Posts Tagged ‘dystopian fiction’

The White Rose by Amy Ewing

August 30, 2016 Comments off

white roseThe White Rose by Amy Ewing. Pub. Walker books, 2015.

This book has been with me for a while now and I have finally got around to reading it and I am so glad I did. It is the second part of a trilogy the first of which is reviewed on my blog below. At the start all hell has broken loose inside the Jewel after Violet and Ash were found in bed together. The Duchess of the Lake, a cruel nasty bitch, is after blood. Lucien the male Lady -in -waiting orchestrates the escape of Ash and Violet with the help of The Duchess’s rebellious son Garnet. There are victims but you will need to read the novel to find out who they are. Where is Raven the girl who entered Surrogacy with Violet?

The escapees are headed for the fourth outer ring of Lone City known as The Farm but first they must escape The Bank and The Smoke with the Duchess and her Regimentals in hot pursuit. It is nail biting action with the presence of The Black Key a crucial link.

Finally they arrive at The White Rose but what is it all about? Well Royalty have taken and used whoever and whatever they like. There are huge disparities between the rich inside the Jewel and the people outside and they have had enough. The city has rotted for too long and there is a sense of utter hopelessness from the workers in the Smoke. A Revolution is in the air but part 3 will be where it is told.

Violet has a crucial role to play because of her Augury or talent of Growth.

Masterfully told by Amy Ewing, great dystopian fiction mixed with fantasy and a modern realism. For high school students and young adults. The link to part 1 Jewel is here:-

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern.

April 5, 2016 Comments off

flawedFlawed by Cecelia Ahern. Pub. HarperCollins, 2016.

This is one of the most stunning dystopian fiction novels for young adults that I have ever read.

Set in a country much like Scotland, in a city much like Edinburgh, with a population that are led and infected by the most extreme and cruelest Knoxian ethics and values. This is one of the most cruel yet brilliant novels I have read.

The main character is 17 year old Celestine who is a near perfect teenager, doesn’t rock the boat and goes along with society’s rules wiothout question. Before she was born there was a great recession in which the banks folded, the Government collapsed and the economy ravaged. The nation responded by rooting out all the bad decision makers and every person who made an error of judgement whether it be ethical or otherwise.

People who where judged to have made mistakes were labelled Flawed and were branded on a part of their bodies that reflect the flaw. Daily trials were held presided by three power judges. The events were televised like reality tv and became the source of the nations entertainment and worshiping celebrities but mainly a way of rooting out undesirables. The judges were very powerful and the most powerful was Crevan father of Celestine’s boyfriend Art.

Those who were  branded flawed have a terrible life, much worse than under Apartheid and treated as outcasts by those who considered themselves more worthy. Celestine is about to find out what this all means and so are you the reader.

In an incident on a bus Celestine shows humanity towards a Flawed old man. This is illegal and she appears before the court and suffers the most cruel treatment of any character I have read about. It will stun you but you will strongly empathise with Celestine and feel her pain.

The novel not only shows man’s inhumanity to man but it asks the question Can perfection be bred and imperfection bred out? Is anybody perfect? and it shows how power must always be checked.

Beautifully written without a word out of place. It amazed me that Cecelia Ahern wrote it in 6 weeks and then tuned it up. This woman can write. The chapters are short and you can’t stop reading. I read it long into the night and at times had to put it down and walk around while digesting what I was reading. Hell I hope Celestine is alright.

There is going to be a sequel to this novel out in 2017. If there is a 10 out of 10 novel this year this is it.

Unworthy by Joanne Armstrong

July 3, 2015 Comments off

unworthyUnworthy by Joanne Armstrong. Self published, 2014.

This is one of the best dystopian fiction novels by a New Zealand author that I have read. It demands a sequel and I expect one is already underway.

Arcadia is 17 years old and deemed “unworthy” by the ruthless and controlling Polis who rule the island population that is remarkably like the South island of New Zealand.

On Arcadia’s arm is a cross that signifies her unworthiness. At birth she was weak and sickly and like all similar babies is left outside at night in a ritualistic circle and is expected to die. She doesn’t and is brought up by a man she knows as grandfather, in a hub where she has no rights and is treated as a pariah. Her life is about to change big time.

The Polis who are strictly regimented took control of the island after an illness swept the World and anarchy reigned over their island reducing the population  from 4 million to just over 1 million. Now the Polis rule from a big City and the population live in small hubs that are strictly controlled. The Polis say they want to strengthen the human species by looking after the strong and whittling out the weak. Every child is subjected to the same test.

Captain Alexander Hayes is a young soldier who is summoned by the General to locate and escort Arcadia from her hub of Greytown  to the Polis City.  This undercover, action packed and tense journey is stunning but you will have to read the novel to find out all about it.

In line with the subject matter this novel is clinically written with not a word out of place. The novel is narrated by Arcadia and her shifting relationship with Captain Hayes is a highlight, as is the landscape through which they travel.

The journey and the city will provide the stunning answers to Arcadia’s identity, past, survival and family and of the true nature of the Polis.

If you miss this one you will kick yourself. For high school students and Young adults.

This novel can be purchased in digital format at  or in print and kindle format at

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

September 6, 2014 Comments off

jewelThe Jewel by Amy Ewing. Pub. Walker Books, 2014.

This novel totally fascinated me from beginning to end. It is a sort of dystopian fantasy creating a world that is futuristic, fantastic and totally believable. Like the court of Louis XIV only modern.

Set on an island protected by a sea wall the society created is in five concentric circles at the heart of which is the Jewel or the Royal Palace and all the ruling Aristocratic families. The life here is totally extravagant. Status is their occupation and gossip their currency.

