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Commonly extrapolating elements of current society, dystopian fiction explores the darker side of possible worlds. Discover more than a Brave New World here.
An action-packed narrative that is utterly compelling and characters you will really love. The world as we know it is crumbling and has been for years; this is the story of a group who left earth aboard a space ship, which has become their home. Now 16 years on, two of them, born on the spaceship, have fallen in love.
Winner of the 2013 Leeds Book Awards 14-16 age category. This is a debut novel not to miss. It's an original and haunting psychological thriller that's packed with intense mystery and secrets that will have you gripped from the very first page. It's the story of Kyla whose mind has been erased; every single memory gone, living with a new name with a new family to get a second chance. But is this a second chance or is everyone around her lying ? She thinks so and is determined to prove it. Fans of Sophie McKenzie and Suzanne Collins will love it.
Winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction 2015. Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Following four wonderful literary crime novels (to be issued in the UK later), Canadian author Mandel breaks through with a beautifully modulated post-apocalypse tale, where a virus has decimated the world and a troupe of musicians and Shakespearean actors tour the Great Lakes area and hold up the flame of culture and civilisation. Through the prism of a variety of interlinked characters before and after the fall of society, Mandel offers a melancholy and poetic lullaby for the power of art and the succour of relationships. Full of striking images and strands: the rise and fall of a Falstaffian actor, the coming of age of a young girl in a brand new world, an airport that becomes a museum for humanity, the stark realities of a land now at war with itself and full of feral survivors, a comic strip whose provenance is prophetic, Mandel weaves a clever and moving web that will stay with you for a very long time. Chair of the Arthur C. Clarke Award judges, Andrew M Butler, said: “While many post-apocalypse novels focus on the survival of humanity, Station Eleven focuses instead on the survival of our culture, with the novel becoming an elegy for the hyper-globalised present.” Maxim Jakubowski October 2014 Highly Recommended. Sarah Broadhurst's view.. Not another plague apocalyptic book you cry! Oh yes, only this one is a bit special. It describes the ‘end of civilisation as we know it’ and the accompanying death of most of the world’s population in a highly effective, gentle way. Short snippets tell of gigantic events. We get lives before and after the ‘Georgia flu’ concentrating on an actor, a comic graphic artist and a group of travelling performers. The comic, starring one Dr Eleven, links both sections in a poignant manner. This is a very impressive work, a thrilling tale, a must read.
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. A brilliant thriller with a modern sensibility and super-fast pace and suspense that will delight fans of classic thrillers and films. Carrying on the tradition of ‘what if’ history novels started by Len Deighton with SS GB and continued with Robert Harris’ Fatherland The Afrika Reich is set in an alternative 1952. After the fiasco at Dunkirk forced Britain into an uneasy peace with Germany the Third Reich now control Europe and most of Africa. A personal feud forces a British mercenary on a reckless ‘last mission’, it goes horribly wrong and he is hunted down. This explosive thriller is a meticulously researched debut novel that is a must read for any fan of Robert Harris or Len Deighton. Click here to visit Guy Saville's blog and find out more about the book.
July 2012 Debut of the Month. This stunning debut has a fascinating premise that 'The earth is slowing down' and it provides a unique framework for this memorable, haunting and bittersweet coming of age novel. It is seen through the eyes and experiences of Julia, an 11 year old girl whose turbulent life, seems to mirror the changes in the world outside. Reminiscent in part to The Time Traveller’s Wife this science fiction like idea doesn't get in the way, and shouldn't put you off for reading this book is a pretty special experience.
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. An excellent book unlike any other. The life of bees is examined and fictionalised as never before. These bees are not anthropomorphised or overly sentimentalised into cute cartoon characters; the action and communication is kept as realistic as possible whilst still providing a novel with depth of emotion and excellent characterisation. Propelled by a set of strange coincidences and lucky accidents of time and place, the lowly worker bee, Flora, works her way through the whole hive; the nursery, the morgue, even the Queen’s chamber; and learns a few more secrets than she should. Her story is incredible, fast, gripping, delightfully easy to read and full of great ideas. This book is great for the teen market but really anyone could enjoy it and indeed should, for it is quite something. January 2015 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2014.
‘The Book of the Crowman' the second and last volume of ‘The Black Dawn’, is stirring, provocative and compelling. You most definitely need to start this journey with ‘Black Feathers’, this story needs to be told, to be heard from beginning to end. As the broken land fights back, Gordon and Megan are growing in their skills, gifts and abilities. Megan is the light to Gordon’s darkness, yet both are inextricably linked and both are fascinating. I felt as though I was bearing witness, as though I needed to remember this tale as a terrifying and terrible reckoning was thundering towards me. There is a subtle weave to the writing, paths link, join, and connect, yet this isn't neat and tidy, in fact, you may still have some questions whipping around your mind as you finish, however that feels right. Joseph D’Lacey doesn't hold back, I felt pain, I felt anger, I felt sorrow, but most importantly, when I thought I was emotionally exhausted, I also felt hope. ~ Liz Robinson
David Strorm's father doesn't approve of Angus Morton's unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their friends, have their own secret aberration which would label them as mutants. But as David and Rosalind grow older it becomes more difficult to conceal their differences from the village elders. Soon they face a choice: wait for eventual discovery or flee to the terrifying and mutable Badlands.
A powerful, gripping and tense futuristic novel about a world which has gone mad, a world where life is forever except for the likes of Peter and Anna (who shouldn’t be there at all according to the declaration) who are struggling to escape the past in order to find a better future. The Declaration is a chilling, dystopian view of how life may be in the not too far off future, reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and PD James's The Children of Men but written for a young teenage audience. It’s a novel that highlights many issues which affect us today in modern Britain: the obsession with youth and beauty; our pill-popping culture where each ailment can be remedied with some unknown chemical cure; the over-population of the earth; our age-old fear of teenage culture. The author, Gemma Malley has expressed quite brilliantly and concisely these many different issues in this ground-breaking, mesmerizing and compelling novel. To find out even more about this series click here to visit a site created by the publisher. Click here to download a document where Gemma talks about the inspriation behind the Declaration series.
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Fast-paced, page-turning, moving, yet with a streak of dark humour, The Disappeared is a dystopian thriller from a fantastic new British talent, with shades of Orwell and Huxley. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Disappeared a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Scroll down to read their reviews.
Dystopia - The opposite of Utopia.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from dys-‘bad’ + Utopia. An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
H.G. Wells was the first popular dystopian writer with the Time Machine (1895) in which the future doesn’t bring continuous improvements in human kind, rather its demise to the baser darker side of our nature. Through Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka, Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell and on to The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood dystopian fiction continues to probe the darker areas of the human condition.
Perhaps all the end of world prophecies have fueled the demand, never the less the contemporary dystopian offerings are proving popular reading – especially among a younger audience. We hope you enjoy the selection.