57 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The biggest downfall this novel will face is Glenn Beck's name splashed across the top. To those looking for a good, fast-paced read who do take issue with that (despite the fact that it's really Ms. Parke who wrote it), I would advise getting it from your local public library. They probably even have an eBook copy that would allow you to hide from everyone else what you're reading.
Fans of other dystopian novels will be especially remiss to skip over this foray into a world where the government expects everyone to produce energy and babies while consuming as little as possible. Emmeline is a teenager who is one of the last "home-raised" citizens of the Republic. She is one of the last to hear stories of the way things were prior to citizens being relocated into uniform, high-density housing. But she has also been forced into becoming a mother. A mother who has had her baby taken from her because the state believes children are best raised by the government.
Overall, I thought it was a good effort. There are a few rough spots that could have used some more editing, especially toward the end. The ending is typical of the genre, dim but ultimately hopeful. I also had a few issues with the set up of society (namely the fact that there's no way there wouldn't have been audio and video monitoring of people inside their homes). There were a few questions raised that the reader can guess the answer, but because Emmeline never figures it out, there are no definitive answers; however, none of these are major issues.
It is presented as the fiction that it is. It is also presented as a very worst-case extreme of the future. However, it is also grounded in a real UN initiative that is being pushed in various pieces of legislation, from the local to the federal level. I hope readers will take the time to do their own research into the real Agenda 21 to form their own opinions.
Characterization: I felt like I knew Emmeline fairly well, as well as her mother, but it is definitely more plot driven than character driven
Frame: The dystopian world is built with a fair amount of detail given the shorter length of the novel
Pace: Short chapters help keep the pace fast, though there is a lot of description
Point of View: First person, female teenager
Red Flags: Vague sexual references and minimal violence
78 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I really am a fan of Glenn Beck, and I've read most of his books and listen to him every day. I guess I might have had really high expectations to this book that have fallen somewhat short. To my mind, this is really little more than a good "short story". It's a quick read, with very short chapters. It's also a very simple storyline. It's not a bad book at all, and I take it for what it is, a theoretically possible future outcome of some of the policies we see our government enacting day by day.
This book follows the personal journey of Emmeline, who spends her whole life in a communal society, performing mindless tasks for the regime she lives under. Set in a dystopian future, it is pretty much told from the first-person perspective, which I found intriguing. Maybe that's what threw me off on it, as I was expecting a lot more exposition of the story than given. There is very little character development, and this is to be expected from a 1st person perspective. Everything in the story is from the eyes of Emmeline, who doesn't have much in the way of providing a grand 3rd person perspective on the whole outline of what's happening to her and her baby. They (the government) take her baby from her (for the greater good of society), and she goes through the process of maturation to a point where this matters to her. In retrospect, this is the most compelling part of the story. She enlists the aid of others, who are (mostly) all aloof to the happenings around them as she is.
I said that I felt like this was a short story somehow stretched out to be a novel. I think this is a fair critique of the book. I was immediately reminded of Urusla LeGuin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" when I finished the book. It was told first-person, by a character who had literally no mindset to interpret the world around her as we would judge it. Treat this "novel" in the same vein if read it. Don't expect great exposition of the world as a whole, but rather how it affects the protagonist and how she sheepishly interprets things we would cause a revolt at.
Overall, it's an easy, quick read. I was definitely drawn into the story a little half mid-way through it, and had to finish it before the day was done. This book begs for a sequel to see what happens after the last page.
279 of 370 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
A very good fiction book. Glenn Beck has never claimed it was anything but fiction. However, some of the stated goals of the real Agenda 21 and statements from officials representing Agenda 21 are frightening.
Just a few examples:
"Land...cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice."
"Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable."
These are just a few statements that should scare the pants off of any American who believes in the constitution and our right to private property. There are a ton more similar statements made by people in cahoots with Agenda 21.
487 of 651 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
As the organizer of the SFBay 912 Project and a member of the National 912 Advisory Board (google 912 Project Agenda 21), I was given an advanced copy of the book. For the past two years I have been educating people about the 25 year plan that is being developed in the SFBay Area called the One Bay Area Plan or Plan Bay Area. The Plan combines land use, transportation, and housing. It is being developed by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. This is top down, central planning. This is a real program, not fiction. This is AGENDA 21 masquerading under the terms Sustainable Communities Strategies, Smart Growth, Sustainable Development. There are similar plans all across the country. I appeared on The Blaze TV on November 19 to discuss our efforts to resist. I am a private citizen but a former USAF officer. I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and it is being trampled on and shredded by this type of planning. It is critical that average citizens start speaking up. Please educate yourself on this topic, get involved, join the resistance. Help restore America.
Below is my review:
"Agenda 21", the book, takes the true implementation of the UN Agenda 21 policies to their logical extreme. Just a conspiracy theory some would say? No, aspects of it are being implemented now throughout the US under the names of sustainable development, Sustainable Communities Strategy and smart growth.. Our own Federal government through HUD, EPA, and DOT is pushing these policies.
As usual, California is on the bleeding edge of the sustainable development movement. Having passed AB32 (Cap & Trade) and SB375 (Reduction of Green House Gasses), state and regional unelected bureaucrats are forcing communities to build high density housing near mass transit. The high density housing requirements come with the dictate that every city must have its' "fair share" of housing for all income levels. The transportation policies imposed by sustainable development will make driving your car difficult and very expensive by reducing parking spaces and taxing people on vehicle miles traveled. Sustainable development.will not fund new roads or road repair. Instead, transportation dollars are diverted to inefficient mass transit. Sustainable development will restrict the use of private property through draconian land use policies. These "sustainable development" plans are forcing farmers and ranchers off their land by destroying dams and implementing restrictive water policies.
