Newest Dystopian Fiction Reviews

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Wilson Extinction.jpg

The Extinction Trials by SM Wilson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Storm and Lincoln live on Earthasia, a continent ruined by overpopulation. Space is scarce and energy and food are rationed. Education is minimal and mostly focused around searching for new, efficient food sources. Storm's mother has died and she never knew her father, so she lives in one of Earthasia's overcrowded shelters, goes to school for one day per week and wrestles hay bales for a job. Lincoln's sister is dying from the blistering disease and he has no access to the healthcare that could save her. It's a mean, desperate existence for them both and so they are first to volunteer for the Stipulators' trials for a new mission to the neighbouring continent of Piloria. The aim is to retrieve dinosaur eggs so that a virus to kill them can be engineered and the citizens of Earthasia will have access to the space and abundant food sources Piloria offers... Full Review

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Water & Glass by Abi Curtis

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews General Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction

Something has happened, something very nasty and on a submarine a pregnant elephant is one of only a handful of animals living below the waves. We follow Nerissa Crane, a vet, as she remembers recent events, looks after the animals and falls into a world of intrigue.

It is difficult to properly review this book without giving too much away. There will be mild spoilers throughout this right from the start but I will try to avoid the main ones. Full Review

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America City by Chris Beckett

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Dystopian Fiction

America City tells the story of Holly, an ambitious publicist who sets aside her own political beliefs in order to help the ambitious Senator Slaymaker with his Presidential campaign. Set in the 22nd century, the novel tells of an incredibly disunited United States, where the effects of climate change have created deep divisions between the affluent Northern States, and the South, which is frequently ravaged by extreme weather. Holly and Slaymaker hope to change this, working together on the plan they believe to be the solution to the problem of where to place the thousands of Americans who have been made homeless by devastating storms. Full Review

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Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews General Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Teens

Kerryl lives far away from the urban twenty-first century on a remote Yorkshire farm. The farm is high up on a hill and it's a family endeavour - grandparents, mother, Kerryl. There's a market town below but Kerryl's family is concentrated on the farm and the hard but beautiful living associated with it. Kerryl, though, is a fiercely bright girl - she's won a place at Cambridge University and is looking forward to going. She loves poetry. Full Review

We See Everything by William Sutcliffe

5star.jpg Teens

Lex lives in what used to be London. Today, it is a closed-off, bombed-out area known as The Strip. Nobody comes in and nobody can go out. Drones are a constant presence overhead. Alan spends all his time watching The Strip. His talent as a gamer got him the job of drone pilot. He hasn't bombed anyone yet but he's hyped up to do it. It's fighting terrorism, after all. Alan's observation target is a high-profile target - a man high up in the resistance organisation known as The Corps. Alan calls him #K622. But Lex calls him Dad.

Lex and Alan will never meet. But their lives will collide in devastating ways... Full review...

The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts

3star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

If you had the choice would you live your life online? In the future this may be possible, with the development of full realised virtual reality you may feel that the online world is more real than your own. Even today we spend hours each day looking at phones or checking statuses. The only thing is that with most people online, some of us will have to stay in the real world to deal with unexpected events – such as a real town murder. Full review...

Raid by K S Merbeth

4.5star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

A brutal road trip in a blighted landscape that pulls no punches. We travel with Clementine, a bounty hunter, in a world without heroes or hope. Full review...

Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid

4.5star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

It began so innocently, at a music festival in Northumberland. There were some stomach upsets, but what do you expect when the weather's bad, there's inadequate sanitation and 150,000 people out to enjoy themselves? Journalist Zoe Meadows is covering the event and she's filing her copy from the back of a food van run by her friends Sam and Lisa. Sam's fussy about the food he serves - he's The Sausage Man - and he regularly checks out his suppliers. In his business you just can't be too careful. The stomach upsets seem to last for 24 hours, an unpleasant 24 hours, but then it seems to be over. Full review...

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

2.5star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

Science Fiction is not always what it seems. You may think that you are reading an exciting space adventure about many tentacled aliens, but in fact it is an allegory for race relations in modern America. The best books are able to balance the hidden meaning of the book, whilst still entertaining the reader with a great story. The worst can feel like an author preaching directly to the reader and leaving their story to struggle in the background. Full review...

Contagion: Book 1 (Dark Matter) by Teri Terry

4.5star.jpg Teens

It's not a spoiler if I tell you that Callie dies because she does die and she dies in the first few pages of Contagion. Callie - Calista - disappeared more than a year ago. Her brother Kai is still looking for her, hopeful that she will be found alive and well. But Callie isn't alive and well. She's been taken to a secretive medical facility on the island of Shetland, experimented on, and then burned to death. But Callie survived the burning in non-corporeal form. How? Full review...

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

4.5star.jpg General Fiction

Meet Josephine. Married to Joseph Jones, she has kept her maiden name to keep at least some character to her identity. As opposed to her new boss, who has no gender, no face, and horrid halitosis. The job Josephine is forced to choose is a simple one, of taking a file's paper contents, clicking up the subject on a huge database, entering a date newly printed on the sheet, and repeating. Told to obey strict secrecy rules, she starts to find unusual signs of malignance all over – a man in a grey sweatshirt following her, post redirected when nobody knows where Josephine and Joseph are even living from one month to the next, and a husband missing from the marital bed more and more often… Is there a way for her find a spark of happiness in the humdrum, windowless cell she works, and the horrid housing that is all the couple can afford? Full review...

