Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

glory o'brien

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

This unique story shows off King’s skills as a writer of unusual protagonists who find themselves in ever more bizarre life circumstances.  Glory is about to graduate from high school, but has no real plan since she’s been shut off from most of life since her mother’s suicide 12 years ago.  Her dad is a painter who is likewise depressed and has refused to paint or do much of anything since his wife’s death.  Ellie, Glory’s only friend, lives across the road in a hippie commune which may be a cult led by Ellie’s mom.  Add to the the fact that Glory isn’t sure she even like’s Ellie anymore, and is beginning to wonder if their relationship has just become something that is convenient.  One night at Ellie’s insistence the girls drink a gruesome cocktail of beer with powdered mummified bat in it, and both begin to see glimpses of the future of people they look at.  Let’s just say that the future in NOT bright and includes a second civil war, internment camps and an abrupt erosion of the rights of women that may bring Margaret Atwater’s Handmaid’s Tale to mind.

If this sounds like there’s a lot going on in this book, you’re right, there is.  But King deftly handles her plot twists as seen from Glory’s perspective in a manner that will keep readers enthralled and needing to read on.  I loved the originality  of this story and appreciated the uniqueness of the main character.  I think dystopian readers, science fiction fans, and readers who have liked A. S. Kings other books will relish this new title.

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Inhuman by Kat Falls

inhuman

Inhuman by Kat Falls

This title begins a trilogy set in a dystopian future where a mutating virus has turned much of the population into savage zombie-like creatures.  Lane McEvoy lives with her father inside the the walled safe area west of the Mississippi River.  People are forbidden from crossing into the Feral Zone, but sixteen year old Lane rudely discovers that her father is not an art dealer like she though all long, but a “fetch” who smuggles long lost art out of the Feral Zone to sell to wealthy patrons  in the safe area.  But Lane’s always been interested in what might be on the other side of the massive, guarded wall.  When Lane finds out her father has been secretly a fetch all along, she is given the choice of going into the Feral Zone and completing his last job, one for a corrupt government official who is blackmailing her.  She ends up with two co-conspirators, Everson who was a guard on the Wall and the mercenary named Rafe who is comfortable on both sides of the country.

This book is an action-packed adventure full of twists that please readers looking for a fast-paced story.  It will also be great for fans of science fiction or dystopia.  I highly recommend it to teen readers looking for a fast, suspenseful read.

 

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

salvage

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Lovers of Science Fiction and dystopia will find this debut novel a satisfying read, if a bit long.  As the story opens, readers meet Ava, the daughter of a ship’s captain living in an claustrophobic, sexist society aboard the Parastrata merchant deep space vessel.  She unwittingly makes an unforgivable mistake with the son of another ship’s captain, and she is nearly executed before barely escaping to the Earth town of Gyre from the local space port where they are docked.  Everything she’s been told about the home planet is terrifying, they call it “the seat of our woes.”  They tell the children the Earth is filthy, disease-ridden and overpopulated, that they are lucky to be on a merchant ship, even if they have few options as girls.  So when her great-grandmother Iri sacrifices her own life to help Ava escape, the sixteen-year-old walks onto the planet penniless, unable to read or write, and nearly unable to take care of herself in the hostile environment.  Luckily, she’s taken in by the woman who helped her run at the spaceport, and her real adventures begin as she acclimates not only to the real gravity on Earth, but to a completely new life with new rules and expectations.

I found this book to be an engaging read, although a little long.  I especially liked the way debut novelist Duncan developed her characters–they felt true to life and I think teens would find them easy to identify with.  I would recommend this title to ScFi/dystopia fans, and readers who liked Beth Revis’ Across the Universe Trilogy and Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me books.

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When We Wake by Karen Healey

 when we wake

When We Wake by Karen Healey

On what was looking like the happiest day of her life, sixteen-year-old Tegan is accidentally shot by an political assassin at a public protest.  She wakes up 100 years later in 2127, finding out that her body had been cryogenically frozen by the government.  She is locked in a government facility. Her friends and family are long gone, Tegan is shocked by contemporary Australia, which isn’t that much better than the one she left.  Nicknamed “the living dead girl,” she becomes an instant celebrity, moving in with her doctor as her guardian, starting school and trying to adjust to 100 years of change.  The unspoken question if why Tegan has been revived at all, especially since she is the only human whose been awoken from the cryogenic sleep.  As she slowly learns the truth of her situation, Tegan comes to learn that life in the 22nd century is far from perfect and she needs to decide if she can make a difference with the help of her high public profile.

I liked this book a lot.  Tegan’s friends are interesting and their personalities are well-drawn and diverse.  Her love interest is a Somali boy there on scholarship who was recruited for his beautiful voice, but now refuses to sing in public.  Teens who like dystopias and science fiction are sure to enjoy this title.  We also have the second in the series, While We Run.

 


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The One by Kiera Cass

the one

The One by Kiera Cass

This much anticipated conclusion will not disappoint fans of Cass’s first two best-selling books in this series.  America Singer is one of the last four girls left in the competition to become Maxon’s wife and princess of Illea.  She and the prince have still not shared their deepest feeling with each other, and naturally this will lead to problems.  Speaking of problems, the Northern and Southern rebels are still around creating trouble, but readers will learn some surprising information about the rebels that may change the fate of the country.  There are lots of plot twists here to keep readers on the edge of theirs seats, too.

This title ties up all the loose ends neatly, with a satisfying conclusion.  I highly recommend this to fans of the series’ first two installments.  Fan of dystopias and romances will also enjoy the fast-paced story.

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The Program by Suzanne Young

program

The Program by Suzanne Young

In a slightly future world, seventeen-year-old Sloane Barstow’s brother has recently become part of the teen suicide epidemic that has been frightening parents and young people worldwide.  An local mental health institute has developed “The Program,” which depressed teens are sent to for six week treatments. However,  even though they are no longer depressed, they come back without many of the memories of their past lives, making it a terrifying option.  When Sloane’s brother kills himself, her parents and the school start watching her every move to make sure she doesn’t become depressed and try the same thing.  Her boyfriend James is the only thing holding her together, but when he starts to get sad, she is barely able to get herself to school.  They both end up in The Program, but at different locations.  As she goes through the treatment, Sloane  struggles to hold on to her memories and her sanity.

This chilling story felt very realistic to me.  The main characters were well-drawn, and the plot  moved forward in a way that wasn’t too predictable.  I would recommend this to teens who are fans of dystopias and science fiction.  Readers of the Hunger Games , the Delirium series and the Divergent books will be huge fans.

hunger triology          delirium          divergent

 

 

 

Proxy by Alex London

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Proxy by Alex London

In a future post-apocalyptic Earth, the haves and have-nots are separated by an even greater margin than they are today.  There are basically two classes of people: the wealthy and the impoverished.  Syd is poor, lives in a decrepit slum and is the spoiled Knox’s Proxy.  In other words, whenever Knox gets into trouble (which is often), Syd is punished.  Supposedly Syd will be able to pay off his debt this way and become free, but he’s not holding his breath.  When Knox crashes one of his father’s company car killing the girl with him, Syd is sentenced to death and branded with the girl’s name on his arm.  What Syd and Knox discover is the only way to save themselves is to fight the tyrannical government.  The rest of the story is a lightening-paced action story, with the boys sometimes just a step ahead of the government’s elite Guardian police forces.

This book was a total wild ride that I completely enjoyed.  The theme of technology was woven thoughtfully , and I also appreciated that writer London had gay characters without making their sexuality a big deal.  I highly recommend this book to dystopia and science fiction fans, and readers who enjoy action movies.

We have the second book in the series on order.

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