Reviews :: Book Genre :: Dystopian SF

This archive contains links to all of the Dystopian Science Fiction Book Reviews we've written over the years. You like the Dystopian SF? Us too. If it's good. If you've come here looking for something in that realm, you're in luck! We just happen to have more than a few suggestions lying around the place waiting for your perusal.

If you're looking for something else, say a book in another genre or maybe just any book that we happened to think was awesome-sauce, browse around the site for a bit and check out our reviews.

Just don't forget to let us know what you thought of a book you've read or if there's a suggestion you have for something we'd like to read! We're always looking for a way to keep our inner hero from breaking out all the time and telling us that the future is our oyster.

Review

Vigilance

Vigilance

I recently found a rash of novellas at my local library from authors that I enjoy reading, and I picked up a few of them. This is the first of those, and was likely the one I was second most excited about to read. Robert Jackson Bennett has been a favorite of mine ever since I stumbled across his Divine Cities series (EBR Archive), and so picking this one up was a no-brainer.
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Review

Thin Air

Thin Air

So it’s been a while since we’ve had a new Richard Morgan book, yeah? Even longer since it was a science fiction book, as Morgan spent a bundle of time trying his hand at the grimdark fantasy genre with A LAND FIT FOR HEROES (EBR Archive). In general, we here at EBR haven’t been particularly enamored with any of his stuff. Fantasy, Science Fiction, or otherwise. It’s just all sat itself solidly in the middle of mediocrity for us. So, if I’m being completely honest… I put this off for a while. And when I finally decided to bite the bullet and pick it up, I wasn’t overly surprised by what I found.
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Review

Skyward

Skyward

Spensa has always dreamed of being a pilot. When she was a child her father was a pilot for the DDF, the military force that protects the planet Detritus from alien Krell incursions. But one fateful day during a defining battle against the Krell, her father ran from the battle, died, and was labeled a coward. As a result, Spensa and her mother and grandmother live on the fringes of society. But now that Spensa has come of age, she can test for pilot training and prove to everyone that cowardice doesn’t run in the family.

But the DDF doesn’t make it easy for her.Read the rest of this review »

Review

Bannerless

Posted: July 6, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Carrie Vaughn, Dystopian SF
Bannerless

From the cover: “Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them, with symbolic banners awarded to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.”

Our main character, Enid, is from the community called Haven, and works as an investigator–she mediates disputes and investigates offenses against those living along the Coast Road. In her mid-twenties, she’s considered young for the job, and her first big case is to investigate the suspicious death of a young man treated as an outcast.

Strangely enough, in the post-apocalypse life murder is rare. Strict controls of being able to prove your worth as a contributing member of the community means people are focused on surviving and earning the right to have offspring. While for the most part this concept works, too many chafe at the restriction, hence the need for investigators.
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Review

Morning Star

Posted: August 11, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF
Morning Star

I like movies. They’re fun and entertaining and worthy of our time as consumers. Well, at least some of them are. Books are much the same, and we here at EBR are more than willing to tell you which of them you should be willing to give your precious time to. In this aspect, books and movies are quite similar. They are also quite different though. For instance, story-telling techniques that work well in a movie, don’t always work good in a book, and vice versa. Sometimes catastrophically so. I was reminded of this fact quite pointedly while reading this book. Mainly because I know they’re working on the movie for Red Rising, the first book of this series. A movie that, in my opinion, cannot come soon enough, but better not come before it is absolutely perfect, dangit. Because this series deserves a perfect movie.
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Review

Golden Son

Posted: July 1, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF
Golden Son

I think I’ve mentioned before just how utterly cool it is to have this job as a reviewer. The other week I was having this conversation with a couple guys from work that went something like this:

Guy1 to Guy2: You like reading fantasy, Guy2. You should read Dan’s review blog.
Guy2 to Me: You have a blog? Which one?
Me to Guy2: Elitist Book Reviews. It’s a website now, but yeah I write for them.
Guy2 to Me: Wait. You write for Elitist Book Reviews?

Turns out he’d been following our site for quite some time and we were only then figuring it out. Way cool stuff. Love it when that happens. Of course, there are down-sides to the job too. The one that probably irks me the most is that there are times when I just don’t feel like I have the free time to read a book off-the-schedule that I’d like to because I really need to read from my ever-growing review pile in order to keep up with what I’ve committed to writing. Occasionally though, I do get to go off track for a bit, and thus it was, with a good degree of tardiness, that I finally got around to read Red Rising (EBR Review) recently. Immediately after finishing, I ran out and got Golden Son, because RED was seriously amazing. And now I’m here writing this, and I’m able to tell you that the next book in the series is just as amazing, if not completely more so.
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Review

Bluescreen

Posted: June 10, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Dan Wells, Cyberpunk, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Bluescreen

I don’t review enough of the books I read, and I don’t read enough books in certain genres or categories to really review them. On the Best of 2015 EBR list, I marked BLUESCREEN by Dan Wells as one I was looking forward to. I don’t really read YA as a category (I am neither young, nor an adult, so my wife says), and so I admit some bias, but I like cyberpunk and dystopia, and here we are.
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Review

The Girl With All The Gifts

Posted: March 6, 2015 by Alan in Books We Like Meta: M.R. Carey, Dystopian SF, Horror
The Girl With All The Gifts

I’m not a big fan of things that involve zombies, dystopia, or the apocalypse. In fact, I go out of my way to actively avoid anything with zombies (baring the occasional film). I had no idea what the contents of this book entailed when I picked it up, except for the sticky note from the EBR editor that said for me to “Read First.”
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Review

Into the Wilderness

Posted: February 20, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Mandy Hager, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Into the Wilderness

In 2013’s THE CROSSING (EBR Review), Maryam discovered she’d been lied to her entire life. That the Apostles weren’t who they said they were and that the native women taken to the ship were being treated like slaves. Determined to escape the injustices, Maryam makes a plan, and with the help of her newfound friend Joseph they do–with two unexpected companions in tow.

Now, in INTO THE WILDERNESS (Amazon), Maryam and Joseph cross the sea in search of a new home, but nothing goes according to plan.
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Review

Red Rising

Posted: February 18, 2015 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Pierce Brown, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Red Rising

I originally dismissed RED RISING (Amazon) by Pierce Brown because of the immense level of hype behind the debut. RED RISING was being touted as the next THE HUNGER GAMES, as it seems the majority of Young Adult novels are marketed these days. Being that I consider THE HUNGER GAMES a vastly overrated and underwhelming novel I gave RED RISING a pass. I purchased a copy several months ago on a whim, unwilling to leave the bookstore empty handed. It sat untouched and unloved near the bottom of my To Read Pile until the recent release of GOLDEN SON (Amazon), book two of the trilogy. News of the sequel drew my attention back to the series and I decided to give it a shot.

I should have jumped aboard the first car of the RED RISING bandwagon when I had a chance. I absolutely devoured Pierce Brown’s debut — reading for hours at a time, even skipping dinner in order to finish the book during a frenzied four-hour reading binge. I’ve read a lot of good books lately nothing on the level of RED RISING in a long, long time.
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