DYSTOPIAN? What on earth is that? Well, I have to admit up until a couple of years ago, I had no idea myself, but now (due to all my reading, of course) I am a much more learned fellow. Dystopian Fiction - what is it? When in doubt about these things, one must always go to the ORACLE - The great Wikipedia, of course. So, here is Wikipedia's description of Dystopian Fiction:
"Dystopian fiction (sometimes referred to as apocalyptic literature) is the creation of an utterly horrible or degraded futuristic society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion, or dystopia. They are often metaphors for the different directions humanity can take in its choices."
NOW YOU KNOW - IT'S ON WITH SHOW!
Subnormal by Stuart Kenyon is absolutely my type of book. I'm not a conspiracy theory nut, by any means, but I love the idea of a supposedly "democratic" government going totally haywire and attempting some sort of mind-control over its populace, for "the greater good".
In Subnormal, the first of a three-part series on this topic, Kenyon introduces us to a strange group of characters, who for various reasons have been declared "subnormal" by the state. These characters will play an unlikely part in defeating a rampant, out-of-control Government, that has imposed its will on the people, not by force of argument, but by more devious means - all for the "greater good" of Great Britain, determined to put the Great back into Great Britain (now where have we heard that before?)
The characters, who have been declared subnormal and are shipped off to what is essentially a forced labour prison, to make a contribution to the British society, slowly become aware of what is being done, not only to them but to the rest of Britain as well. The "subnormals" decide it is up to them to fight back and expose the Government for the lying, cheating, bastards they really are.
I loved all of the characters in Subnormal, but most especially I had a soft spot for Paul, the young man with Asperger's syndrome, but also the uncanny ability to solve problems with logic and common sense. Having worked alongside someone (also named Paul) with this syndrome, I could fully identify with the character traits and little peculiarities that Kenyon pulled out of his character. He clearly has a first-hand understanding of the character. What I found particularly insightful, especially for readers who have never encountered Asperger's before was Kenyon allowing us inside Paul's mind and showing us his thought processes, so totally different from our own, yet so illuminating.
I don't want to go overboard on this aspect, as it is only a small part of the overall story, but it helps me to illustrate just what an excellent job Kenyon has done in this book.
This is a great thriller and I found it riveting (unable to stop reading, even when I knew I should). I highly recommend this, if you like thrillers, with real applicability to the current environment we citizens of the world find ourselves in today.
This book is worth every one of the five stars I've given it.
It is now the year 2341 and humanity has all but destroyed the beautiful planet known as earth. No longer are humans the dominant life-force on this planet. In Token Huntress by Kia Carrington-Russell, they are usually mere impotent bystanders to the battle that rages between the vampires and the hunters. Hunters have evolved from humans and are programmed to protect that species from the predations of the vampires, which requires them to ruthlessly kill all vampires they encounter. A young huntress, Esmore, the most skilled in her Hunter’s Guild is promoted to the role of leader, the Token Huntress, even above those older and more experienced than herself. She leads by example, determined to destroy all vampires, but an encounter with a handsome and strangely compelling vampire, Chase, will change her world forever, as she begins a voyage of self-discovery into what is her true self.
It can be quite difficult for an author to come up with a new spin on the classic good versus evil concept around vampires, but in Token Huntress, Carrington-Russell does this wonderfully well. What I particularly liked about this story was the author’s ability to show how easily the lines between two different group can become hardened and entrenched, simply be what we are told from birth. Esmore finds out, despite her misgivings and life’s mission to destroy vampires, that all in not necessarily what she had been led to believe in Vampire society. I loved the developing relationship between Esmore and Chase especially the way Chase toyed with her emotions, knowing that deep down Esmore knew she was supposed to hate him with a passion, yet somehow she knew she couldn’t. I really enjoyed this fresh, innovative story and was pleased when it became obvious we would hear more of Chase, Esmore and their clan. An excellent read for lovers of the genre and for all readers.
This is the first Chris Walters' book I've read, but it will certainly not be the last.
The Age of Mystics is the first book in a dystopian trilogy, that revolves around the excitingly named, "The Event". At some point, all technology just ceases to work. Nobody is quite sure what has caused the event, but those who survive must find a way to deal with its consequences and to build a new life, post event. No doubt, all over the world, but certainly in Colorado Springs, where the story is set, people are trying desperately to come to terms with their brave, new world.
As you would expect, when civilisation breaks down, the world splits into two camps; those that want to assist their fellow men and those that thirst for power and control, they were denied in the old world.
In Age of Mystics, two groups form in Colorado Springs, both led by ex-military personnel. What ensues is a fascinating look at the different values and motivations of these two groups as they clash and defend their territory. How thin the veil of civilisation can be and how quickly it can be ripped asunder is much of the theme of this series. There is a real celebration, though, of the indomitability of the human spirit and of the inherent goodness of man. This really is the classic Good vs Evil battle.
Rippling through the entire story is a thread that these new civilisers had either gained or discovered some inherent magic powers since "the event". It is these powers and their development that takes up much of the story.
I really enjoyed this tale from Chris Walters and have already purchased book two of the trilogy, so keen was I to see where this new settlement would go and what new problems they would face, from without and within.
An excellent story, with well-developed and well-rounded characters, if perhaps a little too typical and predictable at times. If you like dystopian, you'll like Age of Mystics. I recommend it and happily give it the full five-star treatment.
...and the winner is!
age of mystics by chris walters
Join me next time when I look at a category that I've read a lot of this past year, for a variety of reasons. The wonderful world of: FANTASY! (Don't Miss It!)
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME