Posted in Best Sellers, Dystopian Fiction

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Handmaid’s Tale #2)

Publication Info: Published Sept 10, 2019 by Random House Audio. I listened to the audio edition through my Audible.com membership. Other editions available.

Summary: Told in alternating chapters and voices, we learn more about the background of Gilead, as well as some less-featured characters in the Handmaid’s Tale. One of the main speakers is Aunt Lydia. In the first book, she appeared as a formidable woman, completely toeing the Gilead party line. In The Testaments, the author explains more of Lydia’s motivations. We also hear from Offred’s two daughters, who lived very different lives.

I’m not going to give away more of the story than this. First of all, there are a lot of reviews and summaries. Secondly, there were enough surprises in this book for me to not want to give away too many hints.

Comments: I liked The Testaments, but be sure to read The Handmaid’s Tale first. This is definitely a sequel that requires the background of the first novel. I really enjoyed the audio version because the part of Aunt Lydia was read by Ann Dowd, who plays her in the TV show, adding a dose of “realism” to her story.

The Testaments is more filler than original material, but it does address several unanswered questions.

Recommended for readers of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s books, Dystopian Fiction, and Best Sellers.

My Rating: 4 STARS

Posted in Apocalyptic Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Uncategorized

The Rule of Many by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders (The Rule of One #2)

Publication Info: Published May 7, 2019 by Skyscape. I listened to the Audio edition through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Other editions available.

Summary: At the end of the last book, the twins, Ava and Mira, escaped to Canada. There, they found a group of rebels and their previously unknown to them maternal grandmother, Rayla. Rayla is also a member of the rebel group.

They now live in Canada in relative safety, despite some protests against them, until an incident puts them in danger and they are on the run again. They decide to head back to Texas to fight the evil governor for the rights of all multiples.

Comments: I didn’t like The Rule of Many nearly as much as the first book, The Rule of One. The whole book felt rushed and condensed and may have been better split into two making this a trilogy. But then, the book set wouldn’t have been a twin, would it?

There were so many characters and plot lines that nothing felt fully developed. I would have liked more background on their grandmother and the character named Zee. Owen, the guy who just jumped into the story line for no obvious reason other than to serve as comic relief, just never “fit” for me.

Overall, I was let down by this sequel. My suggestion is, read the first book and skip the second. However, if you like a lot of fast action and don’t care about character development, you may like this book better than I did.

Genre: Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction.

My Rating: 2 STARS.

Posted in Apocalyptic Fiction, Dystopian Fiction

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