The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray
Published by Wanderlust Publishing on May 19, 2016
Series: The Liberty Box, #1
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 6:38:00
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Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancee and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.
Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.
Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?
A dystopian that starts to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction, The Liberty Box has a chillingly realistic premise.
“Is it better to be deceived and happy than to know the truth?”
In short, the concept is that the future America controls its population through the use of medication and brain waves. Based on the current economy and technological advances, this seems just a few steps away from being possible. With my love for speculative fiction, this is right up my alley!
The Liberty Box opens with a prologue that sets up how this future came to be. Many dystopians I’ve read just drop the reader in and fill in (some) backstory along the way, leaving me with lots of questions, so I appreciated and enjoyed easing my way in and learning about the world Gray created. Then it switches to “present” day, following a few different perspectives along the way. The perspective changes don’t follow a particular rhythm, but each chapter is labeled with the name of the person who’s eyes we are seeing through to help guide the reader.
With an intriguing and entertaining plot and somewhat less character development, this is definitely a plot driven story. Most of it had fairly brisk pacing, with a few sections that were a bit slower due to a lot of detail and information being dropped at once. Although the main characters in this book are in their mid-twenties, there was a definite young adult tone to the writing style, making this ideal for readers looking to reach just outside the young adult range.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to audiobooks, the narration can really make it or break it. Listening to The Liberty Box, I found the sound and production quality was not quite as rich or full as I like it to be. To be fair, it certainly didn’t sound like the average person speaking into any old recording device, but I happen to prefer a brighter tone. That being said, Melissa Williams’ narration style was smooth and friendly, and listening to this felt like having a mom or older sister read aloud to me.
In the end, I did enjoy The Liberty Box and am looking forward to read the next book, The Eden Conspiracy, to see what happens next. But I will probably pick that up in print. Think this sounds like something you’d be interested in? It’s available for free now in both kindle and nook formats!
*Thanks to the author for providing an advance copy of this edition in exchange for an honest review.