...It is a good YA sci-fi novel, which might appeal to readers of the Hunger Games due to the active female lead and the battle against a dystopian society....
The Pragmatist government owns the country and the people in it, assigning roles from birth – and taking children from their parents at that point to raise them into fitting careers. But rebels still exists, and with her world turned upside down, her best friend pregnant and unwilling to surrender the child to the state, and a technologist who wants to explore, Everly sets out for the wider world, cutting her locator chip out of her arm along the way. But three compound-raised children don’t get taught wilderness survival in their government-sanctioned roles, and they are going to have to learn this the hard way.
When I saw this, my first thought was of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. I was curious to see how much the author could put their own spin on the dystopian idea of a truly controlled society. The answer is that it is their own story completely. In some ways it is closer to paranoia: children raised from birth in complexes, with every aspect of their lives controlled and the world outside a wilderness.
Written in present tense, first person, from Everly’s point of view, the events and world have a certain feeling of immediacy which makes it easy for the reader to be drawn in. The characters all have distinct personalities and motives, and several conflict producing some fascinating and unexpected twists. I did find one of them completely annoying – towards the end it felt as though she was there purely to create conflict by doing stupid things, and the others should have expected and been prepared for it by now.
There are some nice touches: it is made quite clear that the dystopian government is North America only, not the irritating “whole world adopts one culture” that a lot of authors fall into, and they have no idea what the rest of the world is like. All technology and computer access is controlled by the government, and a ‘flu pandemic’ is the reason for the huge population drop and massive change in culture – despite the fact it is obviously now just being used as a excuse to keep power by the dictators.
The plot did raise a few questions for me. Most of the children have been in the incubator for 16 years, taken from their parents at birth. I am slightly confused about why seeing them would be a big deal, since they never got to know them. If they are taken at birth why do they have things like books etc. to remind them? Also if Everly was found in a suitcase which was empty aside from her, why does she have a book from her parents?
It does end on a cliffhanger, with a section from the following book immediately afterwards which manages to intrigue without spoiling the ending of the first. I probably won’t buy the second book, but it would probably hook readers who are into this genre.
It is a good YA sci-fi novel, which might appeal to readers of the Hunger Games due to the active female lead and the battle against a dystopian society.Rating: 3
Reviewed on: 2016-12-27
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