Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Publication Date: January 14th 2014
Publisher: by The Grumpy Dragon, LLC
Source: Ebook Provided by Author in Exchange of Review
“God does all these things to a man–twice, even three times–to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine down on him.” ~ Job 33:29-30
Beyond the Village, nothing exists . . . except devastation. A war waged by men and their hateful weapons long ago made it so, and my people–the women of the Village– are the only survivors. This is what our history lessons teach us, and this is what we are to believe. But I am sixteen now . . . and I question everything. The Archer has spoken, but I have no desire to heed his command. I long for more.
In a world demolished by war and ruled by the hands of Fate, individual choices have become obsolete. Essentially, there is only one requirement: Bow the knee to the wisdom of the Council without question. Many of the women in the Village have acquiesced to this mandate, including some of Kate’s closest friends. But Kate longs for something more; she hears the call of another life. On the day of her sixteenth birthday celebration, the reality of what this means invades her with a vengeance, and she is forced to contend with her own moral conscience. Kate’s destiny has always been the Pit–the life of the breeder–which she is expected to embrace without complaint. Her rebel’s heart, however, refuses to comply with Fate’s demand, and what she finds in the Pit draws her one step closer to learning the truth about herself and the Village. And it changes the course of her destiny for all eternity.
Kate is just one more member of the Village controlled by women, each given a task to survive and live in peace after The Fall. Kate’s assignment is to become a Breeder, a woman who’s purpose and contribution to the village is to conceive offspring from the men who form the stock. When her sixteenth birthday comes, Kate does whatever she can to change the fate handed to her, but nothing changes Mona’s mind, the village leader, and sends Kate to the Pit to do her duty. That’s when she meets Ian, a guy like no other from the mindless stock who talks about a place far away from her own,a place called Eden, a place that shouldn’t even exist. Kate discovers the truth of everything as she defies what everyone told her to do: to follow the rules and comply to whatever Mona would say without question. But that’s not as easy as it sounds to her wild spirit.
The premise of the book was a bit vague for me at first, not engaging enough as to draw me in. Still, this book was seriously a great surprise with the main characters and general plot line.
We have Kate, a beautiful and defying sixteen-year-old teenager. She’s like the Katniss in this book: rebellious, truth-seeking, self-sacrificing, yet kind, caring, and a fighter against all odds and situations. I liked how she always kept her head in her shoulders and thought of her people before love. So many opportunities to escape with the love interested, and yet she always picked them before herself until the end. She was strong, reckless even, but a true heroine to look up to. I loved her character and how she developed from the beginning ’till the end.
The other characters also felt well developed by the time I ended the book, each with a voice, flaws and virtues that went well with the story. But gosh I hated Mona so much. She’s the kind of villain I like, because if I hate her so much it means she was definitely cut for the job of the bad guy.
The world building was excellent, easy to grasp and to imagine it happening some time in the future with how we are right now in the world. We have in the story a post-apocalyptic world suffering from the effects of war caused by men, and the few surviving women take matters into hand, creating a world dominated by them, the last survivors of Earth. Kinda like Wonder Woman and the Amazons.
The story had me in tension most of the time waiting for the worst to happen and wanting to know the truth. Lies were always the order of the day in that village. The descriptions of the setting and emotions was so greatly detailed, it was like having a movie in my head with little effort of my part in filling the spaces. Any emotion, love or anger or sadness, was described in a way that made me feel through the pages whatever was happening. It was amazing.
What surprised me the most was how Casey Hays, through a dystopian fiction, was able to discuss conflicting points of equality between women and men. Both were made from God’s image and should treat each other as equals instead of having a superior sex. No group of people should be judged for the mistake of someone. In addition, no one’s right of freewill should be taken from them. No one’s desire for knowledgue should be limited to the convenience of a superior group. If you are in a similar situation, there’s no better way to defy it by informing yourself, by searching the truth and doing what is right.
My only problem here was the passing of the story at some points where it felt like dragging on over things that we already knew, and a bit too much angst. It could have been shorter if those things were deleted or simplified.
In general, I really enjoyed this story; a great addition to the Dystopian genre. Similar yet unique in its own light in creativity and twists. It won’t disappoint anyone with thirst for action, romance, angst and a heroine who can defend herself without the need of a man.
Rating: 4 stars
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