A review by Domoni.
In a not too distant future, the world has been ravaged. Facing extinction after a global collapse, a corporation swoops in to save the day. Now if you want to live, you work for the company. If you cannot perform your duties, you have nothing. They control all, they see all, they hear all. The Autonomy is a collective of business people who have saved the world and enslaved the planet. Creating a further divide between the rich and the poor, the elites live a life pampered and oblivious, preparing to continue the lifestyle. The other 90% of the world live in horrid conditions, those who can work often work double or triple shifts. Families live in one room hovels, if they are lucky. Those who aren’t as lucky may live in a one room hovel with 4 other families. The corporations run everything, they even name the children. The air is dirty and the food is Skaatch, made up of jellyfish and insects. Life is hard and many people spend any free time forgetting about what is around them by entering the sims through their mandated iNet glasses. Many depend on the Faith to get them through the day. They log in and rack up their a points, telling themselves today’s hardships will earn them rewards in the afterlife.
Not everyone can accept this life forced onto them. Slaving for the Autonomy and ignoring through the Faith and other sims, cannot blind them from the unfairness and the horrors of the world. You cannot have dictatorship without rebellion, and this rebellion has arrived. The Dish will fight to free the world; it will bring war to The Autonomy.
The author has created a world that could be; a dystopian 1984, that I found myself easily able to accept. The creation of the world is clear and fully saturated. It is easy to picture the characters and their surroundings. The characters are rich and developed and I found myself heavily immersed in their well being. Balmoral captured my attention easily from her birth, to her first adventures in iNet. She intuitively understands the iNet and can do things with it as a small child, that others didn’t know could be done. A child of sector 2, she was raised with nothing and went to work young. She is smart and has a desire to know what’s happening around her.
Tristram and Pasco, twin sons whose elite father was killed by the Dish, are fascinating characters we also watch from birth. The brothers, very different from each other as children, have grown into interesting characters. Tristram is working for his uncle, who is the head of Securicom and essentially The Autonomy. Pasco is a gambler and didn’t take the harder turn his brother did after losing their father. It was easy to understand how they became who they were and feel for each brother. Their personalities and plights were well developed and fascinating.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and think it would be enjoyed by anyone who likes dystopian sci-fi. Due to some more adult content, I would recommend it for older readers.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
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Published by: Grimbold Books
Publication date: July 29th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Science Fiction
Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement of Steel Ball. They are two strangers, who never should have met, and now they will rip apart the world.
What happens when ninety percent of the world lives on skaatch – a jellyfish and insect composite?
What happens when mankind spends more time in alternative life sims instead of in the “real” world?
What happens when economic interest is the sole determinant of global decision making?
What happens when a single secret is discovered that calls into question everything we have ever believed?
Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.
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Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.
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