Tag: Dystopia

Release Day Review: The Hive

Authors: Barry Lyga & Morgan Baden
Published: Today, September 3, 2019
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 26-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Cassie McKinney has always believed in the Hive.

Social media used to be out of control, after all. People were torn apart by trolls and doxxers. Even hackers – like Cassie’s dad – were powerless against it.

But then the Hive came. A better way to sanction people for what they do online. Cause trouble, get too many “condemns,” and a crowd can come after you, teach you a lesson in real life. It’s safer, fairer and perfectly legal.

Entering her senior year of high school, filled with grief over an unexpected loss, Cassie is primed to lash out. Egged on by new friends, she makes an edgy joke online. Cassie doubts anyone will notice. But the Hive notices everything. And as her viral comment whips an entire country into a frenzy, the Hive demands retribution. One moment Cassie is anonymous; the next, she’s infamous. And running for her life.

With nowhere to turn, she must learn to rely on herself – and a group of Hive outcasts who may not be reliable – as she slowly uncovers the truth about the machine behind the Hive.

New York Times bestselling authors Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden have teamed up for the first time to create a novel that’s gripping, terrifying and more relevant every day, based on a story proposal by Jennifer Beals and Tom Jacobson.

Jessica’s Review:

Social media is everywhere and just about everyone is a part of it.  Imagine we are in a United States where you are required to be on social media once you reach 13 years old and anything you say can have consequences (Likes, Dislikes, Condemns). The more Condemns you receive the greater your chances are to have Hive Justice carried out against you by anyone and everyone in a serious way.  And the police cannot stop the mob mentality because it is all legal. 

Although The Hive started a bit slow for me (the introduction to Hive, BLINQ, and Cassie being in high school) it was all necessary to the buildup of the joke that Cassie made that cause her to go viral. BLINQ is a government owned social media that connects all forms of social media together. My opinion is that BLINQ is a bit like ‘Twitter on crack’. Cassie is an angry girl experiencing some grief and she transfers to a new school her senior year.  The beginning is a bit like Mean Girls and some typical high school drama of Cassie trying to figure out where to fit in. 

Once Cassie’s joke goes viral the novel really starts moving and doesn’t stop until the end.  I could not put the novel down and read it in just a few days.  It’s hard to fathom that people want to go out and find Cassie and hurt her (or worse) because of a tasteless joke.  It is definitely a mob mentality/vigilante justice. Forget the fact that she is just a kid, people just want to do what they can do without legal repercussions, not even knowing the whole situation. They just want to kill because they can. 

There are some political overtones to the novel. Normally, I cannot stand that in novels, but with this particular subject matter, the politics are necessary.  The Hive is also be a coming of age type novel as Cassie grew on me showing her growth and maturity she reaches as the novel progresses.  The Hive is definitely relevant to our society today.  So much is done online now that it seems more important than ‘real life’.  Maybe real life is actually our online life…. The Hive definitely shows how anything we say or do has consequences (both positive and negative). We really should think about what we are about to say or do. 

I was personally hoping for a different ending, something that shows how truly evil and damaging the Hive and BLINQ are to this society. Being this is a young adult novel, maybe that was the case for the ending we received.

The Hive is a novel everyone 14+ should read ( I say 14+ as there is foul language used throughout the novel, mainly the ‘f-word’).  The Hive will leave you thinking about social media and where we are heading with it.  How much do YOU share online, and could something you say or do cause you to receive a ‘Hive Alert’?

Many thanks to the publisher KCP Loft for sending me an arc copy. It was a pleasure to read and review.    

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Sunday Series Review: When Tomorrow Calls Boxset by JT Lawrence

Today the Sunday Series Review is back and today Kim reviews the When Tomorrow Calls boxset on Audible by JT Lawrence.  We originally meant for this to be a Double Review, but I have not listened to it and I did not want Kim’s review to wait anymore since we were sent this copy by the author herself. Once I listen to the books, I will share the reviews with you! (Mine may be individual reviews.)

Books in the Series:
Why You Were Taken

How We Found You
What Have We Done


Why You Were Taken
Published: February 23, 2017
408 Pages

Imagine discovering your murdered parents were really your abductors. Then you find out you’re on the hit list. In tomorrow’s world, a troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a wafer key and is later found dead. Was she just another victim of the Suicide Contagion, or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten on a chase to the Doomsday Seed Vault and a hit list of seven people … and her barcode is on it.

How We Found You
Published: May 18, 2017
489 Pages

Would you sacrifice your son to save your daughter? There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old-fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice?

What Have We Done
Published: October 23, 2017
550 Pages

In tomorrow’s world where the edges blur between addictive virtual reality and real life, would you hurt your daughter if it was the only way to set her free?

