and die, too.

Night of the Purple Moon is a fast read that really drew me in. The last quarter was incredibly intense. There were a few things that bothered me about it such as the children, 12 and under, being able to drive really well. Much later it is mentioned that on their island kids 10 and up can drive. It would have saved me some annoyance had that been stated earlier in the book. I recommend it to teens and young adult book fans. It’s not quite a YA book, but it’s also not quite a middle grade book, but instead somewhere in between (early teens).

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 54
Pages Read in 2017: 16,275
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (N in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Dystopian, Science Fiction

The Fever Code by James Dashner

Little Stephen, soon renamed Thomas, as well as many other immune (and one non-immune) children are brought to WICKED in order for their killzones (brains) to be studied in an attempt to find a cure for the Flare. Before long, Thomas and Teresa become the elites of Group A (while Rachel and Aris are the elites in Group B). They help build the maze and then watch as their friends are studied while inside it.

The Fever Code covered several years, often skipping over months, even years, at a time. Many questions were answered including how Dr. Paige became chancellor and why Thomas and Teresa ended up helping to create the maze. I was always uneasy about Teresa reading the other books in the series, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. That was also answered in a rather startling epilogue. Of all the Maze Runner books, this one is the best. I highly recommend it to Maze Runner fans. For people new to the series, I would definitely wait to read it after the others even though it is a prequel.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 45
Pages Read in 2017: 13,459
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Dystopian)

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Into the Shadows by Harriet Parke

Emmaline, David, Elsa, and Micah have escaped from the compound, but they are being hunted by the Earth Protection Agency. David’s parents, John and Joan, follow them through the hole in the fence and attempt to throw the EPA agents off the little family’s trail.

I really liked the first Agenda 21 book and had high hopes for Into the Shadows, but it just wasn’t very good. There were giant plot holes that left me yelling in my head (and occasionally out loud) about how it didn’t make sense. For example, the little family walked for days and were still very near the mansion where the compound leaders live and the farm commune where the food is grown. That’s fine and explained by saying the river they were following meanders. The problem is, they ended up being taken in by an elderly couple. The elderly couple lived in a cave right by the mansion and farm commune and yet, somehow, they escaped detection for 17 years. Emmaline is constantly worried that their presence would bring the Earth Protection Agency people to the elderly couple. While that could happen, if they had survived without being discovered for almost two decades, why in the world would they be likely to suddenly be found just because the little family was there. The way the points of view switched was good except for one thing. The Emmaline chapters were told in first person while all other were in third person. That was actually rather annoying to me. Then there was the preachiness. The book would be going along fine and then there would be a section with hit-you-over-the-head “this is what you must learn from what you are reading” preaching (religious and political). I never quite figured out why the insistence that people only would want to be free if they knew their history (after all, Emmaline wanted to be free before she ever learned any of the history). The characters are all very flat. They never changed and most of them were quite dull. Many parts of the story moved very slowly. It’s a dystopian novel about running from human predators and learning how to live in the mostly uninhabited wild world. It should have been anything but slow. The afterword was written by Glenn Beck and warned of the evils of Agenda 21. Into the Shadows was a definite disappointment. I don’t really recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 37
Pages Read in 2017: 10,820
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (I in AQUAMARINE)

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Rebellion by Kass Morgan

A month after the dropships arrived, the colonists and the earthborns are getting along well and preparing to celebrate with a harvest feast. Just as they are all gathering together, Protectors, members of an earth-worshipping cult, ambush them, killing some people and kidnapping others, stealing their supplies, and burning the village. The kidnapped people (including Wells and Glass) are taken to the Protectors’ camp in the Pentagon. A rescue party (including Clarke and Bellamy) head out to get their friends back.

I really enjoyed the first three books of The 100 series so I was thrilled when I saw that another was being released. Rebellion did not disappoint. It’s a quick read that really allows you to understand some of the characters and their motives (specifically Wells, Glass, Clarke, and Bellamy). It is written from a close third person point of view, but alternates between those four characters. I highly recommend this book to The 100 fans and fans of young adult dystopian (but read the first three books first).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 124
Pages Read in 2016: 33,919
Hours Listened: 27 hours 2 minutes
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Powerless: The Synthesis by Jason Letts

All children are born with a special power. Some show quickly, some don’t. Some are useful, some aren’t. Some even kill the child. For 15 years, Mira’s parents have kept her hidden behind the mist her father can create with his power. They decide to let the mist go and send her to school for her last school year. There she discovers a world she never realized existed. Students are being taught to become soldiers in the neverending war. More important than learning facts and figures, the kids are taught to use their gifts to get through three trials to ultimately determine which will be the leader of the graduating class.

There were so many annoyances and plot holes in this book. It was a huge deal that Mira’s powers hadn’t showed, but there was a girl in her class with the same issue so that excuse of keeping her behind the mist doesn’t make sense (and of course was not the actual reason, but before Mira found out the real reason, she accepted her parents’ excuse without question even though she knew the other powerless girl was not locked up in her house for years). Once Mira’s parents let her out of the mist, they became, literally, the worst parents on the planet. Instead of helping her navigate the confusion of how the school works and dealing with not having a power while the others do, they just kind of left her to it and became ridiculously hands off. Except when a mirror that belonged to Mira’s grandmother got broken accidentally. That was pretty much the end of the world. There was a game that’s apparently the worst thing ever according to parents, but was really just a not so horrible game of truth or dare with pictoral dice and weird rules (like randomly getting rid of some of the pictures if the other players can’t make them fit together). In school, the teacher was a complete idiot, teaching them things like a watched pot takes longer to boil. The students were nearly as stupid, but Mira knows everything because her parents taught her at home all those years. Sometimes Mira seemed fine and communicated with others well and other times she was just completely naive and weird. Winning the final trial was the most important thing, all all that really mattered was the powers they were born with. The kid that sweats oil and the kid that senses other people’s powers were at a serious disadvantage to the kid who can jump far distances and the kid who can control gravity. The final trial is pretty much Hunger Games without the killing. Powerless: The Synthesis is the first book in a series. While the premise is interesting and the story was sometimes interesting, there was enough that irritated me that I will not be reading any more of them.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 112
Pages Read in 2016: 30,576
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Renaissance by Heather Sunseri

With a cure invented and a vaccine being manufactured, the citizens of New Caelum are on the edge of being able to move out of the city and into the rest of the country if they want. But then Governor Jackson, dictator of six outlying settlements, threatens President Layne to get back something he says is his that she has. A new threat appears when they discover the Governor is training attack dogs and making them sick with a disease similar to Bad Sam, making living weapons of mass destruction. West and Cricket must work together if they want all the remaining citizens of the United States to go back to how it was before Bad Sam appeared, and especially if they want their own happily ever after.

Renaissance, the third book in the Emerge series, is just as good as the first two. There’s lots of action in this one and a nice amount of romance, too. Once again, I could barely put the book down and finished it in one day. (I think my husband was relieved when I finished it because I always had my nose in a book – or Kindle – as I read them. The only other serieses I have consumed so fast and had so much trouble putting down every book were The Hunger Games and The 100.) I loved the ending. It was perfect. I very highly recommend this book and the whole Emerge series!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 109
Pages Read in 2016: 29,085
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Filed under Dystopian, Young Adult

Uprising by Heather Sunseri

Cricket is back in the Boone Blackston settlement knowing her immunity has waned and she has been once again exposed to Bad Sam. The people of New Caelum are getting more restless wanting to leave the city and the people of the outlying settlements are angry that New Caelum purposefully sent Bad Sam into their communities. The vice president has been removed and West has taken his place at his mother’s side, but things still are not quite right. Knowing Cricket has two options to treat her potential case of Bad Sam, one that could save her and one that could kill her, West must find her and bring her back to the city once again to save her life, all the while struggling to calm the people inside his city and out.

Picking up where the first left off, this second book of the Emerge series is another well done, exciting book. Once again, I read it in one day (during the day instead of the middle of the night this time), only putting it down when I had to (since things like feeding and educating my kids do take priority over reading for pleasure). The struggle within Cricket between her brain and her heart is very realistic and well written. I highly recommend Uprising to young adult and dystopian fans (but definitely read Emerge first!).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 108
Pages Read in 2016: 28,801
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Filed under Dystopian, Young Adult