Book Review: Numbers Raging (Numbers Game Saga Book 3) by Rebecca Rode

Numbers Raging (Numbers Game Saga Book 3) by Rebecca Rode

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Diamond Patch Press (02/19/17)

Summary:

Treena wants to save everyone, including citizens of NORA and the integrants and settlers of the desert. She will have to use all her political prowess to convince her hometown and those abroad to help with her cause. The enemy looms, but nobody will believe that the young teenagers Treena and Vance are telling the truth. It’s much easier to sweep it all under the rug and look the other way.

Keywords:

Futuristic, Water Shortage, Protection, Family, Loyalty, Number System, Ratings, Scores, Technology, Politics, Survival, Strict Society, Dystopian, Friendship, Desert, Travel, War, Weapons, Death

My Review:

The first half of this book was not as exciting as book 2, as it was full of political subterfuge and Treena trying to gain political support from the other Nations. I really enjoyed the Star Wars feel this book had, with the council and the underhanded politics that Treena was subjected to during her stay at the peace council meeting.

As I was reading I couldn’t help but wonder how it would end. There only seemed like two possibilities, but I was pleasantly surprised by the turn the story took. This book expertly wrapped up the series and the final climax was awesome! So much happened!

What would you do to save everything and everyone that you loved?

This novel was published by Diamond Patch Press on 02/19/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Rebecca Rode’s Website

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Book Review: Numbers Ignite (Numbers Game Saga Book 2) by Rebecca Rode

Numbers Ignite (Numbers Game Saga Book 2) by Rebecca Rode

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Diamond Patch Press (01/26/16)

Summary:

Treena is ready to leave NORA behind forever, but NORA is far from done with her. With the hope of a life ahead with Vance, she pushes onward through the uninhabitable dessert. After losing all her gear, it seems like she’ll never make it, but is saved by a hidden underground settlement. Vance doesn’t know that Treena is on her way to join him, but he is up to his elbows in his own problems. After agreeing to be put on trial for his previous actions, he’s become a prisoner of his own people.

Keywords:

Futuristic, Water Shortage, Protection, Family, Loyalty, Number System, Ratings, Scores, Technology, Politics, Survival, Strict Society, Dystopian, Friendship, Desert, Travel, War, Weapons, Death

My Review:

Vance and Treena are creating their own paths in this second book. They want to be together, but first must overcome obstacles in their own lives and find each other again afterwards. I enjoyed seeing Treena and Vance in their own stories as they struggled with different problems.

Now that Treena can no longer turn her back on NORA, it’s citizens, and all the problems right in front of her, she will have to fight even harder for what she believes is right. For Vance it was never a question of if he should or should not help others, but without having the power to lead or change situations, he will have quite a difficult time of it!

This story picks up right where the first one leaves off and ends with quite the chaotic climax.

This novel was published by Diamond Patch Press on 01/26/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Rebecca Rode’s Website

Book Review: Numbers Game (Numbers Game Saga Book 1) by Rebecca Rode

Numbers Game (Numbers Game Saga Book 1) by Rebecca Rode

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Diamond Patch Press (03/10/15)

Summary:

Treena has followed the rules her entire life and her rating should be high, as high as her boyfriend’s rating. She should be a green with a good job and a great life in NORA, the only thriving city in futuristic and devastated North America. They have technology and a water filtration system as well as a strict rating system to keep citizens in line. When Treena receives one of the lowest ratings of her entire class, there must be a mistake! Treena will do nearly anything to fix her low red number, even go undercover for the empress and find a military spy. What if her rating wasn’t an accident? What else is going on in the fringes of this perfect society?

Keywords:

Futuristic, Water Shortage, Protection, Family, Loyalty, Number System, Ratings, Scores, Technology, Politics, Survival, Strict Society, Dystopian, Friendship

My Review:

The Numbers Saga is a dystopian novel with an active female heroine. Treena has quite a bit thrown at her, but she doesn’t just react to her situations, she actively seeks out her story. She creates her own rules.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that a 16-year old who is referred to as ‘small’ would be able to defend and defeat a fully trained adult soldier after one week of training. There were other small plot conveniences – punishment mode was only triggered for important characters when it could be overcome. Important characters could escape when they needed and get to where they needed to be. I could see the plot twists coming.

That being said, I could not put this book down. The writing style, characters, and plot pulled me right in and I didn’t want to stop reading. This was a fun and engrossing book.

If you were a fan of Divergent and Hunger Games, you will enjoy this book.

