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Category Archives: Post Apocalyptic & Dystopian

Post Apocalyptic Review – Into the Forest

Cover Evolution

Cover Evolution

Guest Post by Ryan King, Author of the Land of Tomorrow Trilogy

I have learned that when it comes to post-apocalyptic fiction, I want the books to teach me something. I want to gain valuable information that I might use if I ever found myself in an end-of-the-world situation. Although the likelihood of ever needing said knowledge is admittedly slim, it feeds my sense of self-improvement. I also like to be prepared.

Jean Hegland’s Into the Forest is packed full of practical knowledge. From healing qualities of certain plants to the nutritional value of acorns, I found the knowledge fascinating. The author’s debut novel is eerily subtle as far as ends go. Living in a cabin in a northern California redwood forest, thirty miles from the nearest town, the apocalypse that destroys the world comes slowly and in fragments to the sisters Nell and Eva. There are rumors of war, upheaval, and plague, but details are hard to come by. When the sisters’ parents die, they are left to fend for themselves in a lonely world come unhinged and floating along outside law or society. They slowly learn how to survive in the forest and that real danger is hovering nearby.

Into the Forest is a story of survival that stresses throughout the importance of family. The two naive sisters have only each other initially and must make hard choices when unexpected options arise. These difficult choices seem all the more gut wrenching for their believability and realism. Filled with vivid scenery, you can almost smell and hear the vast primeval forest while reading this book.

Although this is one of my favorite books in this genre, it is not for those who look for fast-paced action. This story is about the sisters and how they survive and sacrifice in a cruel and unforgiving land that thrust them into adulthood far too early. These young girls are certainly not prepared for the challenges that they face, but they end up surprising themselves and the reader.

An excellent book that I highly recommend and hope you enjoy.

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Dystopian Book Reviews – Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem reboots abound. Available to read for FREE online at pagebypagebook.com. Click photo.

Anthem reboots abound. Available to read for FREE online at pagebypagebook.com. Click photo.

 

 

 

Guest Post by Ryan King, Author of the Land of Tomorrow Trilogy

Ayn Rand is most famously known for her monumental works Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Before she wrote either of these works, she crafted a future dystopian short novel in 1937 called Anthem. Surprisingly, Rand had difficulty getting the work published and Macmillan Publishers rejected the work saying that Rand, who grew up in the Soviet Union, did not understand socialism.

Anthem is set in a world where collective socialism has progressed to encompass every facet of society and holds total sway. Individualism has been rooted out to the point that individuals have numbers instead of names and to use personal pronouns such as “I” or “me” results in instant death. In this dark world, babies are taken from their parents to be raised by the Home of the Infants and later transferred to the Home of the Students for rearing. Students are then later assigned a profession by the Council of Vocations which they must practice until they die.

The main character in this story, Equality 7-2521, is exceptionally intelligent and curious and hopes to be assigned to the Scholars, but instead is made a Street Sweeper. While performing his duties he meets and falls in love with Liberty 5-3000, but they must both keep their feelings secret because such are forbidden. He also finds a previously hidden tunnel that he later learns was a subway tunnel from the Unmentionable Times. Down deep in this tunnel he rediscovers electricity and finds a way to produce electric light. Excited by his discovery, he brings this to his leaders’ attention, but they are horrified realizing that this discovery could threaten the Council of Lanterns which previously overthrew the Council of Torches. Equality 7-2521 is labeled a criminal and determines that he must find a way to escape this society.

Anthem is an incredibly powerful and tightly written work that will leave you pondering the story long after you have finished. Well worth the read.

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Other Post Apocalyptic & Dystopian Book Reviews by Ryan King include: The Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson, The Last Ship by William Brinkley, and Blindness by Jose Saramago.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 9.39.52 PMRyan King is a career army officer with multiple combat tours who continues to serve in the military. He has lived, worked, and traveled throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He writes post-apocalyptic, dystopian, thriller, horror, and action short stories, short novels, and novels.