Tag Archives: dystopian

True North – Book Review

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Title: True North

Author: L. E. Sterling

Pages: 400 (Hardcover)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Published: April 4, 2017

Summary:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

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Review:

If you haven’t read my review of the first book in the series, True Born, be sure to go check that out HERE.

True North returns readers to Dominion City, where the plague is continuing to wipe out the population. While I generally enjoyed this book just as I did the first one, there were a few issues that I had with it.

First, for a good chunk of the book, I felt like nothing was happening. Yes, I was reading words and some things were going on, but there was no advancement to the plot. The pace in the beginning of the book was slow and dragged on, causing me to wonder when something was actually going to happen. However, once things did start happening, it hooked my attention again and kept me hungry for more.

I love that this series explores a world that could conceivably be in the not too distant future, with such vast differences from the world we currently live in. While it’s hard for me to fathom that the world could one day have completely new countries, it’s entirely possible. After all, I’m sure the Romans thought they would be on top forever too.

In this book we get to see a lot more of the politics and the inner workings of the Upper Circle, which was very interesting. This really helped me to understand what kind of world Lucy is a part of, and just what motivates the characters in this novel.

I think that True North is an okay sequel to a great first novel. I’m not completely in love, but there is definitely enough intrigue to keep me reading to the third book when it comes out. I give True North 3/5 stars.

True Born – Book Review

To see all of the great blogs featuring True Born and True North on this blog tour, click on the banner above!

Title: True Born

Author: L. E. Sterling

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Published: May 3, 2016

Summary:

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

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Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve visited some dystopian fiction, but I was very excited to dive into this book and see where its pages took me. I’ve had this book on my iPad for ages now but unfortunately had never gotten around to reading it. But then I saw that book two in the trilogy (True North) was coming out so I finally picked this up, and I am glad I did.

I think that it was very interesting to see a dystopian/plague-type novel from the perspective of an upper-class person, as I feel like most of the time with these novels we are only privy to the perspectives of the lower classes who are struggling the most. The rich perspective was done in such a way that didn’t feel like it was trying too hard to be what it was. Oftentimes, a perspective like this sounds unbelievable and overdone, but L.E. Sterling really managed to capture the tone and mood of the upper class as they perceive themselves, as opposed to an outsider-looking-in perspective,

Lucy and Margot are twins who were conjoined at birth, by a small area on their toes. And all those rumors you hear about twins being able to feel each other’s pain and whatnot are actually true with Lucy and Margot. They use this special connection to communicate with one another, and can also tell when the other is in danger, which comes in handy quite a few times throughout the novel. I thought that the connection between the sisters added something to the novel that helped to make the reader feel things for the sisters more deeply.

As with any YA book, there’s usually a love interest, and for our dear Lucy, this comes in the form of True Born Jared Price. From the moment Lucy lays eyes on him, she is intrigued by him (hello, insta-love!) yet once she gets to know him she finds herself rather annoyed by some of his behaviors. While I overall liked his character, I hated how he and Lucy were constantly hot and cold with one another. It seemed as though neither could make up their mind about how they felt about the other, and were constantly flip-flopping between liking one another and hating the other’s guts.

There were a few times throughout the novel where I got a bit confused as to what was going on with the story. This could be because some things just needed to be fleshed out a little more, or perhaps there are a few sentences that just needed some reworking. Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed True Born and I am very excited to see what the sequel has in store about tying up the many questions I am now left with. I give True Born a solid 4/5 stars.

Be sure to look out for my review of True North, coming on Tuesday, April 25th.

There Once Were Stars—Blog Tour and Book Review

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Stars

Summary:

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

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Review:

I have always been intrigued by the idea that there might come a day when the world is so contaminated or messed up that people would have to live inside of a protective dome. The idea isn’t that new—there have been a few television shows that have definitely featured this concept. But I have never read a book about it, and this was a unique experience for me.

Nat has always lived her life inside of Dome 1618. It’s all she’s ever known, and she is okay with that. Nat’s parents were both scientists whose job it was to go on expeditions outside of the dome to see if it might one day be safe for the inhabitants of the dome to venture out and start to rebuild civilization on the outside again. One day, Nat sees someone standing outside of her dome without any protective gear on. He is captured by those in charge of Dome 1618 and brought in for questioning.

Nat learns that everything is not all as it seems within her dome. Secrets are everywhere and Nat might hold some of the most important secrets of all. She struggles with the decision of who she should trust and what the consequences of her actions might be.

I love how this book kept me begging for more! It was almost impossible for me to put it down, much to my professor’s dismay… whoops! I really enjoyed There Once Were Stars, and it was a relatively quick read for me.

I give There Once Were Stars 4/5 stars. You can purchase it from any of the following retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Legacy – Blog Tour and Book Review

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Summary:

How do you want to feel today?

In 2041, the choice is yours.

San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.

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Review:

I love dystopian novels so much. There’s something about the world as we know it being gone that is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. I would love to see the world change in some ways; who wouldn’t? But what if those changes set in motion something that was irreparable? I get the chills just thinking about it.

This book was such a fast read for me. I just couldn’t put it down! Everything from the setting to the plot to the characters had me hooked from the first page. As someone who lives in San Francisco, reading books that are set in my city always excite me. It’s interesting to see what SF looks like in someone else’s eyes.

The whole “take a pill and change your emotions” thing was very intriguing to me. At first, it seems like a great idea. Goodbye PTSD, just take a pill and it’s gone. Bye bye depression, another pill and you’re gone too. Who wouldn’t want such a simple fix to their problems? But then once the dark truth about these pills is discovered, some people don’t feel as positive about the pills as they once did.

In the ever-growing collection of dystopian books, I felt that this book was original and unique, which I loved. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands onto the next book in the series.

I give Legacy 4/5 stars. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on the book’s cover image below:

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The Scorpion Rules – Book Review

The Scorpion Rules - Book Review

Plot:

In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage—if a war begins, they pay with their lives.

Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis’s strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to save them.

Review:

I feel like this book had the potential to be fantastically written, but in the execution it fell a bit short of the expectations that I had for it,

The book has a really interesting premise: in order to keep the peace between nations and thwart wars, the UN takes a child hostage from the leader of every country. If a country does end up declaring war on another, their child (or grandchild, etc.) is killed. It is thought that this will deter countries from ever starting wars. And for the most part it works.

But then there are those who believe that the needs of their country are greater than the value of the life of their hostage, and declare war anyway. This never ends up working out for the country, and their hostage is killed, but hopefully the country at least got something out of their declaration of war. If not, it was all for nothing.

While this had the promise of being a good bit of plot, the characters and the ways their stories unfolded did nothing for me. I felt lost throughout a lot of the story and was constantly having to pay close attention to detail so as to not get too confused.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing too special, but it did entertain me, which I suppose is the main purpose after all. I give the book 3.5/5 stars.

You can purchase The Scorpion Rules by clicking the image of the book above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.