Years after the world ceased to be what it was, an armoured tank, full of soldiers and scientists, sets off into the wilds to try and find a way for humanity to survive. This is set before The Girl With All the Gifts, and can be read before it, though you might miss a treat at the end. It’s a moving and clever tale about a fight for survival, but also about understanding, connection, and sacrifice.
The cover of Clade is beautiful, and the novel did not disappoint. It begins now, and moves forwards in time, with each section looking at something terrible happening because of the environment. It is dystopian, in that there are major and far-reaching disasters that occur because of climate change, but it is also hopeful. Each section introduces new characters, and the reader has to work to make the connections, which I loved. It is frightening, gripping, global, personal and life-affirming.
Bees are fascinating, beautiful, important little creatures, and I thoroughly enjoyed imagining life in a hive. Flora 717 is different from the other bees, even those from her own, low born kin, and through her journey we get to see the many different jobs of bees in a hive. This particular hive has dark secrets, that Flora cannot escape. There is a very strong sense of place and scent, compelling characters, and a tale of sisterhood, faith, love, betrayal, strength and sacrifice.
Set in a 2021 when no children have been born in twenty-five years, The Children of Men is a most thought-provoking dystopian novel. Theo Faren is an Oxford don, solitary and rather self-centred, until he is drawn into contact with a group of dissenters. There is a great sense of place, this beautiful, crumbling Oxford, and increasing tension as Theo’s life changes dramatically, and he is pulled out of his apathy. A clever, disturbing, and satisfying mystery.
Oh dear. Margaret Atwood has imagined where the world might end up, and it isn’t pretty. The earth’s resources depleted, scientific progress over-reaching, greed and arrogance are unchecked until it goes too far. One man is left, caring for a created race of people, dodging the burning sun and dangerous spliced animals, pondering what went wrong. It’s horrific, imaginable and scarily entertaining.
I do enjoy racing through a dystopian young adult trilogy. Certainly the premise, in this case that love is a disease that must be cured, generally doesn’t stand up to serious thought, but the action, characters and relationships are compelling. I am not enjoying the setting as much as in other series, but I am definitely keen to find out what happens next (it pays to read these series once they are completed) so will move straight on to Pandemonium.
I borrowed the movie first to watch with my teenaged daughter, a bonding thing, and enjoyed it enough to give the books a go. Divergent is a Young Adult, dystopian series with a kind of silly premise. Everyone belongs to a faction where they emphasise one quality over all the others, and our heroine doesn’t fit just one mold. The story and language aren’t sophisticated, in fact I think the film did a better job of explaining some aspects, but it is certainly engaging. It was nice to read of a teenaged girl’s struggles being more about right and wrong, who she is and should be, than about which boy to love. I couldn’t have a steady diet of this sort of thing, but I really enjoyed it and will finish the series.
It has been a while since I have read a book that I couldn’t put down. The Natural Way of Things had me hooked from the get go. Ten women are drugged and kidnapped and taken to a camp in the Australian outback. The girls all have something in common, related to a sexual scandal. The book is about survival of the fittest and what people will do for self-preservation.
A dark, ugly read – I loved it
Only readers of dystopian fiction with strong stomachs should read this series as it is a disturbing premise that parents can ‘recycle’ their headstrong teenagers. The practice of ‘unwinding’ has become an accepted practice with parents believing that their children continue to live on as their body parts are highly sought. There is a very descriptive passage where one child is cognisant throughout the whole ‘unwinding’ process. We follow three runaways fighting for their right to exist. Connor’s parents want rid of him because he’s a troublemaker; Risa is being unwound to cut orphanage costs; Lev is a tithe, his unwinding planned since his birth. Continue reading
This is a hard book to review, because while I quite enjoyed the journey, at the end I have realised that I don’t really get it. Is it too clever, too abstract, too modern? I’m not sure. It is set in a near, dystopian future where the south west of the US has long been in drought and taken over by sand. A couple who have been coasting, find something that gives them purpose and need to find a place to settle. It’s bleak, sometimes beautiful, trippy, twisted and oddly compelling. One for lovers of language, and journeys far more important than the destination.