When gaming junkie Silver doesn’t make it home on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Kate and Keke go out to find her. It’s a treacherous journey navigating a city in the midst of a flash civil war. Shrouded in electrosmog and panic, it’s been taken over by vigilante bot hunters as a violent AI uprising puts everyone Kate loves in danger, especially Mally and his anthrobot girlfriend. 

Suicide Agent Zack’s in trouble. After a charade of a trial he’s sentenced to hard labour at SkyRest, the most controversial penal labour colony in the country. He’s shocked by what he finds there, deep underground, but the more he resists it, the more they brainbleach him into submission. If he doesn’t find his way, he’ll never be able to tell Kate what he needs to tell her. Which is a problem, because it’s the whole reason he exists.

With the Doomsday Prophecy looming large, Kate discovers there are forces at play she’d never guess at, and much more at stake than just her or her children’s lives. What she’ll need to do to keep everyone safe will stretch her beyond every hard limit.

Will Kate play the game?

Cyberpunk meets the robopocalypse on the edge of litRPG in this dark dystopian thriller. Jack in and get ready for a headsplosion with this third book in the riveting series When Tomorrow Calls.

Ready? Your next addiction starts now.


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review of the Series:

I received this series for free on Audible in exchange for an honest review. I listened to all three books. I really enjoyed the first book. It’s unique and I liked the narrator a lot. I fell in love with Seth very quickly and although Kirsten wasn’t my favorite character, I cared about what happened to her. Keke was easily one of the best characters in the series. The futuristic world of Johannesburg with all the cool tech was well developed and I wouldn’t mind visiting someday! The ending came out of nowhere and when I finished, I couldn’t wait to move on to the next book.

Book two wasn’t as good as the first, mainly because of Kirsten, now called Kate. She was whiny through the whole book! Seth and Keke were still strong and the story was engaging. I found the religious conspiracy interesting, though not really unique. The ending was strong, but I wasn’t sure what more needed to be said.

Book three is the weakest of the series, and honestly, I don’t think the series needed it. The ending is what really disappointed me. It was weird and completely unconnected to the rest of the series. Overall, I really liked books one and two, and didn’t like book three.

A good series and I think fans of sci-fi and futuristic fiction would enjoy it!


Once you have finished the series…There is more! JT Lawrence has written more:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
Published: March 16, 2018
193 Pages

Joni is a state surrogate: young, bright, and most importantly: fertile.

… and someone wants her dead.

Keke is a smart, sexy biker; a renegade with a hunger for justice. She won’t stop until she exposes the truth, even it means putting her life in danger. Will Keke’s reckless ambition help the state surrogates, or harm them?

Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, Never Let Me Go and Mr Robot.

Keke’s story is waiting for you.

The Stepford Florist (short novel)
Published:
October 21, 2017

78 Pages

Jasmine is arrested for performing a bootleg vampire facelift in her modded-out steampunk caravan.

She’s thrilled, because it’s worked out exactly as she planned.

Jasmine has mastered moonlighting. She’s a steampunk inventor, a cosmetician, and a gene-hacking florist. And then there’s her real job: exposing evil corps and dodgy clinics.

When Jasmine, the head of Alba—an underground biopunk organisation—is tipped off that something morally dubious is happening at the city’s most luxurious high-tech spa, she takes it upon herself to investigate, and discovers a whole lot more than she bargained for.

(Warning: Contains colorful language and sex.)

This short novel is set in the near-future ‘When Tomorrow Calls’ world, and introduces Jasmine, Seth and Keke, just before we meet Kirsten, the kick-ass main character in ‘Why You Were Taken’.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

Amazon UK:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

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Jessica’s Thoughts on Thunderhead

Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: January 9, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29-June 14, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

Jessica’s Review:

It is all Kim’s fault that I read Scythe and Thunderhead. It was her review of Scythe that piqued my curiosity of the series.  I listened to both novels on audio and love the narration. My review of Scythe is here.

Thunderhead picks up where Scythe left off and it just keeps the story going. All your favorite scythes as well as hated scythes are back for the continuation and a few more characters become important to the story as Thunderhead continues. There will be a third book in the series (possibly being released next year) titled The Toll and I cannot wait to read it! This is a series where you finish the first book then you MUST have the next book. These books are that addicting. Shusterman has created a fabulous future with the Scythe series that really causes you to ponder and debate.

There are several jaw dropping events that happening and I won’t even begin to go into the climax of the novel other than to say this: I wish I had The Toll  to read now! Shusterman really knows how to keep you hanging and needing more!

Thunderhead is very highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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