Outside the Jewel is an area called The Bank. The professional, banking district whose residents fawn on the Jewel and conduct the business of the island. The current Empress of the island is from the Bank and this causes a great deal of resentment amongst the ruling families. Murder is common.

Next layer out is the Smoke. Factories that drive the economy with harsh Dickensian working conditions. outside this layer is the Farm lands. Again harsh working conditions and poverty.

The lowest of the low is the Marsh lands. The heroine of this novel Violet is from this poverty stricken land. The irony of it all is that the families from the Jewel cannot produce babies that live long and the girls from the Marsh are used as surrogate mothers to produce royal heirs.

The girls are tested at age 12 to see if they are suitable, then trained in holding facilities and tested for three qualities called Auguries until they are 16  related to Colour, shape and growth and only special girls can do the business. The girls are known as Surrogates and are auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Violet  is highly  ranked at 197 out of 200 surrogates and  she is expected to carry a child who will inherit all that is royal. She  is bought by The Duchess of the Lake, a vicious bitch who ruthlessly deals to anyone who is in the way. Can Violet survive?

Then she meets Ash.

You have got to get into this one. The detail of the society is impressive as Amy Ewing sets up the the trilogy that this is to become. The clothes, the Balls, the extravagant living, the intrigue and the ritual of testing the Auguries and conceiving a child are just breath taking.

High school and young adult in appeal. You have never read anything like this before. Compulsive.

When We Awake by Karen Healey.

May 15, 2014 Comments off

when we wakeWhen We Awake by Karen Healey. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2013.

Some things never change. This was what hit me at the end of this novel which is another finalist in the NZ Post Children and Young Adults Book Awards.

Tegan Oglietti is a teenage girl living in the year 2027 who cares about the planet and global warming. She attends a protest meeting at which the Prime Minister attends and  mistakenly catches the snipers bullet meant for the PM.

That same day she was basking in her newly found love for Muslim boy Dalmar and the last thing she remembers is his lips on her earlobe.

She awakes  in the year 2128 and discovers she has been cryogenically preserved and brought back to life. She is the only successful revival and is a celebrity although not everyone thinks so. The fanatical Christians  say she has given her soul to God and is a soulless person who should give her life back to god.

The experiment was conducted by the Army and they want to use her in the best possible way to promote their own goals and this leads to conflict that  the rebellious Tegan cannot turn away from.

Karen Healey prersents a future world that is the same old same old except much worse than it is now. Muslims still hate Christians and vice versa and the climatic changes brought on by global warming are devastating. Australians still hate boat people and corruption and drugs still pervade the general population.

I will leave it to you to find out the rest. Good action and nice girlie talk with a new slang. There is a bonus for Beatles fans, each chapter is named after a Beatles song or album. It’s good to know they are still around in 2128. I wonder if they find MH370?

Meant for high school students and much to contemplate for them.


The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

January 27, 2014 Comments off

only boyThe Only Boy by Jordan Locke. Self published, 2013. 

This book had me spellbound. My immediate thoughts were that it should have been picked up by a Publisher because it is so good. No Publisher would turn this book down. Those readers who are interested can contact 

Or try web site

It is set in a dystopian world where all the men and males of any species have been wiped out. Two majorly different groups have set themselves up and regard the other as an enemy.

Mary lives in Section one which is ruled in ruthless style by the Matriarch. The rules she says are made to keep everybody safe, but is this the truth? One rule that upsets Mary the most is the rule that no touching is allowed. (the consequences of this rule are discussed throughout the novel).

One day a new girl comes called Taylor. She has existed outside growing her own vegetables and living a more relaxed life where the no touching rule does not apply. Mary senses something different about Taylor and she wants to be near her. The reason is Taylor is a boy. The only boy. How did he survive?

Outside Section one is another group called the Earthers. They have primitive technology, wear furs, grow their own food and try to stay away from Section one. There are a few other surprises about them too but you will have to read the novel to find out what they are.

Mary and Taylor are the only two voices in this novel. They tell the story from their own perspectives in short chapters which keeps the reader involved.

The book is very tense. You want to keep reading, you want to know about Mary and Taylor. Will they get together?

I hope this book becomes easy to purchase because it says a lot about the nature of the human condition. Are we destined for extinction? What can save us?

High school students and young adults will devour this and it is so easy to read.

The Farm by Emily McKay

November 22, 2012 Comments off

The Farm by Emily McKay. Pub. Penguin Group, 2012. 

This is a thriller horror story of a Dystopian World that has been invaded by blood sucking Ticks who love humans. Where they come from, what they look like is one of the secrets of the novel. It is revealed to the reader in stages to keep you in the book and believe me you will want to stay there.

Lily and Mel are twin sisters. Lily  looks after her sister who is autistic and assesses people from the music that she hears  emitting from them. The sisters live on a Farm which is like a University Campus surrounded by a seriously guarded fence. Is it to keep the Ticks out or the teenage population that inhabit it, inside?

Life inside the Farm is disturbing. Some girls are designated as Breeders to have children for the next generation, they are up for grabs to the Collabs. who control the Farm. Punishment is to be left outside the fence for the Ticks.

Lily and Mel plan to escape. Then Carter a boy from the Before World, whom Lily had a deep crush on, arrives and the action begins. Carter knows things the girls don’t and what he knows is frightening.

The novel is narrated by Lily, Mel and Carter and the action is over a week. The ending is as gory as it gets and the action is always tense.

High teenage appeal for vampire lovers. Not unlike The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda reviewed elsewhere in this blog.