Readers of M.T. Anderson and Ben Oliver will likely appreciate Sacha Wunsch’s recent release, Lies My Memory Told Me. This dystopian thriller follows the story of quiet, sixteen-year-old Nova Reynolds and her friends Andi and Kade as they work to solve the mystery of what Experion Enterprises is attempting with their new technology called Enhanced Memories. Enhanced Memories (EM) are originally created to be “nothing but good,” a magical solution to safely giving people access to experiences to enhance their quality of life: travel without the expense, a lived experience that delivers empathy and nuances of living another life, and ultrarealistic entrainment without the riskRead More →

Given the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the world, Katharyn Blair‘s novel Unchosen is eerily relevant. Fans of Suzanne Collins, Scott Westerfeld, Mercedes Lackey, and Brandon Sanderson will also cheer for the strong female characters and appreciate the engaging and action-packed story. In Blair’s dystopia, someone has knowingly or inadvertently unleashed the Crimson, a virus-like curse that causes the end of the world as we know it. Rather than wearing face masks, people wear blindfolds because looking into the wrong eyes is a death sentence. When infected, a person’s irises turn from their natural color to purple and then to red. That individual has only oneRead More →

Living in a world where books are thought to clutter the mind and technology is shunned in favor of a photographic memory called Knowing, Samara Archiva wants to heal the Knowing with Forgetting so that the Knowing can find peace.  Without Forgetting, pain is a constant for the Knowing, and many commit suicide to escape the process of reliving excruciating memories that never fade.   Knowing, which essentially means to remember too much, leaves no room for imagination or dreaming, and from an early age, the Knowing are taught the importance of concealing emotion and for caching memories.   Caching, a special privilege of the Knowing, involvesRead More →

Maximum racing is dangerous; one out of ten cars doesn’t make it to the finish line.  But race car driver Cassica Hayle is fast, flighty, and full of fierce life.  Possessing an addictive, restle ss energy and delighted by chaos and speed, Cassica craves life in the fast lane and wants to escape Coppermouth,  a barely surviving, backwater town where the stars at night are actually “restless orbital weapons moving steadily, left over from the Omniwar”(30) when death machines  “destroyed whole cities with lances of fire from space” (31). Now, in Coppermouth ,  people die from dust lung, a respiratory affliction resulting from dust blowingRead More →

Like all good dystopian fiction, Frost by M. P. Kozlowsky begins with a social question that has currency and relevance and then exaggerates the answer to warn society of what could happen if we don’t take the appropriate actions or proceed with caution.  Kozlowsky’s plot revolves around wishes for everlasting life–for human immortality–and Dr. Alex Simmelfore has found an answer: Create a robot and download human consciousness to a chip that can be planted into the robot.  These improved robot beings will have human instinct, human thought, and human complexity combined with a body that won’t age, wear down, or succumb to illness. As readers will suspect,Read More →

When ice caps collapsed and lowlands flooded, earth was in chaos, human survival was in jeopardy, and people grew desperate.   Out of this chaos grew two superpowers that seized the few resources remaining.  These actions led to civil wars and to international breakdown.   During an economy-crushing petroleum embargo, many Earthbound individuals fled to Lunar Base, “a beacon of humanity for the glory of science” (47). Through mind-numbing propaganda, not unlike that spewed in 1984 by George Orwell, lunar citizens recite a National Anthem and other political slogans that brainwash them into believing untruths about security, life essentials, employment, and community connections.  Organized much like theRead More →

In a few decades, the long-standing gender selection of choosing boy children over girls will result in a 5 to 1 ratio of boys to girls across India and violence will erupt as the availability of this scarce resource (eligible, healthy young women) dries up and people realize the mistake they and their government have made for far too long.  A small group of powerful, forward-thinking women promise a respite: a new country within the boundaries of India, sealed off, safe, and a haven for families with daughters, Koyanagar.  People from across the country flock to the emergent nation, hopes buoyed by the promise ofRead More →

What a fun, imaginative book Philip Webb‘s Where the Rock Splits the Sky is! Well, perhaps the word “fun” isn’t quite right, as there is nothing fun about the adventure Megan, Luis, and Kelly are having.  Basically, aliens have stopped the world from spinning on its axis, thereby plunging its surviving zones back in time about 100 years. Megan is on a quest to find her father, and learn the secrets of what is to come. Megan is brave, Luis is loyal, Kelly is a great “fish out of water”, the characters are interesting, and the premise is a great one. I read this book inRead More →

18 years after a seemingly harmless virus was introduced at a theme park, all that remains of the United States east of the Mississippi River is a desolate, abandoned wasteland know as The Feral Zone.  No one knows what happened to anyone who was unlucky enough to have either been infected by the Ferae virus or left behind in the mass exodus West since a great wall separates The West from the Feral Zone, although rumors do circulate about exiled criminals, hideous man-beasts, and other nightmarish creatures. 17 year old Lane, who has lived her entire life in the West, is mildly curious about what’sRead More →