dystopia

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Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

Vanessa dreams she is a grown woman, heavy with flesh and care. – Opening sentence Gather the Daughters is a dark and uncomfortable novel that I know is going to haunt me for a while. It follows the story of a small community of island-dwellers, told from the perspective of four young girls. The ‘wastelands’ surrounding their island are full of disease, war and defectives – life on the island is the only life. Newborn boys are celebrated with laughter, girls with tears. These girls know that as soon as they experience their first bleed – coming of age – they will be married and have children. That is what happens to all the woman on the island during the ‘summer of fruition’, where all the eligible men and new young woman spend the summer together until they are all paired off and married by Autumn. This is how it has always been on the…

South by Frank Owen

Felix Callahan sat on the rusted exercise bike, naked. – Opening sentence Thanks to Corvus Books for the copy of South! It’s somewhat interesting that I read South, a book about a wall being built across America and an all-out North/South war, the week before the Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Coincidence? South is a dystopian novel, one of my favourite genres, set thirty years after the outbreak of a civil war in America, which resulted in a giant wall being built across the old states, and viruses being used as warfare. Hopefully this isn’t a foreshadowing! The divide is actually more similar to that of North and South Korea. The “North” in the book is perceived to be much like America is right now – everyday people going about their everyday lives, working and living. The “South”, on the other hand, is a lawless, infected land…

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

I sat up high, oak branch ‘tween my knees, and watched the tattooed man stride about in the snow. – Opening sentence I received an absolutely beautiful proof copy of The Wolf Road from HarperFiction back in April, and spent the last two months staring at it wistfully before I finally caught up with my TBR pile and got the chance to read it. I’d been seeing great reviews in my Twitter feed, so my expectations were pretty high. And wow. I mean seriously, WOW. Set in a future ravaged by a forgotten war, The Wolf Road follows the journey of Elka, a wild girl in a wild world who is on a mission to find her parents (and escape her dark past). The way is long, and fraught with difficulties and challenges. But Elka is not like other girls her age, she was raised in the forest and knows how to survive. But survival isn’t the problem.…

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I read this book in less than 8 hours, from cover to cover. Okay, so that might have had something to do that I was stuck inside all on my own for the day – but it’s also an amazingly good book! It’s all about an online virtual reality game, which has taken over the way the world is seen and used. Set in the future, the world has crumbled into decline, with the ‘global energy crisis’ and the biggest recession in human history. As such, people spend all their free time logged into the OASIS, which provides a realistic escape from reality, enabling the user to become whoever they possibly want. The creator of this game, James Halliday, is the richest man on the planet. When he dies, he leaves a hidden easter egg in the OASIS, and whoever first finds that easter egg will inherit his entire fortune.…

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