The future looks bleak in The Slip

27275190Two years ago I stumbled across young adult author David Estes and I’m so glad I did.  I devoured his The Dwellers series and Country Saga, which go together, now I’m hooked on The Slip Trilogy.

In the Slip, it is many years in the future where the sea levels are rising and livable land masses are shrinking causing available resources to shrink.  In order to conserve resources, the government won’t allow people to have a child unless they secure a death match certificate.  So someone can live only if someone dies.  But then some children are born who don’t have a match and those are called Slip.  Slips can’t be allowed to live so the government kills any that are found.

Michael Kelly is the head of Population Control.  He is the one who searches for the slips and has them killed.  Michael has a son who is a slip and he will do anything in his power to keep his son alive.  He hasn’t given his son a name and keeps him in seclusion so he won’t be found.  He is always watching to make sure no information about his son comes to light.

But there are others who don’t see Slips as humans and will do everything to kill them and their families.  Corrigan Mars is second in command at Pop Con and he is nothing like Michael.  Corrigan is determined to find every Slip out there and exterminate them and their families.  He employs The Destroyer who is a psychopath.  After an accident while in the military The Destroyer is half man and half machine who seems to have no feelings for anyone.  It’s all about him and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he kills.

People have all their information in their eyes and that is how the government tracks people.  Ads float around the streets scanning eyes and customizing the ads to the person.  It’s a great way for them to know where people are located and what they are doing.

David does a great job fleshing out the characters and making them real.  He makes the readers care for the Slip and his family and hate the Destroyer and Corrigan Mars.  When the book ended, I wasn’t ready because I wanted to keep reading.  I was sucked so far into the story I wasn’t ready to let the characters go.  This is one trilogy that when it’s over I will miss the characters.

Book Description:

Someone must die before another can be born…

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population.  Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child.  Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population.  The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks?  What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them?  Would it change anything?  Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

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Genetic purity is the future in Vagabond

22143978Vagabond by J.D. Brewer is a wonderfully written story.  I really got sucked into this one and got lost in the characters.  Vagabond is the distant future where society as we know it no longer exists.  The world now revolves around genetics and the Genetic Engineering Guild dictates your entire life by your genetics; where you live, who you marry, whether you can have children and how many.  The colonies live by a strict set of rules and anyone who goes against the rules and live outside of the colonies, is known as vagabonds and rebels.

The main character Niko is first introduced after she’s been dumped by her best friend and mentor Xavi who has ditched her for a random girl with a nice pair of legs.  Niko’s heart is broken and she is traveling alone when she bumps into a new guy fresh out of the colonies and reluctantly ends up teaching him the ways of the Tracks.

The story weaves back and forth through the past and present where we learn about Niko’s life before she became a Vagabond.  We learn about a major tragedy that forced her to flee the only life she knew, how she met and was left by Xavi, and the present, where she’s learning so much about herself and the world.

Vagabond is an interesting concept of what our world could look like in several hundred years from now as the government tries to make the human race perfect by manipulating genetics.  The Genetic Engineering Guild is trying to eliminate all illnesses and making people as perfect as possible and they are worried the Vagabonds will bring illnesses back into society.

It was also sad with the way people were being treated and how government was trying to get rid of what makes people unique.  I really wanted the Vagabonds to succeed and avoid the people hunting them.  There is quite a twist that was very shocking.  Vagabond is a very good read that was well worth my time.  I want to know more about the characters and can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Book description:

When Niko’s parents are brutally murdered by the Republic for being Genetic Terrorists, she must learn how to survive in the wild, in life, and in love. With nothing but her pack for a home, she travels the fringes of the Colonies by train and by foot, and collects memories of the Vagabonds who teach her how to live with her new freedom. She first encounters Xavi, the boy who heals her heart before he breaks it. He simply leaves her for a nice pair of Legs, and Niko must learn how to move past unexplainable heartbreak. She soon discovers the Tracks are no place for love, because everything moves a little too fast. Before Niko has time to mourn her rejection, she encounters a different kind of pain— a pain in the rear named Flea. Niko’s subsequent adventures cause her to question her beliefs about the Genetic Engineering Guild, the Republic, the Revolution, and her heart. In this unconventional science fiction novel, a coming of age story is set against a utopian backdrop, and Niko just happens to be on the wrong side of perfection. Her tale is propelled by non-stop action while her past is never far behind to fill in the gaps. It’s a twist-driven page turner that’s incredibly difficult to put down once you pick it up.

Read, enjoy, and share.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Intrepid takes a leap into the future

23722493What if there were multiple universes and you could jump from one to the other.  And what if you could split universes, create new ones or change one with your energy?  This is Intrepid by J.D. Brewer.  Texi Nicholson is a high school student in a small town several hundred years in the future.  She lives with her father and spends a lot of time with her neighbors.  Soon she starts having headaches and that is where her life is turned upside down.

Texi quickly finds out that she can split a universe and make it into multiple ones.  She can jump or hop to different locations by putting in the coordinates into a bracelet that she has worn all her life.  But Texi is different, she is a hybrid.  She was an experiment and was given more skills than what was given to others.

There is so much more that could be done with these characters and storyline.  It would be an interesting trilogy if J.D. Brewer decided to go that direction.  This stretches the imagination and makes the reader wonder if there really are multiple universes out there and if so, what is happening in those universes?  Are they all different people or a different version of ourselves living a slightly different life.  I really enjoyed this story.

Book description:

Texi Nicholson is a small town girl living a small town life—that is, until the Multiverse intervenes.  Suddenly, Texi learns she is not only capable of traveling between universes, but she has the ability to create or destroy them as well.  Can she trust her childhood neighbor, Iago, to help her navigate the stars or will his own agenda prevent her from realizing her potential?

Liam Martinez grows up believing he understands who he is and what he will become, but he soon discovers his plans do not coincide with those who raised him.  When he is given the task of helping Texi learn how to travel the Multiverse, he will truly learn what it means to Stand on the Shoulders of Giants.  Can he remain objective when it means the fate of the Multiverse depends on his judgement?

Intrepid is a story of untapped potential, Multiversal imagination, and worlds colliding. Its blend of action, heartbreak, adventure, science fiction, and philosophy will make you question what you think you believe.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

‘The Bachelor’ continues in the future in The Selection

In the future, in the land of Illea, 35 girls are selected from a lottery to compete for 19-year-10507293old Prince Maxon’s hand in marriage.  Kiera Cass brings a little bit of the Bachelor and Hunger Games together in The Selection series: The Selection, The Elite and The One.

In order to keep the royal lineage going, the girls are selected from the top five castes to be brought to the palace, located in Angeles, as they compete for Maxon’s heart.  Just like on the Bachelor, Maxon goes on dates with the girls, talks with them in groups, the girls are interviewed on TV and Maxon eliminates a few at a time.

America Singer comes from Caste Five where classically trained musicians and artists live.  America was encouraged to enter the lottery by her boyfriend Aspen Leger so that her family would receive extra money while America is at the palace.  All the girls are paid while they are part of the selection.

16248068There are eight caste, which signify the class status.  Caste 1 is the royal family, caste 2 are celebrities, professional athletes, actors, politicians and so forth until you get to caste 8 where the mentally and physically unwell, addicts, runaways and homeless are sent.  Kind of like the Hunger Games.

On the outside, the Selection looks random but King Clarkson controls the lottery and selects the girls he wants who will help him with the relationship between him and their countries/areas.  The King throws in a few extra throwaway girls like America.  What the King doesn’t expect is for America to be strong, independent thinking and someone Maxon would be attracted to.  Someone who questions what is going on with the castes.  Someone who thinks differently from the King.

Aspen has been saving money to marry America so he signs up to be a palace guard to 18635016be closer to America and also to get extra money for his family.  Aspen works it out so that he can guard America’s room.  This way they can steal private moments together without being caught.

While the selection is going on, rebels attack the castle.  When they attack, the royals and their staff run to safe rooms and hide.  Some of the rebels are dangerous and some are just trying to create change.  But the core of the trilogy is the relationship between Maxon and America and how they are trying to be their true selves as their relationship grows.

I really enjoyed this trilogy.  I call it a trilogy because the first three books read like a trilogy.  Book four The Heir, takes place twenty years later when the next selection takes place.  This is a great young adult trilogy that I recommend.

Book Descriptions:

The Selection:  For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Elite:  The Selection began with thirty-five girls.  Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?  America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

The One: The time has come for one winner to be crowned.  When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat