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The Ministry of Truth by Dorian Lynskey

An authoritative, wide-ranging and incredibly timely history of 1984 — its literary sources, its composition by Orwell, its deep and lasting effect on the Cold War, and its vast influence throughout world culture at every level, from high to pop.

Nineteen Eighty Four isn’t just a novel; it’s a key to understanding the modern world. George Orwell’s final work is a treasure chest of ideas and memes — Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5 — that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a bestseller (“Ministry of Alternative Facts,” anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels (The Handmaid’s Tale), films (Brazil), television shows (V for Vendetta), rock albums (Diamond Dogs), commercials (Apple), even reality TV (Big Brother). The Ministry of Truth is the first book that fully examines the epochal and cultural event that is 1984 in all its aspects: its roots in the utopian and dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Great Britain that Orwell drew upon as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political and cultural phenomenon that the novel ignited at once upon publication and which far from subsiding, has only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction and how fiction explains history.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

Be advised – if you loved 1984 you will also love the many companion works cited in THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH. 1984 was well-known and influential, but it was just one among many dystopian/utopian works during Orwell’s life. The author has definitely done his research and it shows. The beginning is heavy with politics, then smooths out about 20% in with excellent compare and contrast of HG Wells, Orwell, and Aldous Huxley.

Orwell admired Brave New World, up to a point. He had fond memories of being taught by Huxley at Eton in 1918; a classmate claimed Huxley had given Orwell a “taste for words and their accurate and significant use”. However, [Orwell] was unconvinced by Brave New World’s tyranny of gratification. He notes that there was no “power-hunger, no sadism, no hardness of any kind. (E)veryone is happy in a vacuous way….it is difficult to believe that such a society could endure”.

The author goes on to note that 1984 and BNW overlap in one area: the status of the proles, then provides more compare/contrast dialogue. This is what makes the book shine – thoughtful and erudite treatment of multiple dystopian works and the ways they matter.

Other authors whose history is intermingled with Orwell’s are included in this book. We will learn more about Yevgeny Zamyatin (who Orwell was accused of plagiarizing), Ayn Rand, and Jimmy Burnham. The movie THX1138 and Animal Farm are also discussed at length. Each of these chapters add another layer explaining the genius of the tortured and driven Orwell. As the book progresses, the politics and descriptions of war-torn London do so as well. Finally,  as the tubercular Orwell languishes in bed, post-war London starts its progression forward.

The second portion of the book brings 1984 into pop culture, and how the book affected music, movies, stagflation, and politics. Author Anthony Burgess compares his own blockbuster novel, A Clockwork Orange, to 1984 and shares his thoughts about Orwell. Time moves forward into the ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s, with politics continuing to be at the forefront. McCarthyism rears its ugly head, if only for a moment. It is amazing how the author is able to use 1984 as the center of everything – this novel was much more influential than anyone could guess.

Altogether, this book is layered with anecdotes, political views, comparison, and original thoughts. If you are a fan of Orwell, you will adore this book. I certainly gained a new view of both Animal Farm and 1984 and plan to go back to re-read both. You can pick up your copy of THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH here.

REVOLT by Tracy Lawson

The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series     

To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.

Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant surveillance under the guise of protecting them.

Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.

Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen? Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their fears aside and demand freedom?

Thanks to author Tracy Lawson,  GTB was lucky to score an interview with one of the main characters of REVOLT! Here is her story:

When we first meet Careen Catecher of the Resistance Series, she’s a first-semester college freshman at a prestigious university. But in Careen’s world, most of the freedoms that today’s young adults enjoy have been curtailed, in the name of preventing terrorist attacks. The Civilian Restrictions that have been in place nearly all of Careen’s life forbid people to gather in public places. Cash has been eliminated, and any buying or selling of items between individuals is not permitted. Only a select few, mostly high-ranking government workers, are granted driving privileges, and even grocery stores have been outlawed to protect the food supply from being tainted. Yet somehow, the OCSD’s efforts haven’t worked. As the story opens, the OCSD makes the public aware of a looming threat that will change Careen’s life forever.

Careen is at the center of the action in Counteract, Resist, Ignite, and now Revolt, the fourth and final book in the Resistance Series. She’s answered some questions about how she went from scholarship student to freedom fighter.

 

 

1) What was it like growing up under the OCSD’s Restrictions? In my earliest memories, I’d have to guess that my life wasn’t all that different from anyone else’s. We weren’t rich, but no one in our neighborhood was. My parents owned a café. I can remember when the Restrictions relating to food sales went into effect, and it got harder to obtain the variety of foods they’d been used to. They had to take a lot of things off the menu, and once people were required to subscribe to meal plans through the government, hardly anyone could afford to eat out. If terrorists hadn’t bombed the plaza and destroyed the restaurant, I’m pretty sure it would have gone out of business on its own.

 

I was nine years old when it happened. My dad and I had gone over to the café, on an evening when it was closed. I don’t even remember why anymore. We were inside when the bomb went off, and by the time rescue workers found us, my dad had bled out. My childhood ended that day. After that, it was just my mom and myself, and somehow, I became the adult in the family.

 

2) Did you have a favorite toy or game when you were little? I loved books more than anything. They were my escape from my not-so-happy teen years when I didn’t fit in with my peers. I did keep one toy, a stuffed animal cat from when I was little. Dee Dat went to college with me in my duffel bag. It was the only truly personal thing I took with me when I left home.

 

3) What’s the best thing about being a member of the Resistance? I think I’m truly following my heart for the first time in my life. I understand now that a lot of my discontent stemmed from helplessness. I had learned early to hide my feelings, and I believed that the only way to get along in the world was to shut other people out and be self-centered. Just before I became aware of the Resistance, I realized that the problems that affected me were everyone’s problems—not just mine. When I had the opportunity to speak out and tell the truth, I was too angry to be afraid.

 

4) What’s the worst thing? I never got used to feeling like I was on display and recognizable—especially when Tommy and I were on the run after I was accused of a murder I didn’t commit. I was terrified of being captured by the OCSD and going to jail. When we became part of the Resistance, it was my job to reach out to the public and share our message in a series of bootleg anti-government videos. But the worst thing was when being a recognizable member of the Resistance backfired on me. Big time.

 

5) What happened? You’ll have to read the series to find out!

 

6) What do you miss about your old life? Not much. (laughs) I guess that shows how low my expectations were, doesn’t it? After my dad died, I wanted someone I could count on to take care of me. That didn’t happen, so I learned to rely on myself, and I guess I became kind of a control freak. I convinced myself that a good education and a good job were the only things that would lead me to the kind of life I wanted. So there I was, in my first semester of college, on my way to realizing my goals. When the OCSD announced the chemical weapons threat, I was afraid not to take the antidote because I couldn’t ignore the danger.

And I never went back to class. Even though my life was more out of control that it had ever been, the antidote had a kind of lulling effect, so I didn’t care.

 

7) What about romantic involvement? A relationship wasn’t part of my plan. But I can say that the heart of my story isn’t whom I choose to love, but that I choose to love, in spite of everything that’s going on in the world around me. When I first met Tommy, I didn’t want to get close to him because I thought I’d get hurt. But that changed after I got to know him. One of the things I like best about Tommy is he keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

8) So do you see a future with him? Whether we’ll end up together is pretty up in the air, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings for him. It’s so confusing, because Tommy’s hard to resist, you know? He’s cute and funny, and really charming when he wants to be. He promised to always protect me, but that was a promise he couldn’t keep. Without giving any spoilers, I can say our trust level is at an all-time low as Tommy and I head into the final book in the series. We need to work past that, and it’s difficult.

 

I can’t believe we’ve only known each other a few months. The day we met was the day of the supposed chemical weapons attack. We’d run out of the antidote that was supposed to keep us safe from the airborne poison, and I was so sure we were going to die. But he didn’t put the moves on me or invoke the “what if we die tomorrow?” cliché. Instead, we sat up late talking, getting to know each other. When we didn’t succumb to the poison, we tried to figure out why. We saw what the antidote was doing to the people who were still taking it, and we realized the real threat came from the OCSD, not the supposed terrorists.

 

After we detoxed, it was like we were the only people on earth. Everyone else, well, besides the quadrant marshals and some of the government workers, was high on the antidote. Tommy and I learned to rely on each other, and as I grew to care deeply about him, we also came to realize there was no way to escape our situation. It was only a matter of time before we ended up in jail or were forced into the civilian army. We sought comfort in each other, and to be honest, he didn’t seem to mind when I made the first move. (winks) Even though I committed my heart to Tommy that day, I’m not clingy or dependent. I can think for myself. Tommy and I don’t agree on a lot of things.

 

9) So what is happening in Revolt? Again, I can’t get into plot specifics, but the OCSD has developed the Cerberean Link, a GPS tracking and monitoring device, which they say is the ultimate tool to keep children safe. Many people think it’s another plan to control the population. I’m in a tough position because I can see both sides of the issue and understand why parents would be desperate to try and protect their children. I wish someone had been able to protect me when I was little. The Resistance is extremely opposed to sentencing innocent children to a lifetime of surveillance, and puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn Davies from her job as the OCSD director. Just when it seems like the Resistance’s plan is going to work, things spin out of control.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”099661088X” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Visit Tracy Lawson on Instagram: @tracylawsonauthor or Facebook!

REVOLT – Giveaway and Special Deals!!

Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series

Book Launch Giveaway and Special Deals!

 

“I’ve been reading this series basically since it first came out, and honestly I really still love the characters and all of their weird interactions. As the conclusion to the series, Revolt is not one of those books that gives you a neatly tied bow on a package and tells you it’s over. It has twists, turns, and you’re going to be in for yet another adventure with the Resistance crew.”

 

“So, this series that I’ve been reading since the beginning is over. What’s a girl to do? Restart from Book One, of course!”

 

Take advantage of these special deals July 17-21:

Counteract: Book One of the Resistance Series FREE!

Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series and

Ignite: Book Three of the Resistance Series for 0.99 each!

 

Can’t get enough of the Resistance Series?

Wanna know what happened the night of the car accident that changed

Tommy Bailey’s life forever?

Take advantage of this limited-time offer:

 

Get a FREE PDF of Shatter: Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance Series, which includes a gallery of the amazing artwork created for the series! This prequel will NOT be available on Amazon.

Here’s how it works:

Order Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series on Amazon for $2.99:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071S8KFML

Email your receipt to tracy@counteractbook.com, and in return you’ll receive Shatter: Tommy’s Prequel to the Resistance Series.

Spread the word!

#GetReadytoRevolt #revoltgiveaway

 

 

Exclusive Interview with Tommy Bailey (from COUNTERACT, RESIST, and IGNITE)

 

Ignite 004In 2034, Americans live in constant fear of the threat of terrorism, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has guarded the public with an ever-expanding list of Civilian Restrictions designed to increase security. There’s no social media. No one is allowed to gather in public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small, select group of adults have driving privileges. It’s a small price to pay for safety.
Despite all that, eighteen-year-old Tommy Bailey had a pretty good life, up until the summer he graduated from high school. Since then, things have been rough: he’s alone and struggling to recover from a serious injury sustained in the auto accident that killed his parents. While his friends prepare to head off to university, he’s learning to walk again.
Just when Tommy feels as though he’s regained some control over his shattered life, he wakes to the wail of a disaster siren. A chemical weapons attack is imminent, but the OCSD is ready with an antidote to the poison, which they’re providing free of charge. Three drops a day is all it takes. But is the antidote designed to protect—or is it part of the problem?

Tommy  Bailey  has  anchored  the  cast  in  Counteract,  Resist,  and  now  Ignite,  the  first   three  books  in  the  Resistance  Series.  Recently,  I  got  the  chance  to  ask  him  some   questions  about  how  he  went  from  law-­‐abiding  citizen  to  freedom  fighter:

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1)  What  was  it  like,  growing  up  under  the  strict  control  of  the  Office  of  Civilian   Safety  and  Defense?  It’s  funny  you  ask  what  it  was  like  to  grow  up  under  the   thumb  of  the  Office  of  Civilian  Safety  and  Defense.  The  OCSD  really  took  hold  in   2019,  when  I  was  only  three  years  old,  so  I’ve  never  known  what  it  was  like  to  live   without  the  Restrictions-­‐-­‐until  now.  I  guess  my  life  was  pretty  close  to  what  you’d   think  of  as  normal.  I  see  now  just  how  hard  my  mom  tried  to  shelter  me  from  what   was  really  going  on.  My  dad  was  an  attorney  and  activist  who  opposed  the  creation   of  the  OCSD  and  spoke  out  against  their  policies,  but  my  parents  didn’t  talk  about  it   at  home-­‐-­‐at  least  in  front  of  me.  I  grew  up  going  to  school  and  playing  sports.  We   lived  in  an  area  that  still  had  a  few  restaurants  and  shops,  and  now  I  understand   that  it  wasn’t  like  that  for  everyone.  I  guess  our  quadrant  had  a  lot  of  people  who   were  rich.  Our  community’s  social  status-­‐-­‐and  our  compliance  with  the  Restrictions-­‐ -­‐were  what  allowed  us  to  have  those  kinds  of  luxuries.

2)  What  games  did  you  like  to  play  as  a  child?  I  wasn’t  big  on  computer  games  or   anything.  Once  they  shut  down  access  to  the  internet,  nobody  spent  much  time  on   computers.  Football  was  always  the  thing  for  me.  When  the  OCSD  announced  they   were  phasing  out  school  sports  and  banning  spectators  in  college  and  pro  games,  my   dad  was  really  upset.  At  the  time  I  thought  it  was  because  Dad  was  hoping  I’d  play   pro  someday,  but  I  found  out  later  that  the  Restriction  wasn’t  about  keeping  people   safe  from  terrorist  attacks.  It  sounds  crazy,  but  you  gotta  understand  we  were  told   that  gathering  at  stadiums,  movie  theaters,  and  malls  made  us  potential  targets,  and   we  were  safer  viewing  and  shopping  from  our  homes.  Anyway,  Lowell  Stratford,  who  was  the  OCSD  director  at  the  time,  was  trying  to  get  my  dad  to  back  off  and  quit   speaking  out  against  the  OCSD.  Stratford  said  publicly  people  should  ‘blame  Tom   Bailey’  for  all  the  attacks  and  attention  we  were  getting  from  terrorists.  Stratford   knew  associating  my  father’s  name  with  the  taking  away  of  access  to  the   entertainment  and  sports  people  loved  would  hurt  his  cause,  and  make  him  a  less   powerful  opponent.     Luckily,  my  high  school  took  their  time  about  phasing  out  sports,  and  I  got  to  play   my  senior  year.  I  wasn’t  super-­‐motivated  to  play  college  ball,  though.  Now  I  regret  my  lack  of  motivation.  I  like  to  think  I  could’ve  contributed  to  a  team  at  that  level,   but  I  was  just  coasting  through  those  last  months  of  high  school,  ignoring  my   parents’  prodding.  Then,  that  summer  after  graduation,  everything  changed.  My   family  was  in  an  auto  accident,  and  I  lost  both  my  parents.  My  right  leg  was   mangled-­‐-­‐it  took  four  surgeries,  and  still  the  doctors  weren’t  sure  if  I’d  ever  walk   normally,  let  alone  run,  again.  Eventually  I  stopped  feeling  sorry  for  myself  and  got   into  the  physical  therapy,  and  I  was  getting  better.  I  was  on  the  verge  of  feeling  like   myself  again-­‐-­‐not  exactly  like  I  was  before,  but  you  know,  like  I  could  feel  whole   again  someday.  Then  the  chemical  weapons  threat  came  up,  and  bam.  Taking  the   antidote  killed  my  motivation.  I  quit  working  on  my  recovery.

3)  What  does  the  antidote  CSD taste  like?  The  antidote  is  bitter.  It  tastes  like   something  you  wouldn’t  take  if  you  didn’t  have  to.  Did  they  do  that  on  purpose?  To   make  us  think  it  was  like  some  kind  of  medicine,  something  we  really  needed  to  stay   safe?  If  they’d  made  it  taste  like  candy,  maybe  we  wouldn’t  have  taken  it  seriously.

4)  What  did  it  feel  like  when  you  took  the  first  dose?  When  I  took  my  first  dose,  I   was  also  on  some  heavy  pain  meds,  and  the  whole  experience  was  pretty  trippy.  I   thought  I  was  out  on  the  lake,  in  a  boat,  where  we  used  to  go  on  holiday  when  I  was   a  kid.  Other  times,  it  rained  inside  the  house.  Grass  grew  out  of  the  TV.  But  none  of   that  seemed  strange.  On  the  antidote,  you  just  kind  of  roll  with  whatever  happens  to   you.  Well,  on  Phase  One,  that  is.  Phase  Two  was  different.  Stronger.  I  don’t   remember  much  about  what  happened  when  they  upped  our  doses.  Careen  told  me   some  things  that  make  me  glad  I  was  totally  checked  out.

