There is a lot of dystopian, Young Adult fiction out there right now – so much so, that unique ideas have become rather rare. So I was pleasantly surprised while reading C.A. Gray’s The Liberty Box books; she has created a world that feels new and unexplored. Warning – spoilers ahead!
Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie. – Goodreads
The United States’ economy has crashed, and a Republic has risen, ruled by a man called the Potentate. It’s a prosperous and beautiful country, and the people are happy and content. But it’s all a lie – the Potentate has developed brain-altering technology, ensuring that the people see what he wants them to see. In truth, infrastructure is crumbling and citizens are starving to death. The Liberty Box and The Eden Conspiracy follow a group of people hiding from the government, who are determined to set the people of the Republic free.
Gray’s world building is fantastic and very engrossing. The Liberty Box (book 1) proceeds at a quick clip, which keeps it interesting throughout. Unfortunately, that quick pace does adversely affect the realism of the relationships involving the three main characters – feelings seem to build and change in an extremely short amount of time. The Eden Conspiracy (book 2) is a bit more balanced, allowing the characters to grow at a more natural pace.
The series does feature a love triangle, but it doesn’t feel like the main focus (which I was happy about). Brainwashed Kate was docile, innocent and useless. Reality hits her hard, and she spends most of both books relearning who she is, and how strong she really can be. I loved that – Kate fights to break from her victim role. Whether she succeeds or not is a big question that I still don’t know the answer to – The Eden Conspiracy ends with a nail-biting cliffhanger.
Fair warning, I am one of the co-hosts for the giveaway – but rest assured this has been an unbiased review!
The Liberty Box : 3.5/5
The Eden Conspiracy : 4/5