This novel was published by Diamond Patch Press on 03/10/2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Rebecca Rode’s Website

Book Review: Configured: Book #1 in the Configured Trilogy by Jenetta Penner

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Configured: Book #1 in the Configured Trilogy by Jenetta Penner

A YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (10/20/16)

Summary:

“Manning reminds us that over one hundred years ago, the human race risked extinction from a deadly flu the government called Aves, which crossed from birds to humans. Only a limited amount of both species survived the Collapse.” (Page 52).

Avlyn Lark wants to live a normal life, but her emotions and her secret hacker ability won’t let her blend in or be content in her highly dystopian society. After her placement in the high level GenTech corp. she starts to notice that not everything is as it seems. If given the choice to join the rebels, will she give up a good job, steady income, and potential for a mate?

Keywords:

Dystopian, Love, No Emotions, Separation, Independence, Twin, Coding, Friendship, Competition, Genetic Experimentation, Plans, Societal Expectations, Rebellion, Freedom, Questions, Curiosity

My Review:

Avlyn’s thought process and curiosity throughout everything that happens is the most interesting aspect of this novel. The dystopian society is very stereotypical, though Penner does a good job bringing the world to life. The plot is fairly standard for a dystopian YA, even a bit bland as we wait for the action to catch up with the main character and finally, about two thirds of the way in, it does! The action was quite exciting and I read to the end fairly quickly once I’d gotten to this part.

Avlyn’s unique intelligence and ability to connect with software was very easy and simple. The lack of description and detail about hacking or coding was a bit disappointing.

I didn’t quite believe that a rebellion on the scale presented in this book could exist in such a society with all that technology, especially within the society itself. There was never an explanation of how the rebels infiltrated high end buildings/offices/people or how they obtained the same tech as the Direction.

Ultimately this book was easy to read, but didn’t add anything to the dystopian pile of YA and I won’t be reading onward in this series.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on October 20th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Jenetta Penner’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Influence (Influence Series) (Volume 1) by David R Bernstein

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Influence (Influence Series) (Volume 1) by David R Bernstein

A YA Sci-Fi Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (08/15/16)

Summary:

In this dystopian American society, Kaylin stands out, even amongst others with similar powers. Her ability, to influence others, is highly sought after by warring factions. She’s been on the run with her best friend for years, but will her powers of empathy change all that?

Keywords:

Self-reliance, self-esteem, friendship, betrayal, trust, unique, abilities, powers, influence, thought power, thought control, mind control

My Review:

Where only teenagers have the ability to “push” others’ consciousness to do something or feel something, this society is set up much like other young adult dystopian novels. There’s the female main character who doesn’t know the reaches of her own power. There are the factions that want to use her for their own evil plans. Where Influence is different is with its well-developed characters and satisfyingly detailed world building.

I knew exactly how a “Push” worked and was shown many possibilities for how and why one would be used. I knew Kaylin and her best friend Amanda almost as well as they knew each other and loved how empathetic Kaylin was!

Where the story lost me a bit was with the plot details and the romantic element. The sweet romance between kaylin and Farren was stereotypical for a dystopian teen read, but I enjoyed that even though this romance was based on mutual first attraction (duh!) that the romance grew slowly and steadily throughout the book and didn’t end with too much of the romance taking over the plot! The romance and action were well balanced.

Some elements of the plot seemed a bit convenient and somewhat unexplained, but the book moved at a nice fast pace and kept me interested in the characters, their world, and their ultimate goal the entire time. The plot twist at the end was a bit rough and though all the elements to tie it in were there, they were a bit too loose for my liking.

I loved the tease at the end and appreciated that this book contained both a full and satisfying ending while making the reader want to read more and find out what happens to Kaylin next!

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on August 15th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.0

Links for more information:

David Bernstein’s Website and Blog

Goodreads

Book Review: The Seeker’s Keys (The Treemakers, #3) by Christina L. Rozelle

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The Seeker’s Keys (The Treemakers, #3) by Christina L. Rozelle

A Dystopian/Sci-Fi Adventure Novel published by A Spark in the Dark Press (12/03/16)

Summary:

Joy Montgomery, along with her band of children, are nearly at their journey’s end. All they need to do is find a set of keys to unlock the wall and get to paradise, but one man stands in their way: Lord Daumier. Will the clues left behind by Joy’s father: Zephyr the Magnificent, be enough to find the keys or will Daumier beat them to the punch and destroy everything that is good in the world?