5)  What  is  it  like,  being  part  of  the  Resistance?  Life  in  the  Resistance?  Let’s  just   say  I  had  no  idea  what  I  was  getting  into.  I  can’t  believe  I  was  that  oblivious  to  what   was  going  on  in  the  world  around  me,  but  like  I  told  you  before,  I  never  considered   blowing  off  the  Restrictions  and  refusing  to  do  what  the  OCSD  told  us  to  do.  They   said  it  was  the  only  way  to  survive  the  chemical  weapons  attack.  The  day  Careen   and  I  ran  out  of  the  antidote  was  kind  of  the  point  of  no  return  for  both  of  us.  We   realized  we  weren’t  going  to  die;  then  we  started  to  wonder  if  we  were  the  only   ones  who’d  stopped  taking  the  antidote.  It  became  obvious  that  something  was   really  wrong  when  we  saw  what  the  antidote  was  doing  to  other  people.  Then  we   made  contact  with  the  Resistance  and  before  I  had  time  to  think,  we  were  going   along  on  a  mission  to  rescue  some  people  who’d  been  detained  for  opposing  the   OCSD’s  policies.  Things  got  a  little  messy  while  we  were  at  their  headquarters  in  the  capital.  Now,  we’re  fugitives.  We  can’t  go  back  to  being  anonymous,  even  if  we   wanted  to.

6)  What  do  you  miss  about  your  old  life?  My  old  life  seems  like  a  dream.  I  miss   playing  football  and  knowing  it’s  all  just  a  game,  not  a  matter  of  life  and  death.  I  miss   sleeping  in  and  being  lazy.  I  miss  not  worrying.  Now  I’m  watching  my  back  all  the   time,  ’cause  I’ve  realized  you  can’t  trust  anyone-­‐-­‐and  that  includes  other  members  of   the  Resistance.  I  feel  responsible  for  Careen  and  some  of  the  others.  But  I  can  handle   it.  Physically,  I’m  strong  again.  My  skills  are  needed.

 

047)  Do  you  have  any  long-­‐term  plans  with  Careen?  Careen  showed  up  on  my  front   porch  one  morning.  I’d  seen  her  around,  I  think,  and  she’d  been  in  a  couple  of  my   dreams.  She  seemed  to  have  some  connection  to  me,  too,  but  later  we  realized  she   was  being  manipulated  by  a  member  of  the  quadrant  marshals,  who  was  using  her   to  find  out  if  I  was  carrying  on  my  father’s  work  against  the  OCSD-­‐-­‐which  I  wasn’t!  The  day  we  met  was  also  the  day  we  ran  out  of  antidote.  I  remember  sitting  there   with  her,  believing  we  were  going  to  die  from  the  poison,  and  wishing  more  than   anything  that  it  was  an  ordinary  day  when  I  could  meet  a  girl  and  not  have  to  think   about  dying.  Careen’s  smart  and  brave,  and  she’s  been  through  some  rough  times;   it’s  not  easy  for  her  to  trust  anyone.  Even  though  we  stuck  together  while  we   detoxed  and  tried  to  figure  out  what  was  going  on,  she  kept  me  at  arm’s  length.  That   was  okay;  I  was  willing  to  be  patient  until  she  was  ready  to  trust  me.  Things  got  more  dangerous,  and  before  long  we  realized  there  was  no  escape  for  us.   The  Quadrant  Marshals  were  looking  for  Careen,  and  it  was  only  a  matter  of  time   before  we’d  be  arrested  and  forced  into  the  OCSD’s  civilian  army.    There  was  no   reason  not  to…um,  you  know…and  we  did.  Maybe  things  between  us  moved  too  fast,   but  that  connection  between  us  is  real.  I  think  I  love  her.  I  know  I  want  her.  We’re   still  getting  to  know  each  other;  we  don’t  always  agree,  and  yeah,  we  fight   sometimes,  and  it  ticks  me  off  that  one  of  the  other  guys  in  the  Resistance  is  trying   to  put  the  moves  on  her  when  he  knows  she’s  my  girl.  Oh-­‐-­‐but  long-­‐term?  Sure.  It’s   just  not  practical  to  plan  too  far  into  the  future.

 

8)  What’s  happening  in  Ignite?  Man,  it’s  hard  to  do  this  without  spoilers!  Right   now,  umm,  Careen  and  I  aren’t  together,  and  by  that  I  mean  we’re  not  in  the  same   location.  But  I’m  gonna  fix  that.  My  feelings  for  her  haven’t  changed.    I’m  more  determined  than  ever  to  stick  with  the  Resistance  and  overthrow  the   OCSD,  even  if  I  don’t  always  agree  with  how  other  members  of  the  Resistance   choose  to  advance  their  goals.  At  the  moment,  Jaycee,  who’s  the  daughter  of  one  of   the  Resistance  leaders,  has  stepped  up  to  fill  the  void  left  by  some  of  the  people   we’ve  lost.  She’s  awfully  young,  but  she’s  been  waiting  for  the  revolution  all  her  life.   We’re  going  to  need  everyone  in  the  Resistance  to  work  together  if  we’re  going  to  sabotage the OCSD’s latest plan to control the people.


Wonder which Resistance series character YOU are? Take this fun quiz!

 

BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAY!!

Banner with all three titles
IGNITE: BOOK THREE OF THE RESISTANCE SERIES
BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAY
“Lawson creates a clever narrative where we know, without question, that the terrorists are the enemy. But soon we realize that those truly loyal to the country must rise up against the existing powers–effectively becoming terrorists themselves.”

 

Readers call the Resistance Series books “terrifying” and “eerily believable.”
Are you ready for the adrenaline rush?

Get FREE E-BOOKS and read the story of Tommy and Careen’s fight against the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense from the very beginning!

 Here’s how it works:
Download Ignite: Book Three of the Resistance Series on July 19-20 on Amazon:
Send your receipt to tracy@counteractbook.com and in return, you’ll receive FREE downloads of Counteract and Resist, the first two books in the series!

Dissolution by Lee S Hawke

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What would you sell yourself for?

Madeline knows. She’s spent the last eighteen years impatiently waiting for her Auctioning so she can sell herself to MERCE Solutions Limited for a hundred thousand credits. But when the Auctioneer fails to call her and two suits show up at her doorstep, Madeline discovers there are far worse bargains to be made.

So when your loved ones are in danger, there’s a bounty on your head and your entire city might turn out to be a lie… what would you sell yourself for?

