The Rule of One by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders (Rule of One #1)

Publication Info: Audible Audio edition Published October 2018 by Brilliance Audio. Other editions available. I listened to this through my Kindle Unlimited membership.

Summary: Climate change has rendered much of the United States almost unlivable. The small towns that dotted the western landscape were torn to shreds by violent storms. People huddle in large population centers. The lucky, wealthy ones can afford opulent homes and private schools; the rest of the population scratches out a more meager existence or is homeless. Cameras are everywhere, spying on the population, looking for signs of unrest and resistance. People scurry about with their faces downcast, covered by hoodies and umbrellas. No one wants to be noticed and risk being arrested or tasered.

In this apocalyptic future, the government institutes a one-child policy in order to control population growth amidst dwindling food and resources. Twins and other multiple births are now illegal. If a mother is unlucky enough to give birth to twins, she must choose which child to keep. The other child is sent to a work camp, unaware of their origins.

The novel focuses on one family, a man high up in the Texas government who oversees the family control policies and his illegal twin daughters. The identical twins, now eighteen, were raised to mimic each other in minute detail. But the “legal” girl has a microchip and the other doesn’t. When a break in their very structured routine causes the illegal girl to be discovered, the family is torn apart and the girls are on the run.

Comments: I devoured this book. Forced into even more insomnia than usual by some medication I’m on, this book kept me company for two nearly sleepless nights. I was completely pulled into the world of The Rule of One. With climate change damaging our shores and coastal cities, the country’s polarity over so many issues, the interference of foreign governments in the US elections and the ubiquitousness of cameras, the future portrayed in this novel did not take giant leaps of imagination.

Recommended for readers of Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction. Also suitable for Young Adults.

My Rating: 4.5 STARS

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