Keywords:

Children, Orphans, Survival, Death, Exploration, Dystopian World, Polluted Air, Evil Intentions, AI, Motherliness, Help, Underground, Paradise, Fighting, Strength, Resilience, Spirit, Refuge, Power-Hungry, Keys, the Wall

My Review:

After a long break from reading books one and two, this book was a bit difficult to settle into  as there were numerous characters that I couldn’t quite remember and past events that were distant memories, but I slowly got back into the book as the plot was strong and led the book. Relationships between characters, though numerous, were reiterated and expanded upon. Because there were so many subplots carried over from the previous books in the trilogy, this third and last book was longer in order to resolve all of them. Every plot line was resolved by the end in some way or another! What a feat!

I loved the little details of all the places in this world and very much enjoyed that Rozelle’s world was multi-dimensional and multi-faceted. Her dystopian didn’t center on one measly place, but focused on jungles and cities and ships and tunnels and basements and labs and many, many more locations. Her world felt like an entire world, above-ground and below.

This book featured multiple POV and though I enjoyed getting a well rounded story (as not all the characters were together all the time), I sometimes got lost in who was narrating the story. I appreciated that the multiple POV was used to move the plot along, but I didn’t feel like it added to each separate character that much. Many of the characters blended together and I wished there hadn’t been so many. This was one of the reasons I set the book down so many times and it took me a long time to finish.

The only other detail I would have changed was to have less moments of preaching/uplifting speeches from one character to another or from the narrator to the reader. It felt like I was in an advertisement for the book at some points and I glossed over most of these parts.

All in all it was a great series with an interesting dystopian story that was fully fleshed out.

This novel was published by A Spark in the Dark Press on December 3rd, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

 

Book Review: Reclaim (The Harvest Saga Book 3) by Casey L. Bond

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Reclaim (The Harvest Saga Book 3) by Casey L. Bond

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (06/01/15)

Summary:

This ending to the Harvest Saga will take Abby through the greatest difficulties she’s ever faced. Can she overcome once and for all and help her fellow Lessers into freedom?

Keywords:

Strength, Dystopia, Orchard, Apples, Apple Picking, Castes, Poverty, Female protagonist, the Special One, Infertility, Trains, City, Technological Advances, Weapons, Fighting, Resiliency, Harvest, Oppression

My Review:

There are now more powers than just Olympus hovering over the Lessers and Orchard. What seemed an ally is just a power standing by and waiting for their opportunity to strike. Or were they waiting by? This book’s plot is much more complex than it at first seemed and it was so satisfying to plunge into its depths.

This was a fantastic ending to the Harvest Saga and worth the read. I finished the entire trilogy in less than a week. Thanks Casey L. Bond for a thrilling ride. I will definitely be reading more of your books.

Dystopian literature has saturated the market, especially books with strong female leads, but the Harvest Saga is so well written and fantastically engaging that it draws you right in and you don’t even notice that you’re reading another dystopian female-protagonist book, you’re too busy turning pages.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on June 1st, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Casey Bond’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Resist (The Harvest Saga Book 2) by Casey L. Bond

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Resist (The Harvest Saga Book 2) by Casey L. Bond

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (07/31/14)

Summary:

“Trust was earned, and they’d broken too many promises, told too many lies.” (Kindle Locations 7574-7575).

Abby is headed to the Greater city of Olympus with Crew. His lies and betrayal cause strain between them as Abby sees what is really going on with the “Harvest” and all the Lesser women that were taken from Orchard and the surrounding Lesser cities. When Abby gets out of Olympus, things aren’t much better in Orchard as anyone who speaks out is taken away for resistance. Resistance is coming, but in the meantime Abby must lay low.

Keywords:

Strength, Dystopia, Orchard, Apples, Apple Picking, Castes, Poverty, Female protagonist, the Special One, Infertility, Trains, City, Technological Advances, Weapons, Fighting, Resiliency, Harvest, Oppression

My Review:

This middle book in the trilogy flew by! I learned so much more about Crew and what the Greater cities were like. The oppression of Lessers isn’t restricted to Lesser cities, for of course Lessers are needed within Olympus as well. Just as oppression builds, so must resistance! This book is full of the mindsets that will lead to this resistance, even though it does look mighty bleak. What can unarmed lower-class citizens do against well armed and technologically advanced Greaters? Read to find out…

The characters, especially those surrounding Abby are given more depth in this book. I still can’t decide if I like Crew or not, if he’s truly a good person or not. I fear he will have to make a choice eventually and this will show for good whether he’s a good person, but I’ll have to wait to see. I was much less interested in Kyan than Crew in this book, but both are playing an integral role in Abby’s life and the greater plot and dilemma between Orchard and the Lessers and the world that they live in.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on July 31st, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Casey Bond’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Reap (The Harvest Saga Book 1) by Casey L. Bond