 

Thanks to the author for this review copy! I had reviewed her other novel, DIVISION, so when she contacted me about this one, I immediately said yes. Hawke is a master of the dystopian genre, and this book is a wonderful, thrilling, well written bit of pleasure.

Madeline is a great protagonist: a girl coming to terms with the world around her, and losing her faith in things she believed were to be true. She is strong and capable, with a clear idea of what she wants from her life.

I loved the idea of the Auction – it almost seemed like a kinder, gentler version of Brave New World. As the corporations and their culture became clearer to me, I could easily imagine the future Hawke created. As in every dystopian novel, there must be the “others” – ones who shun the way of life and the rules. Madeline comes in contact with these, known as the corpless,  after she makes her escape, leaving the door open for a sequel. She learns that what she was told about these others is false, and is unsure who to trust – after all, there is a large reward for her capture that would have someone set for life.

The only suggestion I would have for the author is to share more details about the corporations earlier in the book – it was a bit confusing to see the names like MERCE and PERCO and DRAYTH without grasping the concept that they were all separate entities with extremely limited job offerings.

Other than that, I’d like to give the author kudos for writing a YA/dystopian novel without including teen angst and romance. Sometimes the science just has to stand on its own without dragging a love interest in there. Madeline can convey all the social commentary she needs to on her own, without being a lovesick teen.

The chapter with the river really made an impact on me. The idea of a city poisoning the water supply with chemicals, whether intentional or accidentally (due to poor care of the natural resources) seems truly apocalyptic. The description of what Madeline sustained after her near drowning was intense and thought provoking.

Other futuristic details include food with no taste (unless your taste sensors are on) and the ubiquitous collar that all citizens wear. This collar is used for some nefarious purposes, as the reader will discover.

DISSOLUTION was one of my favorite books this year so far. It’s extremely well written, and more enjoyable than HUNGER GAMES. Madeline’s world is not as dark as the HG one, but pretty close.

I’m hoping that there will be a part two to this novella, so I can see what happens to Madeline, and learn the future of the corporations.

This book is a must read! Go get your copy [easyazon_link identifier=”B01DEGTLGK” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

BLOG TOUR! Resist by Tracy Lawson with Q&A

 

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When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

After their plan to rescue a group of dissenters imprisoned by the OCSD spins out of control, Tommy and Careen are on the run, dodging the quadrant marshals in a headlong dash for the remote mountain headquarters of the Resistance. Their budding relationship is tested when an attempt to spark a revolution goes awry, and the pair move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that terrorize the nation.

Will their differing viewpoints drive a wedge between them? And where does love fit in when you’re trying to overthrow the government?

 

I’m happy to be part of the official blog tour for RESIST! Tracy Lawson scored a hit with her first book in the Resistance Series, and the much awaited Book 2 just came out August 4th. Here is an exclusive Q&A with the author:

  1. Can you give us a brief summary of your first two books?

QUICK SUMMARY OF COUNTERACT:

The Resistance Series takes place in a near-future version of the United States. The powerful Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has enacted a long list of Civilian Restrictions designed to keep the people safe from frequent terrorist attacks, but it hasn’t worked: as the story opens, the threat of a chemical weapons attack is literally hanging over everyone’s heads.

Careen takes the OCSD’s offered antidote, but the side effects cause her to hallucinate. Her erratic behavior attracts the attention of a young law enforcement officer, who mistakenly pegs her as a dissident. Careen doesn’t realize the antidote is causing her confusion…until she runs out on the day of the anticipated attack.

Tommy, recuperating from injuries sustained in a recent auto accident, is unaware that there’s a link between that accident, which killed his parents, and the chemical weapons attack that threatens him now. When he discovers that working out before he takes his dose of the antidote helps him feel more like himself, he defies the rules to regain his strength and his sanity. On the day of the attack, he meets Careen, who just might be the girl of his dreams, and tries to save her by sharing his last dose of the antidote, even though doing so could potentially hasten his own death.

What Careen and Tommy learn about the true nature of the terrorist threat spurs them to take action; their decisions lead them to run afoul of local law enforcement, team up with an underground resistance group, and ultimately take their quest for the truth to the highest reaches of the United States government.

QUICK SUMMARY OF RESIST:

In Resist, the second volume in the Resistance Series, Tommy and Careen are no longer naïve, frightened teenagers who believe the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense can protect them from terrorist attacks. They’ve discovered the OCSD’s miracle antidote’s true purpose: to create a population bereft of free will, incapable of defying the tyrannical OCSD. They join the Resistance, but on their first mission, things spin out of control and soon they’re on the run, dodging the quadrant marshals in a headlong dash for the Resistance’s secret headquarters.

Being part of the Resistance presents them with new challenges. Not everyone working for change will prove trustworthy, and plans to spark revolution go awry with consequences greater than they could’ve imagined. Tommy and Careen’s relationship is tested when their philosophical differences and the pressures of interpersonal rivalries and jealousy put a strain on their romance. Can they make time for each other while trying to start a revolution?

 

  1. What was the inspiration behind The Resistance Series?

I was mentoring a friend of my daughter’s when the initial idea for Counteract came about. Chase is a pretty sharp guy and an excellent writer—and when he was in high school I had a lot of fun working with him and editing some of his short stories. We had finished working on a story about baseball, a broken nose, and a broken heart, and were ready to start something new, when he suggested we write scenes in response to the prompt: “What if everyone were on LSD and all thoughts were communal?” It was certainly thought provoking! Chase created the characters Tommy and Eduardo, I created Careen, and right away, we knew we were onto something. Obviously, the story morphed and changed a lot before it became the finished version of Counteract—but that was how it all began.

 

  1. Did you always plan to write another book in the series?

I let my husband read the first draft of Counteract when I was about a third of the way through the original outline. He was enthusiastic and supportive and suggested developing a story line that could be carried forward if I chose to make Counteract the first in a series.

I liked the idea of doing more than one book about Tommy and Careen, and as I wrote the rest of the first draft, I pinpointed elements of the story I’d need to develop and expand to pave the way for a series.

