Reviews :: Book Genre :: Dystopian SF

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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Review

Wasteland

Wasteland

So two award-winning journalists decide to try their hand at the current craze of YA dystopian/post-apocalypse novels. But WASTELAND by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan (Amazon), is what happens when non-fiction writers think that writing a coherent, engaging, and imaginative YA novel is not so hard. Throw in a controversial situation, maybe some race-themed antagonism, a couple of clever adjectives for spice, and voila. Easy peasy, right?
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Review

The 5th Wave

Posted: August 30, 2013 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: Rick Yancey, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
The 5th Wave

The aliens have arrived.

Now mankind is on the verge of extinction, and Cassie is alone, having lost her family and escaped to the forests outside Dayton, Ohio. She can’t trust anyone, even other humans, because she’s convinced that some of them work for the aliens.
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Review

The Crossing

Posted: May 3, 2013 by Vanessa in Books We Don't Like Meta: Mandy Hager, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
The Crossing

Many years ago monstrous sun flares changed everything, and humanity was thrust back into the Dark Ages. For the natives of an island in the South Pacific and passengers on a beached cruise ship, they are the last known survivors of the subsequent apocalypse.
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Review

Partials

Posted: February 28, 2012 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Dan Wells, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Partials

I don’t often read YA, but when I do, I read Dan Wells. His writing is just so accessible to younger and older readers alike. So when he approached me a year ago about reading a draft of his newest novel, a dystopian SF titled PARTIALS (Amazon), I jumped at the chance.
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Review

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness (Amazon) is one of those wonderfully deceiving Young Adult books that reminds us all of the days when there was no such thing. It’s a simple story…in a gritty, continually plot-twisted, thought provoking and emotional thrill-ride kind of way.

I could simply call it a story about a boy and his dog, or boy meets girl, or coming of age…but then I’d have to mention that the dog talks, the girl is seemingly the only one on the planet, and that being a man isn’t exactly something worth envying here.
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Review

Mockingjay

Posted: September 22, 2010 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: Suzanne Collins, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games series has created a buzz in the Young Adult world. Her version of a future American dystopia is grim and disturbing. And compelling. The final novel, MOCKINGJAY (Amazon), was released in August with great anticipation… but was it worth getting all worked up about?

The series begins with THE HUNGER GAMES (Amazon), an exciting, brutal, and clever story. The setting is well done and artfully displays a society that’s rotting from both ends. HUNGER GAMES explores the themes of an influential propaganda machine and an extravagant Capital at the expense of the people, then takes it the next frightening step.
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Review

The Maze Runner

Posted: March 29, 2010 by Alan in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: James Dashner, Dystopian SF, Young Adult
The Maze Runner

James Dashner‘s THE MAZE RUNNER (Amazon) has garnered a lot of attention since its release. It is a novel filled with really cool and unique ideas, so on that end, its attention is completely understandable.

The plot centers around a group of amnesiac teenagers, stuck together in a foreign, hostile, and deadly maze, where bizarre creatures roam. These creatures are called Grievers, and they hunt the Gladers–as the kids call themselves–while the walls of the Maze are constantly changing. They are in marginal contact with their “captors” who send them supplies and new kids. However, the schedule of “one new kid a month” is broken the day after the main character Thomas arrives, when Teresa, the first girl Glader ever arrives with a message that “Everything is going to change.” We should mention hate this over-used phrase.
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