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In the beginning, I felt like the author gave me far too much information regarding the world--the constant rains that had forced everyone into the mountains, the highest of which became islands. Most of it eventually came out anyway during the reading of the book. Considering how many dystopian books I've read, the beginning, too, seemed quite derivative, like she was rehashing Matched or the Giver or Divergent or one of the many other stories with similar premises.
But there came a point when everything changed and I realized that she wasn't going to rehash the same old story for me. Suddenly I didn't know where the story was going, what was happening, who the main character Jezebel could trust or not trust, all those things that keep you reading to find out more. And that's where it really got good for me. And it stayed that way for the rest of the book.
If you feel a little bogged down in the beginning, push through. It's worth it.
This was the first Kindle Scout book I read, and I have to say that I don't think it felt lacking at all next to other traditionally published books. If this is the type of book we can expect from Kindle Scout, I look forward to reading more.
This is a dystopian novel taking place about 2099-ish. It has been raining non-stop for 37 years, and most of the earth is covered in water. The only land masses are those that were formerly mountain tops. Our heroine, Jez (short for Jezebel) lives in the largest city, somewhere in what used to be Colorado. It has about 2 million people, and everything is controlled by the legislature, which is run by scientists. Everyone has been implanted with chips in their shoulders, which controls their emotions. This society is just supposed to live through their life cycles, without feeling any emotions or ever questioning anything they have been taught. Just follow the rules.
Except sometimes the chips don't work and a few people manage to have emotions anyway. And they hear stories of what life may have been like in the Before, which refers to before the rains started.
This is an amazing story of Jez and her “friends”, if there even is such a thing. (How can they be “friends” since they don't really feel things, or if they do they must fight to hide it to escape punishment?) But they do feel things and sometimes they can't hide it. What if the legislature is wrong, and emotions aren't such a terrible thing?
This is one of those books that when I would try to put it down for a break, it would keep calling back to me, begging to be read. It had set my soul on fire. Wait. That's an emotion. Can't go there...
The only thing wrong is, when I started it I had no idea it was the first part of a continuing story. It book ends on a bit of a CLIFFHANGER. Yes, the “C” word. No HEA here. (C'mon! They're not allowed to be happy!) And I reluctantly had to deduct one star from an otherwise definite 5-star story. Now I have to hang in there and wait.... who knows how long. I CAN'T WAIT! This is too good to have to wait...
I received a free copy of this book from the Kindle Scout program.
Yay! The second book in the series “Lake Town” comes pre-ordered to my Kindle tomorrow March 1rst!
This young adult dystopia surely was one of the most addictive reads of 2016. It was shockingly unpredictable and intense. Every time I thought I knew what was coming, the author turned everything around in a credible manner and kept me guessing. There was this nail-biting stressful feeling all through the book! I don’t know how Jez the heroine survived in such a society without her emotion tracker/suppresser working and not go pathologically crazy. It was that intense! I couldn’t swipe or click on the pages fast enough on my Amazon devices wondering what would happen next.
I loved how “Jane Redd” / “Heather B. Moore” does not rehash other young adult teen dystopia novel themes in this work and made something fresh and different to the genre. There were many examples of the controls of the government that were reminiscent of the real life dystopias and evils during the past 20th century (that existed before the young adult teens this novel targets were born) that lent another layer of credibility to the post-apocalyptic dystopia world building for this reader.
This is one of the few authors (under various pen names) that can write in the many genres she does and each time provide a compelling captivating read. Her greatest strength whether historical, contemporary time, or young adult seems to be making even the most benign scenario a suspenseful thriller. Her second best strength is romance. I look forward to her combining these strengths as the series progresses.
Sensuality Content: Clean. Mild kissing only.
Source: Kindle Scout title I voted for and received a free copy of since it won and was published. No review required of recipient, but much appreciated of course.