Like This? Try That! Dystopian Edition #1

Like This? Try That! Dystopian Edition #1

For this edition of Like This? Try That!, I want to focus on some dystopian books. I find that this genre as a whole can be polarizing, possibly more than most due to the way it explores and dramatizes social and political structures. But I personally think there is something to be gained from reading these books and examining their commentary. Today I have three recommendations of new(er) dystopian books based on other popular dystopians.

Ready to see my picks?

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Book Review: Firstlife, by Gena Showalter

Firstlife, by Gena Showalter

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Published by Harlequin Teen on February 23, 2016

Series: Everlife, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 475

Source: library

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Step one…you die.

ONE CHOICE. TWO REALMS. NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live — after she dies. There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, long-time enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms that will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

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Book Review: The Warehouse, by Rob Hart

The Warehouse, by Rob Hart

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

Published by Crown on August 20, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Timesbestselling author of Dark Matter

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.

But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering.

Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.

Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.

Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.

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Mini Reviews: Duology Sequels – Wildcard, by Marie Lu & Evermore, by Sara Holland

Mini Reviews: Duology Sequels

For this set of mini reviews, I want to talk about a couple duology sequels that I listened to the audiobooks for, specifically Wildcard, by Marie Lu and Evermore, by Sarah Holland. I had listened to the first books in both of these series and really enjoyed them, and after waiting to get my hands on these sequels was hoping they’d live up to their predecessors. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as we hope…

Ready to see the reviews?

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Book Review: Vox, by Christina Dalcher

Vox, by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Published by Berkley on August 21, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: library

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One of Entertainment Weekly’s and SheReads’ books to read after The Handmaid’s Tale
One of Good Morning America’s “Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer”

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

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Audiobook Review: The Power, by Naomi Alderman

The Power, by Naomi Alderman

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Published by Hachette Audio on November 10, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 12:06:03

Source: library

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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power–they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

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Audiobook Review: Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Published by Recorded Books on June 16, 2009 (originally published October 1993)

Series: Earthseed, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: audiobook, 12:05:00

Source: Audible

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God is change.

That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman’s diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs – and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy.

Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.

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Audiobook Review: Warcross, by Marie Lu

Warcross, by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu

Published by Penguin Random House Audio on September 12, 2017

Series: Warcross, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:46:17

Source: library

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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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Mini Reviews: The Liberty Box trilogy, by C.A. Gray

Mini reviews: The Liberty Box trilogy, by C.A. Gray

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?

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Book Review: The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer

Published by FrontRunner Publications on August 5, 2016

Series: The Never Dawn, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: author

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Purchase at Amazon

All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.

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