 

  1. How do the characters of Tommy and Careen develop in Resist?

Tommy and Careen are law-abiding citizens until they accidentally discover that the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense lied about the terrorist attack and why it mandated the use of the Counteractive System of Defense drug. They go from being accepting and compliant to impulsively joining a rebel group that’s working to overthrow the oppressive government agency, without having a chance to think about what they’re doing and why.

They’ve only known each other for a week, and their relationship has progressed far too quickly—they became a team, then a couple, without really getting to know each other, and soon they realize they don’t have much in common.

Tommy’s all for the physical aspects of revolution, and is eager to learn about guns and explosives. Careen finds kindred spirits among the older leaders of the group, who are committed to sway the public’s allegiance away from the OCSD by waging a war of information. Her pacifistic approach clashes with his need to prove himself on the field of battle, and further complicates their partnership.

 

  1. What do you enjoy about this series that cannot be found in any of your other books?

The Resistance Series is my first published fiction. My other book, Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, is based on a journal kept by my great-great-great grandfather during his family’s 1838 horse and wagon trip from Cincinnati to New York City.

I did a ton of research before writing that book, and amassed two filing cabinet drawers full of information related to the 22-page journal! During the publication process, I nearly went crazy double-checking all my facts and citations, and by the time the book went to print, I never wanted to see another footnote. Fiction? Yes, please!

Now that I’ve had a little break from footnotes, I’m enjoying writing another nonfiction history book. I’m planning to merge my two favorite genres and write some YA historical fiction sometime after I finish the Resistance Series.

 

  1. The main characters in The Resistance Series are Tommy and Careen. Where did you find your inspiration for them?

My characters are a little bit of me, and little bits of people around me, but as I spend time with them in the context of the story, they become less like people in the real world; I don’t stop developing them until they are individuals: unique and unlike anyone else.

Chase created Tommy, and at first I wasn’t as close to him as I was Careen. That changed as I wrote more scenes for Tommy—especially the scene when he and Careen meet. His reactions and his choices came from inside me; before long, he was unique and independent of any outside influence.

 

  1. How does the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense (OCSD) differ from other dystopian governments in young adult series like The Hunger Games and Divergent?

In the Resistance Series, there has been no rebellion, no cataclysmic event. The dystopian world in which they live has been created by fear, engineered by an enemy masquerading as a protector.
The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense was created to protect against the rampant terrorism that has affected the nation for the better part of the twenty-first century. Little by little, the OCSD usurped power from the traditional three branches of the US government.

The OCSD’s long list of Civilian Restrictions was designed to maximize safety and security. Most people don’t consider themselves oppressed or fettered by their lack of freedom. Teenagers like Tommy and Careen don’t know things were ever different. They can’t remember a time when teenagers learned how to drive and went on dates to malls and movie theaters.

 

  1. What elements test the relationship between Tommy and Careen in Resist?

Tommy and Careen had only each other to rely on in Counteract, and their relationship progressed quickly—perhaps a little too quickly.

Now they’ve joined the Resistance, and they’re part of a community for the first time. They have a hard time adjusting to the constant scrutiny, and Tommy laments about how their relationship seemed a lot less complicated when they were alone.

Their philosophical differences about how to fight the OCSD drive a wedge between them, and interpersonal rivalries and jealousy test their budding relationship.

 

  1. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want readers enjoy the story! I hope they relate to Tommy and Careen, and look forward to reading the next installment in the series.

Books for young adults often reflect the reader’s need to question authority and rebel against the rules set down by older generations; the Resistance Series looks at what can happen when people surrender our civil liberties in exchange for the promise of safety and security.

I hope readers understand that protagonists in dystopian books are often branded as outcasts or rebels because they question the restrictive rules of their societies—and that individuals who change the world rarely do so by going along with the herd.

 

  1. What kind of research did you do for the series?

Please don’t call the police if you see what’s in my browser history! I’ve Googled the effects of various controlled substances, different types of explosives, and interrogation techniques.

I learned to shoot a handgun so that my characters’ first experiences with weapons would be authentic. At first it was scary, but now I enjoy going to the target range. I’m no Annie Oakley yet, but I’m at least as good as Scarlett O’Hara, who once saucily told Rhett Butler, “I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.”

 

  1. What made you want to write books for young readers?

I love reading YA, and I taught dance classes for twenty years before I got serious about writing. I spent a lot of time around my students, my daughter, and her friends, so it seemed natural to write for a teen audience.

 

  1. How long did it take you to write Resist?

I wrote Resist in a little over a year. It went a lot faster than Counteract (which took almost three years) because I knew the characters well and had planned ways to continue the story into the second book.

 

  1. Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I like to write with pen and paper—preferably outside. I sit quietly until one of the characters starts to speak, and then I write down what they say. Some days I’ll scribble for pages and pages, and when I look at the clock I’ll be surprised how much time has flown by! I usually let those pages sit for at least a few hours, sometimes a few days, before I transcribe them into the computer, and that’s where the scenes really begin to take shape.

As far as writing snacks go, I’m partial to sunflower seeds and Diet Dr Pepper!

 

  1. What does your family think of your writing?

My family has been very supportive. My husband knows how to urge me on when I get discouraged, and my daughter says I’m a better choreographer now that I’ve become an author. I guess writing helped me refine how to advance a story through dance.

I haven’t shared much about what happens in Resist with my family. My five teenaged nieces can’t wait to read it, and I can’t wait to hear what they think!

 

  1. Tell us where we can find your book and more information about you.

My books are available on Amazon.com (click [easyazon_link identifier=”B00Y7848C2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link]) in paperback and Kindle, and on Barnes & Noble’s online store. If you live near Columbus, Ohio, you can buy signed copies of my books at three independent stores: The Book Loft of German Village, Mary B’s, and Urban Emporium.

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You can get the behind-the-scenes scoop on all things Resistance Series, see book trailers, and check out my blog at http://counteractbook.com. You can also find me on Twitter @TracySLawson and on Instagram as TracyLawsonAuthor.

 

 

 

 

Ultraxenopia by M.A. Phipps

 

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In a society where oppression and conformity rule the masses and the slightest unusual behavior could be seen as treasonous, Wynter Reeves would do just about anything to ensure she isn’t noticed. However, when she begins to show symptoms of a rare and debilitating illness, she unwillingly attracts the attention of the State—in particular, the feared research facility known as the DSD. Through them she learns of the true nature of her condition, a disease known only as Ultraxenopia.

 

Thanks to the author for offering this book in exchange for a review!

This book is dark and unsettling, especially in the description of Wynter’s seizures and how much pain she is in during one of her episodes. She is kept unaware of what her true purpose is and used by the research facility to try to discover how the world ends.

When she ends up in the outside world, she is understandably naive and unsure of how she fits in. The author does a nice job of conveying her doubt and confusion, while painting a dystopian world with an underground community trying to fend for themselves. There is a love interest, which adds to Wynter’s dilemma but should be a big hit with the YA audience.

I found the medical and hospital settings the most interesting to me, as this is a new addition to the whole dystopian theme. Wynter is a strong girl and the author creates her character as one who develops character as the book goes on, with elements of suspense that will keep readers wondering what will happen next. Wynter has some hard choices to make and she struggles with them, just as an ordinary teen would. She experiences betrayal and hurt in some very well written scenes, and I felt my emotions stirred as I started to realize what was happening to her. So much responsibility heaped on a person!

This is book 1 of a trilogy, following the patterns of many dystopian works. The ending of the book is the obligatory cliffhanger, guaranteed to keep you waiting for book 2. I for one can’t believe what the author has Wynter do at the end….but that’s the idea. According to many positive reviews out there, a lot of people are invested in this series and are waiting anxiously for the next one. I’d love to see how Phipps can build on this popular story.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”0993217702″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall PLUS GIVEAWAY!

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Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, that’s what she thinks.
Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead. But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.

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The office of Matron is the highest a girl can aspire to—but Bethanie learns that she is just a puppet of the government. Darkly manipulative and suspenseful, MATRONLY DUTIES is a book about learning to trust and learning to love.

Parts of this book reminded me of BREEDER by KB Hoyle. However, the government in this book is more threatening and controlling, and the romance aspect is detailed thoroughly, with quite a bit of love scenes. At times these scenes slowed down the action, but I can understand why the author created the plot this way; to develop Bethanie’s growing feelings and to show the reader how she is growing as a person who thinks for herself.

There are close calls as the renegades are hunted by the government, and moments when we are unsure if Howard will come back alive. The world that Kendall creates is bleak and delightfully dystopian, with rules in place that control childbirth and love. Sex is viewed as “fornication” and taboo, and we see how Bethanie goes from prim and proper Matron, to a girl who falls in love, the old fashioned way. I found myself cheering for the family of Traditionalists who help Bethanie learn what life really means.  They were truly an oasis for the struggling girl, losing sight of everything she believed in for so many years.

I felt that there could have been a bit more character development when it came to Bethanie’s office mates–her bodyguard and secretary. She seemed to trust them without question, and I waited for them to double cross her as she shared all her thoughts and hopes with them. No spoilers here–read the book to see how it all ends!

A fairly solid outing from Melissa Kendall, MATRONLY DUTIES is a quick read, one that will make you think about figureheads and the sacrifices they may have made to be where they are.

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Want to enter the giveaway?

 

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2 TWCS-Blog-Tour-Banner Thanks to The Writer’s Coffee Shop for offering this book to me!

Want your own copy? You can pick it up here.

You can also visit the author’s page here.

MKendall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breeder by KB Hoyle (plus GIVEAWAY!)

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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review. Check out the bottom of this post after you have read my review and enter a giveaway for signed copies of Breeder!

 

Review

I love a good dystopian story, and Breeder did not disappoint. The first part, when Seventeen/Pria was living in the Sanctuary, reminded me of Brave New World/The Giver/1984. The second part reminded me of the Matrix movies, when they were living underground.

Breeder is set in the future, where the Unified World Order has set rules for everyone to live by, rules for propagation of the human race, and specific boundaries that everyone abide by. Only the genetically perfect can Breed, and they are considered “better” than others and treated as such. Breeders live in Sanctuary, and their duty is to Carry and create life. Their routine is carefully planned out, their diet and vitamins meticulously calculated, and as Seventeen/Pria tells herself, “My life is perfect”.

One day, as she is waking up from an unknown procedure, she comes in contact with an Enforcer, who asks her what her name is. This is forbidden, and she is suspicious. However, she is unsure if she dreamed this, since the Enforcer (whose name is Pax) is a man, and there are no men allowed inside Sanctuary. As time goes by, she becomes depressed and wonders when she will be able to Carry again. (Conjecture: her unknown procedure was an abortion and she is having an emotional reaction due to abrupt hormonal changes.) The encounter with Pax stays with her, and she is naturally curious – a trait discouraged in Sanctuary. She asks questions here and there, and this comes to the attention of Mother, the leader of Sanctuary and the Breeding Program. Seventeen/Pria must fight for her life, as the world that she knows and loves turns against her.

The second part of the book take place in a desolate, hostile environment, and there is suspense and some great characters to hate. Pria (no longer Seventeen) finds herself reviled by some and viewed as a means to an end by others. As her knowledge of what the UWO has done, she becomes confused and realizes just how naive she has been. It takes a really long time for her character to develop, but Pria truly comes into her own towards the end.

There is also a twist that I didn’t see coming, that made my jaw drop. It may be a cliche, but it was well utilized to further the story. No spoilers here–you need to read it for yourself.

The story seemed to be coming to an abrupt ending, and just as I was wondering how things were going to wind up, I found out that it was a cliffhanger and this is the first book in a trilogy.  AAAUUGGHHH! I’m not a big fan of the “multiple books” thing that is prevalent now, but this is no knock against the author. I’m not hating the player, just the game. Apparently I, along with a lot of Hoyle’s fan base, will be anxiously awaiting Criminal, the second book.

There really wasn’t anything to dislike about Breeder: the characters were multi layered, the dystopian world well thought out and described to a T, and almost all of the scenes were believable. This is not an overly scientific novel, and is a smooth read.

Here is an excerpt; Pax and Pria are on the run and have found a hiding place. Night has arrived and they are working out a plan for keeping watch overnight:

Silence, heavy and thick, falls between us. Awkwardness seems to creep up at unexpected times, and I wonder if it is always this way between women and men. I never felt awkward with any of my sisters, but whatever this is between Pax and me has a different feel to it.

“Anyway,” he says. “I sat against the wall over there.” He nods to an intact wall dividing the cabin into two spaces. “It’s not the warmest spot, but it gives you a good view of the access points without making you visible from the outside. Take this.” He hands me the Enforcer helmet.

“Okay.” I pick my way around the broken-down furniture and dried leaves. “So I just . . . sit and watch?”

“Keep your weapon ready,” he says. “If anything comes along, crawl over here and wake me up. But don’t worry—dawn is only a few hours off. I never saw anything other than a band of mule deer.”

I nod and settle against the wall, putting the helmet on so I can see. Pax lies down on his back right where I slept and falls almost immediately asleep. I watch his green-tinted chest rise and fall for several minutes before I remember I’m supposed to be watching the “access points,” as Pax called them.

Jagged shards of glass poke out from around the edges of the windows. The doorway gapes at me, a dark yawning hole that looks ominous even in the green glow of the helmet visor. A set of glowing green eyes outlined by a furry form with pointed ears stops outside the cabin and looks at me. Another coyote. I train my Air-5 on it and hold my breath, but it loses interest and moves on, its nose to the ground. I let out my breath. Hopefully that will be all the wildlife I see tonight.

Pax was right, it isn’t the warmest spot, but the cold air actually helps me to stay awake. Temperature, along with food and sleep, was highly regulated in Sanctuary so we never had to feel uncomfortable. As I think longingly about my warm bed in the dormitory, my head grows heavy and nods toward my chest. I jerk upright and stand to pace. I wonder how much time has passed.

Pax doesn’t even stir once in his sleep, but his eyes move beneath his eyelids. He must be having vivid dreams, like me. I suppose if his life has been as tumultuous as he’s painted it, he must have plenty to haunt his dreams.

How did I get here, pacing in the dark and cold in a structure well over a hundred years old with a weapon in my hand and meat in my stomach?

Just thinking about my stomach makes it growl, and I look around for the cook pot. It’s sitting on the hearth next to the embers of the fire, and I hope it’s still a little warm.

I pick my way over to it, stepping over Pax’s legs to reach it. Then I squat and lift the pot to my lips, testing the heat of the metal against them before taking a drink. It’s cool enough to touch, and I take several sips. The meaty flavor is still strange, but somehow satisfying.

Pax grabs my ankle, and I jump, spilling the broth.

“I’m . . . fifteen,” he says. “Fifteen . . .”

His eyes are closed and roving around beneath his freckled lids, making his golden lashes dance. I think he’s talking in his sleep.

“I know,” I say. “You told me you’re Enforcer Fifteen.”

“Fifteen,” he mumbles again. “Is . . . my . . . number.” His grip relaxes and his hand falls to the floor.

I let out a careful breath and carry what remains of the broth back to my spot against the wall. I’m not sure what that was all about, but I’d rather be out of his reach for now.

Want your own copy?  Click [easyazon_link asin=”B00PCDTM9A” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”default” localization=”yes” popups=”yes”]here[/easyazon_link]! Also, enter the contest below for a chance to win any of a bunch of great Breeder-related prizes!

Release Date: December 11 , 2014
Genre: Fiction: Dystopian
ISBN e-book:   978-1-61213-292-1
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH
 ~~SUMMARY~~
Breeder-3D-Full-Cover-Paperback-2
Everything about Seventeen’s life is perfect, from her genetics, to her home in Sanctuary, to her status as a Breeder in the Unified World Order. But all that changes when she meets a rogue Enforcer named Pax, who infiltrates Sanctuary and targets her for extraction from the Controlled Repopulation Program. Pax seems to know a little too much about her, and he plants dangerous doubts in her mind that accuse Sanctuary of hiding a dark secret, and that cause Seventeen to question everything she’s ever known.
When Seventeen’s life is threatened, she has little choice but to run away from Sanctuary with Pax. But for Breeders, contact with men is forbidden by law, and even the simple act of taking Pax’s hand is treason.
Mired in confusion, Seventeen travels with Pax to the outside world and takes the name Pria, the identity of her childhood. But she is far from certain she’s made the right decision when they discover an entire community of people who should no longer exist.
Seventeen, now Pria, is thrust into a position as a key player in a dangerous bid to bring down the Unified World Order. Meanwhile, Pax’s attachment to her and her growing attraction to him contribute to the ever-growing mysteries in her life.
Pria’s journey from a sheltered, naïve Breeder to a rebel agent requires not only external transformation but self-discovery. As her world crumbles, Pria must decide who she is and what she really believes.
But the truth comes at a cost, and uncovering it will require a greater treason than she could ever have imagined.
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
kb_hoyle
K.B. Hoyle is a bestselling author, a public speaker, a creative writing instructor, and a classical history teacher who uses her knowledge of the ancient and medieval worlds to pen speculative and fantasy tales for people of all ages. She has been married since the age of twenty to the love of her life, with whom she has four wonderful children. Find out more about her at www.kbhoyle.com.
 ~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~
Praise for Breeder
"Breeder was anything but a let down. The characters were extremely well written, making me able to empathize with Pria and Pax and the situation they find themselves in. I kept turning the pages because I just had to find out what happened to these people and, to my shock, finished the book in a day! "  - Angela  Goodreads Review
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