As I read this book, my thoughts returned to George Orwell's book "1984". I wondered how many people in 1949, the year of its' publication, read the book and thought it was pure fiction? Yet here we are, over 60 years later in the era of Big Brother, Thought Control and Newspeak. Looking 60 years in to the future to 2072, what will the world be like. On our current trajectory of sustainable development policies, "Agenda 21" vision of the future could become all too real. How do we stop this? Emmeline, the heroine of the story, asked someone from the older generation how this could have happened. The older woman replied that there were 4 types of people when the policies started:
1. The believers who supported everything.
2. The protesters, who spoke out at great risk but were silenced.
3. The quiet and watchful who kept their heads down and said nothing.
4. The passive unbelievers who did not try to act until it was too late
Becoming a type 2 person (THE PROTESTERS) is the key to stopping this. The 912 Project promotes the concept that "We Surround Them", ie there are more of us than there are politicians and bureaucrats. We just have to get educated, organized and stand up in large enough numbers.
Wake up America. Agenda 21 is here and it is real. LOCAL is the key to stopping this. It is time to get involved in your local community and stop this. We need everyone to become type 2 people (THE PROTESTERS) who cannot be silenced because there will be too many of us. Let's not let the fiction of Glenn Beck's "Agenda 21" become the reality of sustainable development in the United States of America.
**AGENDA 21 is a real program of the United Nations. However, it is being implemented at all levels of government using the terms SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES STRATEGIES, smart growth, and sustainable development. These are the terms that you will see in the local and regional plans.
For more information on how to fight this in your local community google 912 Project Agenda 21. If you are in the SFBay Area and would like to get more involved, please check out my website and sign up for my free email to get alerts on what is happening in the area google Bay Area Liberty
324 of 435 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a work of fiction that could, very well, someday be stocked on the current events shelf in the non-fiction section of your favorite bookstore. Or, at least, that's what the "author," and top reviewers would have you believe.
But is that truly the case? Will the Agenda 21 Enforcers use Obama's UN-based laws to force our future Emmelines to pledge allegiance to spotted owls and snail darters?
Anyone who believes in the power and the importance of the Second Amendment knows such a future is impossible. Armed patriots will stop Obama's tanks, the UN's jet fighters, and the reptilian aliens' vipersturmen when they come to take our guns.
Only the deserving few, those who refuse to purchase firearms, will be eaten during the great molting fests, and among them, only Piers Morgan, George Soros, and perhaps the comedian, Carrot Top, will be mounted by the Imperial Szliardisterg before the Great and Terrible Devouring.
We patriots will be armed, safe, and happy in our gated mobile home communities. We'll be playfully punching each other's arms, drinking Night Train, eating Moon Pie Chocolate Flavor - 24 ct. box, and shooting spouses, goldarned random sumbishes, and scary-looking people, while the Obamunists suffer under the lizard's lash.
56 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
Beck freely admits that this is fiction and that he is not the main author. The main author is a liberal democrat woman, so get past the fact that Beck's name is on it: he found it, he published it, he had some input and he is promoting it, but it comes from a totally different direction.
I read it in one afternoon and did not want to put it down. Without being derivative or imitative, the book reminds of 1984, Animal Farm, Soylent Green and most of all, more than any other, The Handmaid's Tale. Having read the book yesterday, today I hear on the news that 9 MILLION acres have been set aside for the Spotted Owl. The world described is one already being promoted by Al Gore, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, the NEA and PETA.
It is neither a conservative nor liberal issue - it is a freedom or totalitarian issue - progressive or libertarian. I want the government OUT of my life. Everyone should read it and then join your local Tea Party (which despite its reputation was organized AGAINST the GOP not the Democrats).
103 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
It seems the reason the book is given one star by a bunch of reviewers is not the actual content of the book, but only whose name is on the cover.
72 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a very good story that grabs your attention right away. Anyone that liked "The Hunger Games" will like this book. The scenario makes you really think about the state of our country and where we are headed. Makes you want to start doing some indepth research and learn about Agenda 21.
160 of 219 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Love, Love this book. Very informative and I couldn't put it down. Please don't judge this book by the ratings. All of the one star ratings are from liberal extremists that feel threatened by Glen Beck. It is very clear that they have not read the book and are using "copy and paste" from the same article.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
I did enjoy this book. It was a good dystopian novel. It did a good job of showing how terrifying the world becomes under totalitarian government. Without getting too gruesome, it also showed how sickening it becomes when human life is valued less than the Earth or animal life.
It was also primarily a character piece. We got to really understand how Emmeline felt, what she feared, what she loved.
My one complaint was that it seemed a little heavy handed. Some of the dialogue felt a little preachy.
Here is an example: "It's all about unintended consequences. They think they can mandate things. Create this much energy every day. Have this many babies every year. But it just doesn't work like that. The more new laws and rules and regulations they issues, the worse the results are."
I agree with what they're saying there. But I don't want to be told that outright. As my high school creative writing teacher always said, "Show me, don't tell me." And there was plenty of showing me. It definitely showed how the socialist utopia is nothing we should ever desire. But, I could have used a little less of the characters in the story preaching to me.
I also have to address the objective behind the book. They are trying to bring awareness to the real Agenda 21. Personally, I don't think that Agenda 21 means that we are going to be sending our mothers to the recycle center to turn them into cubes of food, but it certainly doesn't hurt to be aware of some of the ramifications of what they are trying to do.
The book is definitely fiction, and definitely takes the ideas to the extreme. I don't see it as a prediction of the future, but perhaps on allegory on the dangers of socialism and lack of religion in society.
I'm not planning on the UN forcing me to recite pledges in honor of squirrels, but I will continue to petition my representatives to protect personal freedoms as I always have.