The buried ark by James Bradley

Amy Buried ArkThis is the second book in The Changed trilogy, and picks up right where The Silent Invasion finished. Callie discovers that before he was Changed, her father had made scientific advances that may have a huge impact on the future. This is another action packed, YA, dystopian novel, with a subtle environmental message, and a thrilling cliff-hanger ending. No word on book three yet, so hold off if you need instant closure.

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The boy on the bridge by M.R. Carey

Amy the boy on the bridgeYears 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.

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Clade by James Bradley

Amy CladeThe 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.

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The bees by Laline Paull

Amy the BeesBees 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.

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The children of men by P.D. James

Amy Children of MenSet 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.

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Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Amy Oryx and CrakeOh 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.

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Amy DeliriumI 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.

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

amy-divergentI 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.

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The natural way of things by Charlotte Wood

Penny The natural way of things

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

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Unwind series by Neal Shusterman

Unwind Dystology series by Neal ShustermanOnly 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