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Life First: (Dystopian series, book 1) Kindle Edition
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Life First is a different outlook on the future of a society after an apocalypse claims billions of lives. Rather than focus on the first year or so after the outbreak, RJ Crayton takes the story a century into the future. The prospect of the government taking on a law like Life First after the pandemic is very believable. The author did a fantastic job of making this novel as realistic as possible, that is, until the tail end. I try not to give parts of the ending away but this is a scene that I have to address. If you plan on reading Life First for yourself, stop reading this now. In the last handful of chapters, Kelsey and Luke make a daring escape from the short-term holding facility. They make their way to Kelsey’s apartment. There, Luke invited their small group of family and friends to witness a small wedding ceremony. Kelsey and Luke apparently had enough time to change into a Tux as well as a white dress. This scene seemed so unrealistic and the whole time I’m thinking, “Shouldn’t they be on the run to Peoria?” Good thing this was not the very ending to the book or else that would have ruined it for me. Overall Life First is well written and for the most part, very convincing that something like what happened to Kelsey could very well happen to any one of us.
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It takes a side swipe to socialism - where it's not your income or labor that becomes property of the community - but your body ((Shudder)) - all in the pursuit of health and safety for the whole. Yikes.
I applaud the author in how convincingly she builds each character's motivations and the "morality of the culture" (from its origination to present application) throughout the book. She skillfully gives it to you just as needed. I didn't feel like I had to sit through a "history lesson" to get up speed.
I liked the plot twists that had you guessing which side the relevant characters were truly on.
I would have loved to be able to give this book five stars, as I simply can't rave enough about how well the author built her world.
There were only a couple of things I feel kept it from earning that fifth star. As other reviewers mentioned, the story gets a bit bogged down in some unnecessary minutia slowing the pace quite a bit at times. Also, there was maybe just one or two too many "oh my God it's all over now" situations that got resolved a bit too readily. It seemed like Murphy's law, followed by an "angel of luck" showed up just a few too many times in the last quarter of the book.
I still recommend it highly! It's a good read that will make you think hard about how easily socialistic ideas can slip into society under the guise of protection for the public, but ultimately and inevitably rob that same public of their basic individual human rights.
Four stars - and I will definitely consider reading the sequel.
The premise of Life First was fascinating. Is it ethical to force people to donate non-essential organs to save the lives of strangers? It made me do some serious thinking and initiated some really interesting conversations. The story idea and plot had excellent potential.
Unfortunately I don’t feel it fully delivered. The setting gives the opportunity for action-packed rebellion and anti-governmental espionage. With a sci-fi, anti-apocalyptic premise like this I was expecting something epic. Instead the story is centered mostly in a single cell in a holding facility.
Still there was potential, perhaps a psychological element? Or some kind of incredible and daring escape? … That didn’t happen either.
In the end I was left feeling a bit let-down. There are sequels so perhaps they pick up the story thread and give it more life but in this particular book there is no growth, there’s no progress. The main character really didn’t change from start to finish and she spent the book being tossed around by circumstance rather than saving herself or fighting the bigger fight.
I also feel that the book could have been a lot shorter. It’s mostly made up of inner monologue which works in certain circumstances but in this case I felt was overdone. Quite often the main character would think something and then say exactly the same thing, thus doubling up on word count with no story advancement.
Without reading the subsequent books I can’t say for certain but I do feel that this book could be changed from OK to Fantastic, if the whole series was cut down and made into a single book. If the excess inner monologue was removed and the action amped up it could make a really great stand-alone novel.
As it is, I’m giving it three stars on the Masq. scale.
Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.