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Forager - A Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Thriller (Forager - A Dystopian Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Forager (Forager - A Dystopian Trilogy Book 1) by Peter Stone is the story of 20-year-old Ethan Jones who has a secret that even his parents and companions don't know about. A secret so bad that if it is found out he will be taken away by the draconian paramilitary and dissected like a science project. When Ethan visits the ruins of Melbourne in 2122 AD, to forage for scrap metal, he feels safe and free. His life is thrown into even more of an uproar when he meets a Japanese girl who defies the conventions of his town so she can get to know him better.
This is a unique dystopian book and for me put a fresh take on themes we have seen before. Peter Stone builds a solid foundation for his trilogy. Ethan is a compelling and interesting character that I felt connected with only a little bit into his story. The pace of this book is really fast, but it goes along well with the characters and the events that happen within the pages. You can tell that Peter Stone cares about his writing and his characters and I truly do applaud him for this brilliant piece of work. The dialogue between the characters is well thought out and some of the best that I have seen in books recently. I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy a good book any day of the year.
From the Author
Welcome to Newhome, a town complete with modern facilities and comprehensive services, situated directly north-west of the ruins of Melbourne's Central Business District. Below are some tips to help you enjoy your stay with us.
Be Prepared for an Extended Stay
You are not permitted to leave the town for any reason.* This is for your own wellbeing, because it's not safe out there. Skel roam the ruins night and day, and we don't want you bumping into one of them, do we.
* Unless you're a town sanctioned forager. And if you are, we wish you luck. You're going to need it, too. For if you're caught by the Skel - well, let's just say we won't be making any rescue missions.
Observe the Town's Quaint Customs
Newhome boasts a unique culture which recognises the diverse roles played by males and females in a modern society. If you are female, note that young women are not permitted outside without a suitable chaperone. Furthermore, women may not speak without permission, are barred from school, and may not enter the workforce. If you are male, take care that you're never alone with an unmarried woman apart from a member of your family, for sexual misconduct is dealt with severely. The moral fabric of society must be upheld. Please also note that only authorised books may be read. This is for your protection. We don't want any subversive ideas popping into your heads.
Report Any Mutants
All mutations must be reported to the Custodians immediately. We all know the importance of keeping the human race pure, don't we.
Respect the Law
The Custodians are here for your protection. Ignore malicious rumours claiming they abuse their authority. These rumours are baseless slander. If you hear someone spreading such slander, report them to the nearest Custodian immediately.
All Citizens are Equal
All citizens in Newhome are equal and enjoy equal rights. However, some citizens have more to contribute to society than others, and if they're lucky, they may win the right to move into Newhome's exclusive North End district.
- ASIN : B00GUB9DGA
- Publication date : November 22, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 1961 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 304 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,385 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Excellent story arc.
Superb character development.
Ethan, the protag, is wonderfully writ as a menial laborer... with a secret he doesn't know. How cool is this!
Nanako, the sympathetic support, is writ to perfection. Her slow unwrapping is delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed her "...tiny hands and beaming round face...", initiating a sense of compassion and protection in me. This's good writing.
Although a cliffhanger, I liked the pseudo-ending. This engages my imagination to provoke me toward acquiring the next installment.
Inappropriate misuse of the possessives 'have' and 'had'. Correct use examples:
"She has blue eyes. She had red hair."
"She had thought she would have wanted to have acquired something if she had had the ability but everything had conspired to have her have had nothing."
This misuse complicates the writing, interfering with flow and readability. The author needs to see the text through the eyes of readers... make reading easy for us.
The author writes a very real and intriguing apocalyptic story that didn't fall into any of the pitfalls of this genre. The characters and their actions are well written and make for good reading. I now have a new author to follow and I recommend that you give this author a go. Read the About the Author blurb. I find him to have an interesting history and can see bits of his personal life in the book.
Ethan, the main character we focus on, is a bundle of battling elements. he is very intelligent, but chooses to play "dumb" so he can stay around his family, especially his little sister. He has a mutant ability almost to "see" like a bat, by echolocation. However, it does more than just identify nearby structures. He can identify numbers and types of beings in an area, and even the presence of certain materials, like metals, almost like he can see through things. While this is handy, it stretches the imagination occasionally.
A challenge I had with the book is that Ethan, and later Nanako to a degree, are the only characters with any depth or definition. many of the others are closer to caricature, perhaps aiming for the YA reader to more easily recognize some things. Both the dialogue and the action are set firmly in the present; there is little definition of how things got to the way they are in the book, though perhaps this may come up more in a later installment. There is some revelation of a nuclear bomb, but details are very sketchy.
The town, Newtown, could be described (at least by me) as a religious Fundamentalist society, except without the religion. Rules are very strict and numerous, and punishment is severe. The townsfolk, at least the lower-class ones not living in the more posh "North End", know very little about any other city except their own. Of course that is one way the leaders keep them from rebelling; they don't know how bad they have it, so they don't complain, at least not too much. The Custodians, an internal police force, have very wide powers, and the ability to make things up even if a law has not been broken. These are people one should not cross, although Ethan seems to take great pleasure in doing just that rather often.
One of my biggest frustrations with the book was the Skel, this shadowy band of "beings" (people?) that live outside the city. One never finds out how they came to be, what they might want, or anything else. They are just the convenient villain for much of the book without much explanation. Reference is also made to something "worse than the Skel" that exist in downtown Melbourne, but they never come into the story line, at least in this book.
Overall, it is a fast action story, and definitely pulls you in from page one. However, it IS a trilogy, so be prepared for some unanswered questions as well as some surprising twists along the way. It is definitely written as YA, towards the younger end most likely, as dialogue is simple and straightforward. Little past history is brought in; for this book, you are in the moment, so to speak. That being said, it is an enjoyable story, and one worth moving on the next book and continue in their world.
Main character thinks too much and needs to cut back on the sugar as his sweet trust in people is not believable.
More of a Science fiction romance novel for young people.
Overall, it is a very syrupy novel and series that I couldn't continue reading any further. I also believe this book and series should be listed as a teenage or young adult book.
Top reviews from other countries
Still, this doesn't detract from a good idea well executed. The nuclear war was 100 years ago. An isolated community, tightly controls its people with severe laws and enforcement and most people live in marginally better than miserable conditions. At first you think it is back-to-basics survival stuff, but as the story proceeds you realise the community has power, lights, television, fridges plus industry, civil society etc. Our reluctant hero is a forager team leader who are some of the few people to leave the walled community to conduct their business of retrieving valuable metals from the wreckage of Melbourne. Clearly, as time goes on, they have to go further and further out to forage.
The routineness of the foragers lives in altered when a trade delegation from a Japanese based community a days drive gets ambushed by a sort of death cult, that apparently roams around the wilds, near to where the foragers are working. The foragers rescue the trade delegation and the life of our hero changes drastically.
There is mystery, plot twists, secrets, tension and frustration by the bucket full in this tale.
The language is a little stilted at times and I would have liked more depth of character - it seems perhaps aimed at teenagers of which I was only 40 years ago - but this is a real page turner and as soon as I finished I bought the rest of the trilogy.
I hope the following books provide more background. If not a prequel would not go amiss.
Ethan's walled city is run by Custodians (think gestapo type police), They do not really protect the people, but
ferret out those with special abilities so they can either kill them (to purify the race) or experiment on them.
Ethan has an ability which he has to hide from everyone, even though it helps him and his gang of foragers when
they are outside the city collecting materials from bombed out buildings.
It also helps him to fight off the Skel. I wasn't sure if they were humans who had turned to crime or were a mutation
of some sort. As they spoke Australian, I presume they were the former.
Ethan rescues Nanako, a Japanese girl, who appears fascinated by him. He falls for her but is worried because his
city treats women as 2nd class citizens and sex before marriage is punished by death, so he doesn't like to be alone with
her. There were some interesting twists in the book and misunderstandings. There was no sex or swearing or gruesome
blood, although there was some fighting with the skels. This could be read as a stand alone book although some issues were
not resolved and presumable will be in the next books.
After reading the blurb , I thought this might be the type of book that would interest me. I had no worries on that score. From the beginning, the author spiked my interest with his version of post-apocalyptic Melbourne: A walled city, since a previous bomb-ridden Australia. But it is more about Ethan Jones, , leader of a five man team, foraging outside the wall, aearching for metals in the ruins of the old, outer part, of the city.
Ethan prefers foraging rather than take up a better form of job in a city where mob rule is not tolerated. The Custodians enforce the rules.
Ethan suffers fom amnesia. But in sharp shocks. His memory of a previous life, where the amnesia begins to come back, on and off, and things are notm what he thought. His life starts to change, not always for the better.
On the strength of thus first novel I have bought the next rwo books in the series, if you like this kind of novel, , I suggest you try these books, or at least the first in the series. I found it a very good read.
I did enjoy the plot twists and surprises, and the fight scenes felt realistic. This future world was fascinating in a disturbing way and that gave it interest in regard to injustice and wanting to know the outcome.
Overall, an enjoyable dystopian story and worth a look.