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Reap (The Harvest Saga Book 1) by Casey L. Bond

A YA Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (03/15/14)

Summary:

In a society where people are divided into castes, Lessers and Greaters, Abby lives as a Lesser in a Lesser village: Orchard. Her life is simple: harvest from the orchard and work every day for the Greaters’ Good. She is content. She has her best friend Kyan and Lulu, the aunt that raised her. But the next harvest is too much for Orchard alone and more Lessers from surrounding villages are called in to help. Abby starts to fall for Crew from Cotton, but he isn’t all that he seems. Something is going on in Abby’s world and she’ll have to work out her feelings as well as work out what’s going on in Orchard.

Keywords:

Strength, Dystopia, Orchard, Apples, Apple Picking, Castes, Poverty, Female protagonist, the Special One, Infertility, Trains, City, Technological Advances, Weapons, Fighting, Resiliency, Harvest, Oppression

My Review:

Like any other caste separated society in dystopian literature, Reap is the story of the special strong female chosen one, but the storytelling and writing style are excellent and very compelling. They pulled me right in and I purchased the entire trilogy before I’d even finished this first book.

I loved all the details about the harvest and the apple orchards that really brought the town of Orchard to life. I wish there had been a bit more creativity and imagination in some of the naming, hence the town of “Orchard” but I was too mesmerized by the brewing trouble in town, the burgeoning romance between Abby and Crew, the complication that Kyan posed, and the greater mystery tied up in the Lesser towns.

I loved how Abby was strong, resilient, and stubborn to the point of stupidity. Her pride is so strong it overwhelms others. She is special for a reason, being both Greater and Lesser and not just in the right place at the right time, though that does help.

As with most YA books, I wish that females were not relegated into antiquated roles of society – the housewife and child bearer. Though the main character is the ‘strong female’ archetype, society at large is still somewhat sexist.

The ending felt rushed, but I didn’t much care because I was able to pick the story right back up with book two…

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on Marc 15th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Casey Bond’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: All Is Silence: Desert Lands Book I (Deserted Lands 1) by Robert L. Slater

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All Is Silence: Desert Lands Book I (Deserted Lands 1) by Robert L. Slater

A New Adult Dystopian Novel published by Rocket Tears Press (01/05/14)

Summary:

“Back then she had been afraid of the future. Now she feared the present.” (Page. 254).

Almost everyone dies from a disease, but Lizzy, who is suicidal and is now more lonely than ever, has ironically, survived. After puttering around her neighborhood for days, she puts a message out for people to come find her and lo and behold they do. She even finds the number to her long lost father and gives him a ring. Is the world as empty as she thought or will the remaining survivors surprise her?

Keywords:

Apocalypse, Dog-Man, Death, Friends, Future, Survival, Father, Disease, Technology Still Works, Travel, Fighting, Guns, Weather, Empty Houses, Empty Neighborhood, Loneliness, Repopulation

My Review:

I love end of the world survival stories and this one was an easy read that showed another possibility to the dystopian literature. Like a combination of the Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Blackout by Stephanie Erickson, All is Silence follows a troubled girl who has been left behind by most of the world and clings to the few people left that she knows. When she finds that her estranged father is alive, she drops everything she has left to meet up with him, along with her old friends and a few new ones she finds during her journey.

This novel should have started at part two. Part one was all about Lizzie and her suicidal past. I think being a survivor during the apocalypse is enough to make any normal teen angsty and to give her a troubled past was not necessary. She was not very likable in part one. I was also confused as to how old she was. She didn’t graduate high school but her actions in her back story made me think she was an adult (sex and bad decisions), but her actions in the present day were not always smart and made me think she was a young teenager who is not worldly wise.

Some of the characters were one dimensional. Unlike Lizzie who has a long way to rise to meet the occasion, which she does now and then when she has to, her father and her friends are simple characters. Her father, especially, was disappointing as an adult. He acted like a child, with simple emotions.

Finally, stop using elevators! Every time (and there were quite a few) that characters got into elevators I would get so stressed out. At some point technology would start to break down entirely and elevators would stop working. Who in their right mind would get into one after 99% of the population has died and it’s been weeks since normal economy and production etc??

I thought the addition of the dog man to the traveling group was really cool and I really liked the aspect he brought to the end of the world.

This novel was published by Rocket Tears Press on January 5th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Robert L. Slater’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter