Series: The New Agenda #1
Publisher: Ktown Waters
Date Published: October 10th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 6 hours 55 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Sarah Zimmerman
Source: Provided for review through Audiobook Blast/Boom
Description: Award winning Amazon Best Seller in Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Science Fiction.-- A dystopian book series about love and the fight for freedom. -- During the man-made apocalypse in the 21st century, a group of elites killed off a majority of the population. Only two groups of survivors remained--those selected to reside inside the Los Angeles City Center and the rebels, relegated to live on the Outside. Centuries later, Ava Rhodes is one of five potential successors competing to become the next Queen of the City Center. A week prior to the final competitions she encounters Joseph, a rebel from the Outside, and discovers her utopian home is actually a prison and breeding facility aimed at designing the perfect human. She escapes with Joseph to the Outside world, sending the City Center's leader, Chief Morray, into an obsessive pursuit for his property. Along the journey, Ava falls in love with Joseph and discovers an even darker secret about the fate of her people. She must decide whether to stay with Joseph, or save her people from destruction.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The City Center is an interesting futuristic dystopia with sci-fi elements that I found very interesting. The people living in the City Center are genetically engineered to be a certain way, and only later do we realize the true sinister purpose for this. I thought the overall premise was great, the main character Ava is pretty dang awesome, and the villain is kind of a mad genius. I liked how Ava was already different and after reading the journal given to her by the Outsider and using her wit, she starts to see how things are not what she has been brainwashed to believe. However, I think this book is a little on the short side and honestly would make a better movie than it does a book. There is a ton of action and a lot of dialogue, but I don’t feel there is enough of a descriptive nature that I have come to expect in novels. It felt rushed and was more “tell” than “show”. Even though this is a series book, everything you expect to be in a dystopian trilogy happens here – from the world introduction and the conflict, to the escape, the capture, and finally the overthrowing of the current system (though there is an unresolved issue that can be continued in further books). That is just too much for one short book, and so most of it felt like I was reading a summary rather than the unfolding events leading up to the finale. Sure, I don’t like when a story drags out over books just to sell more books, but this one has the opposite problem. (After reading the blurbs for the other books in the series this kind of makes sense, as each subsequent book follows a different character in a different timeline in the New Agenda world.)