Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and the Hole is my new home.
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.

My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

“You can overcome anything…short of death.”

In continuation of the one word named dystopian YA books the Boomworm brings you Branded. In the beginning of the story readers are introduced to the main character Lexi trying to kill herself. She doesn’t get to accomplish this task and is instead chased and captured by guards. So right away it starts out with action and something huge going on. When Lexi is put into the Hole and is attacked before she even makes it all the way in, that just added to the excitement of the story. The action was almost non stop and brutal. The authors didn’t hold back in that aspect. They also make sure you never really know who is going to die, get hurt, disappear or what and you don’t really know who to trust until the very end. That’s about all that kept me interested in the story. Everything else was just confusing and the timing was all over the place. For example, Lexi gets attacked (multiple times) and ends up with 26 staples in her head as well as a fragment of her skull removed. Yet a few days later she’s good as new and they take them out. Despite the fact that she had a concussion and never rested like the doctor ordered. Another confusing timeframe was when she started training. In like a week she went from being a weakling to a fighting and shooting machine. Now as with a lot (most) of YA books there is a romance and like a lot of books in the genre it was underdeveloped and had no basis whatsoever. In the beginning of the book Cole has this need to protect Lexi that goes beyond his orders but he doesn’t understand why and Lexi just swoons and falls in love with him just because he’s a little bit nicer than the other guards. Even they admit in the book that they dont know why they are in love with each other but that doesnt stop them from killing people, possibly dying and trying to destroy a whole justice system to be together. As for as the idea for the book I thought it was great and had promise. I think the story just needed to be polished a bit more. It seemed like this is more of a draft instead of a finished version of the story. However, I will be looking out for the next book in the series. I think sometimes as series progress the writing becomes more developed and the characters more interesting so I will stick with it. Overall it was a cool story and I would give it a 2.5/5 only because I feel it needed more work but I still recommend people give this a read.

Who Run the [Dystopian] World? [White] Girls

Very interesting points made in both the post and the comments.

Be Young & Shut Up

Sharyl Sandberg was right, y’all. In the future, we’re all gonna lean in, and when the world goes to shit, it’s the white ladies that come out on top. A study that shows boys’ numbers lagging behind girls’ in reading might explain the reason for women having to constantly take up the mantle around all these inept future-dudes. But it might better explain the new demographic for the YA (young adult) dystopian novel, which is popularly read by girls and young women. This is neat, considering the sci-fi canon is often thought to belong to male authors and narratives about men, but YA has cornered its niche market by creating tons of female characters for young readers to see themselves reflected in. And even though it’ll take a miracle to get YA to be taken seriously, it’s still a step in the right direction.

But not so fast, have you…

View original post 645 more words

Ultimate Dystopian Showdown: Battle Royale vs. The Hunger Games

The Spectatorial

With the popularity of its movie series, the infamous rumour has resurfaced that Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is a (*cough cough*) rip-off of Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale. Rather than nitpick all the similarities (of which there are many), however, let’s just pit them against each other in an ultimate showdown!

aa          VS.         bb

Harshest Dystopia

Republic of Greater East Asia:

At first glance, Battle Royale’s future Japan and its unforgiving, authoritarian police government seems like a breeding ground for complete terror. However, life actually doesn’t seem too bad for the main characters and, even though many activities are prohibited, people have found ways to enjoy their lives. Shuya Nanahara, the protagonist of Battle Royale, plays the electric guitar and likes Bruce Springsteen, for crying out loud.

Panem:

Okay, let’s be honest here. Panem sucks. A lot. Unless you come from the Capitol, life is definitely not in…

View original post 816 more words

A Deeper Love Inside by Sister Souljah

image

Sharp-tongued, quick-witted Porsche worships her sister Winter. Cut from the same cloth as her father, Ricky Santiaga, Porsche is also a natural-born hustler. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, she refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention after her family is torn apart. Porsche—unique, young, and beautiful—cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status. Unselfish, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her wealthy, loving family.

This book was a big disappointment for me because it fell short in so many ways. Overall the whole story just wasn’t believable to me in any way. No matter what genre of book you read you want to feel like something in the story could actually happen. There were very few points where I felt like that. Porsche was also a hard character for me to connect with. Throughout the story her narrations change from sounding like a grown woman to sounding like a five year old. It was supposed to show that she had alter personalities but it was just confusing to read most of the time and honestly it took away from the story to me. Her relationship with her mother and the things she went through dealing with her crack addiction was the only thing that felt real to me. Her marriage to Elisha was just ridiculous. It seems that Sister Souljah has a thing about polygamous relationships and teenage marriage because they are a recurring theme in her books. There were parts of the story that didn’t make sense at all. For example, how she became a world famous dancer but law enforcement agency ever arrested her for breaking of out juvenile. Even if you take into consideration the fact that they covered up the breakout, they had only changed the records two years before she came back to the states. The plot was just not consistent and plain ridiculous at times. It was like reading an episode of Jerry Springer. You don’t want to watch but you can’t look away and it passes the time until something else comes along. I would give it a 1/5.

Intervention by W.R.R. Munro

Ayden Walker turned his back on a fast tracked academic career to follow in his parents’ footsteps. As a field researcher, he does what he can to protect wilderness areas from the pressures of climate change and 8.5 billion people, and he keeps an eye on the big Pharmas gaming the system to squeeze ever more profits from their latest GM cure-alls.

Then he meets the enigmatic and strangely familiar William Hanford.

William tells Ayden the truth about his parents’ genetic research all those years ago, about what they did to William… and to Ayden.

Struggling to understand and forgive, Ayden digs into the past, but the trail points back to the present, to William and to his biotech company, Genenco.

Could Genenco be attempting a breathtakingly bold solution to problems the world has failed to address for decades? Or is it a wildly dangerous experiment, a threat to all of humanity? 

Should Ayden even try to stop them? Or is the risk justified?

As he peels back the layers of deception, Ayden realises that he’s under surveillance and putting his family at risk.

He’s forced into an uneasy alliance with Major Henri Soulandt of Army Military Intelligence, and together they try to discover just how far the forces behind Genenco are prepared to go.

Then things get complicated. And deadly.

“What must occur to reduce suffering for billions of people alive today and countless more billions of people in the future? We must reduce absolute population levels in most parts of the world urgently and move to zero population growth everywhere. There are no options.

Intervention was an interesting read. It didn’t really move me either way. There were things that I really liked about the story though. I thought the story flow was great and there is always a sense of urgency throughout the story and I thought the science was interesting. The premise of the book was original and believable and it takes place in a very conceivable future. The main problem I had with the story was the inability to connect with the main character Ayden. He was very irritating to me. His incessant reckless behavior just annoyed me. Even if the end result was what he was looking for. It also annoyed me that he was always right! I got that he was an off the charts super smart person whose only other intellectual equal was William but at some point I would’ve loved for him to be completely wrong. I ended up wanting to know more about the bad guy than him. I actually liked him better anyway. There was just nothing in the story to sway me to love it or hate it. For me the book was like extra cheese on a pizza. Its nice to have sometimes but I can live without it.  However, it really is amazing to be a debut novel. I would recommend this to true sci-fi techno-thriller lovers out there. It’s available at Amazon.com.

Shared Skies by Josephine O’brien

Eighteen-year-old Gaiah’s hair grows to her waist every night. She can influence people with her thoughts. She understands none of it.

She has no one to turn to. Her father, a reclusive sculptor is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s death. 
Gaiah is losing control of her life. 

Her long lost grandparents reappear, apparently having never been lost, and Gaiah is forced to confront and deal with worlds she never knew existed. 

A trinity of parallel worlds of which Earth is one. 
Folklore or truth? Intermingled histories means Gaiah sees her world in a new light and discovers her true heritage. 
The Trinity is in crisis. Gaiah’s appearance is the only thing that gives hope for its salvation, but love and hatred span the worlds and time is running out. 

Oh God, they’re completely crazy. What am I going to do?

She slid her hand around the door handle. We’re not going that fast, what’s the worst that could happen if I jumped out? The roar of a haulage truck and its blur of gaudy colours as it thundered past made her release her hold, shocked at what she’d been contemplating.

She rubbed at the goose bumps puckering the skin  on her arms.

 

Shared skies is an amazing start to what looks to be a great series. Josephine O’Brien’s ability to create a unique world in her story is brilliant. She was able to perfectly meld fantasy into a believable modern day story. I loved how she intertwined real historical events and figures with her story. It was so believable I was completely engrossed in the story. Her writing is clear and the story flow is perfect. There is always a sense of urgency in the story that keeps it from ever being boring. The characters were great and each one has their strengths as well as secrets. The character development of Galah was wonderful and it was refreshing to have a strong female character. It was nice to see her grown throughout the story and really take her responsibility serious. I liked how the love interest in the book didn’t become the main focus. It was actually an important part of the story and enhanced the plot greatly. It could’ve easily overshadowed the story but O’Brien brilliantly managed to keep it focused. The plot is absolutely amazing and you won’t know what hit you with the awesome twist. I’ve actually read the book twice and I’m  anticipating the next book will be even better. I give this story a 5/5 and highly recommend this read. Be prepared to lose sleep to finish this book.

Shared skies is available at Amazon.com