Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
4.5 Stars , Reviews / October 5, 2015

Review first appeared on The Speculative Herald The Heart Goes Last is a dark and yet humorous vision of a dystopian future where the world has lost social order. Life is hard, money and resources are incredibly scarce and people fear for their safety as there is no longer police or social justice to keep people in line. Charmaine and Stan, a young married couple, are lucky, for while they have lost their home and have little to their name, they have managed to hold on to their car, a safe haven from the streets. As they put it, their car is “the barrier between them and gang rape**“. Pretty much, this world is frightening and shows no mercy. To be fair, there are areas further west where things have not become quite so desperate. But without the means to pay for gas for such a journey or any other way to get across the country, this haven is just mere fancy, a nice hypothetical “what if we could get out there”. In reality, it is nothing in the realm of possibilities, as the west may as well be located on the moon for all the good it does them….

Gleam by Tom Fletcher
3.5 Stars , Reviews / November 12, 2014

The cover may be absolutely gorgeous, but be warned, this is one strange world. Within the Gleam, there is a black Pyramid in which people are safe from the external threats. They are shown preserved samples of the creatures that lurk outside their walls, in what they call the Discard. They are told stories of the horrors that await anyone that ventures outside the safety of the Pyramid. But Alan (also known as Wild Alan), knows a different side of the life outside the Pyramid. Unlike others, he was actually born in the Discard, he spent his childhood in what sounds to be a pleasant trading town situated between the Pyramid and the rest of the Discard. But, given this is a dark dystopian type of book, all good things must come to an end. Tragedy strikes, and Alan find himself taken into the Pyramid. Years later, after Alan has grown and has a wife and child, Alan once again finds himself in the Discard, dependent on his abilities to sing and entertain to provide him with shelter and food. And his willingness to sleep with just about anything to moves to give him warmth and companionship at night. I…

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
2.5 Stars , Reviews / July 29, 2014

The premise of this book is quite intriguing. A boy wakes up, no memories of who is, where he came from much less where he is now. Perplexed by the nature of memory loss that allows him to remember mundane details, but not important things, he has to just go on, and figure out a way to live in the bizarre world he has found himself a part of. Sounds cool. Then you learn a bit about the world he lives in, and it sounds promising. But then you read, and nothing just ever seems quite as exciting as you think it should. So what is this world like that he wakes up in? It seems to consist of pretty much just teenage boys. They have broken themselves into group to perform all the tasks that need to be done to keep their society running. Oh, and everyone here suffers from the same type of memory loss he has. They wake up one day in what they call The Glades, and its like their life starts fresh from that moment. I also expected to be more taken by The Maze or the monsters (Grievers) that roam it, but honestly, I…