For this set of mini reviews, I’m going to talk about the sequel and final book in The Liberty Box trilogy, as I think this will be a great way to talk about these books without giving away any spoilers for the series. I listened to The Liberty Box on audio a few months back and enjoyed both the premise and the story but found the narration wasn’t to my taste. So when the author reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reading the other books in print format, I jumped at the chance!
The Liberty Box is a dystopian that starts to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction and has a premise I find to be chillingly possible in this day and age. If you haven’t already, you can see my review for that HERE. Otherwise, keep reading for the initial blurb and my thoughts on the rest of the series.
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?
The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray
Published by Wanderlust Publishing on July 18, 2016
Series: The Liberty Box, #2
Genre(s): fiction, dystopian, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: ebook, 428
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I’m happy to say there was no sophomore slump here; The Eden Conspiracy was my favorite book in The Liberty Box trilogy. Easy to read and fast paced, this had plenty of action, excitement, and intrigue, and I had a hard time putting this down, completing it within a 24 hour period. Although some of the dialogue felt a bit cheesy, the characters developed nicely and began feeling more realistic in this installment. And it ended on such a cliffhanger, I had to pick up the next book immediately to find out what happened next!
The Phoenix Project by C.A. Gray
Published by Wanderlust Publishing on March 20, 2017
Series: The Liberty Box, #3
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: audiobook, 396
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The Phoenix Project wrapped up the series well, tying up loose ends and bringing everything to a satisfactory conclusion. Gray’s writing throughout the series flowed well, making for books that were delightful reading experiences. Amidst all the fun, she also wove in some metaphysical concepts to add some depth and complexity to the story.
I think my biggest issue was the overall pacing among the three books. The Liberty Box had a slower start and felt like a lot of set up for all the action in The Eden Conspiracy. And The Phoenix Project introduced a lot of new drama that felt a bit forced and like filler at this later stage. Altogether, I would have preferred a more unified feel amongst the three books.
That all being said, The Phoenix Project, and The Liberty Box trilogy as a whole, was highly entertaining with some fascinating scientific and philosophical ideas. I’d certainly be interested to see what else the author has to offer.
So, there you have my mini reviews for The Eden Conspiracy and The Phoenix Project! What do you think of reading reviews for sequels this way? I’d love to know your thoughts!