The Weight of the World (The Amaranthine Spectrum) by Tom Toner

4star.jpg Science Fiction

One thing great science fiction needs is solid world building. When I pick up a book like this, I need to imagine that the universe has existed before the plot has started and will continue to do so after: it needs a strong sense of history and future. With this book, and series, I feel like I have just had a brief glimpse into something much larger. A great deal happens in the plot, but even more is happening, and has happened, across the Firmament. Full review...

Defender by G X Todd

5star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

We have all become strangers to each other and, worse still: enemies. The human spirit that once tethered us together has now divided us as surely as any ocean ever could.

Defender describes a post apocalyptic world in the which destructive voices have entered people's minds. In three short weeks, these voices have persuaded people to kill their most loved ones and themselves resulting in significant proportions of the worlds population being wiped out. Those who have survived, with voices and voiceless alike, are few and far between. Full review...

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo and Lola Rogers (translator)

4star.jpg Dystopian Fiction

In a different world, women are bred to be beautiful, man-serving and submissive, little more than pretty faces on walking reproductive machines. All the intelligent, independent women are being removed from the gene pool through forced sterilisation, compelled to while away their days doing menial jobs until the blessed end comes. To the world, Vanna is one of the former, an eloi with few rights and of whom there are few expectations beyond being well groomed and keeping her man well fed. But she has a secret – she is not dim at all. She is one of the clever ones, who is playing dumb to further her cause. In between her college courses in good housekeeping, (which she's flunking, to perfection), she has the small matter of a drug addiction to feed, and the mystery of her true-eloi sister's disappearance to solve. Full review...

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

4star.jpg Crime

Second and final book in sequence set in a world where Germany won WW2 and Nazi experiments on Jewish children has produced shapeshifting humans. Can Yael defeat the Wehrmacht? Interesting, moving and absorbing. Full review...

The Call by Peadar o Guilin

5star.jpg Teens

The Aes Sidhe are back. And in their quest to win back Ireland from humankind, they have placed a magical seal around the entire island. Nobody can get in or out. North? South? Doesn't matter any more. What does matter is The Call. At some point during adolescence, every teenager is transported to the Sidhe realm, that grey, colourless land to which they were banished thousands of years before. If they can evade the vengeful faerie kind for a full day (just three minutes in the human world) then their lives are spared, although they are often sent back with horrific mutilations. Fewer than one in ten children survive. Full review...

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

4star.jpg Thrillers

When the end of the world as we know it comes, Edgar is totally unprepared. Still slightly drunk from drowning his sorrows, and in a panic, he throws random items, including his daughter, down into his cellar, and then he and his family eke out a nightmarish existence in the dark until their supplies run out. Fortunately they are lucky, and they are rescued from the cellar. As they emerge back into the world they see the ruin and disaster around them, caused by hundreds of large asteroids hitting the earth. Large areas of the country have been destroyed. Groups of people left alive scavenge houses and towns, turning feral, trying to find what's left to help them to survive. Edgar's family are rescued by a small remaining army unit, but he and his wife and children become separated, and so begins Edgar's desperate race to reach his loved ones, who are hundreds of miles away, before they leave on an evacuation ship for another country. Full review...

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith

4star.jpg Teens

Daedalum's children have one collective ambition. They pray to be chosen as Icarii - honoured ones between the ages of ten and sixteen who will enter the labyrinth, find their way through it to Alyssia, and become angels. Every child yearns to be chosen. Every parent yearns for their child to be chosen. Clara, our girl's best friend, is the most devout of everyone. She knows she is destined to become an angel. Our girl, though, does not want to be chosen. In her society, this is such a badge of shame that she keeps silent. And, along with Clara, chosen she is. Full review...

Blame by Simon Mayo

4star.jpg Teens

A small hand in hers. 'Is it our fault?' Abi said nothing. These tender words show the situation. Ant (a teenaged girl) and Mattie (her younger brother) are innocent and in a prison – HMP London, no less. Since the death of the EU and a huge, all-conquering recession, people are being imprisoned left, right and centre for the crimes of their parents and their parents in turn, meaning anyone with any slightly dodgy firm or habit in their family that might have taken money away from the common good is having their children imprisoned. And even though Ant and Mattie are legitimately in there, due to their parents' activities, they've since been adopted by people who have themselves been accused and imprisoned, thus making them real tabloid-fodder as the worst criminal family in Britain. Surely, then, there's no hope? Full review...

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

5star.jpg Teens

In a speculative near-future London, there's a new wonder drug to treat ADHD. Concentr8 is cheap and effective. So effective that the mayor has instituted a programme to identify children for early, preventative treatment. Almost every troublesome teen in London is taking it, often before they've actually become troublesome. But then an austerity drive sees the program cut abruptly. Riots break out, led by the unmedicated teens. Full review...