Fahrenheit 451

Author – Ray Bradbury

Age – 16+

It’s not until firefighter Guy Montag meets his new 17 yr old neighbour, Clarisse McLellan, that he begins to think about his life. She seems strange, taking pleasure out of simple things and asking personal questions. The toughest of these being, ‘Are you happy?’

This gets Guy thinking, and he realises he hasn’t just sat and thought for a long time. When he discovers his wife has tried to commit suicide, and doesn’t even remember doing it – just waking up and asking for another full wall TV screen (they are already trying to pay off the third they purchased only 2 months ago), Guy really starts to look at his life.

He is a firefighter – no, make that a firestarter. He works shifts at a firestation, responding to alarms that tell them someone, somewhere, has books that need to be disposed of – burnt, by him and his crew. They spray kerosine, not water, from their pipes, then throw a match.

It’s not until he witnesses a woman preferring to die amongst her books that he realises what he has become. Almost a robot. Just going through the motions of life, not thinking or asking questions. Will books help him make sense of his life. Will they wake him up?

He can’t talk to his wife. She’s only interested in the TV programs and radio broadcasts she is addicted to. Who will help him in his quest?

His firestation Captain seems to understand his confusion – at first. But soon Guy’s life tips upside down, and he can’t return to how life was before, even if he wanted to…..

This classic was written in 1953 and has been classed as Dystopian, Futuristic, and a story about Censorship. But the author said simply, it was about too much TV turning people into morons. This story fascinated me in the fact that the author seems to have looked into the future (our now), and seen our TV and screen addictions, and often ‘sameness’ culture.

Brilliant!

(Dystopian, Censorship, Friendship, Books, Book-burning, Future, Classic)

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Edge of Extinction (2) Code Name Flood

Author – Laura Martin34666754

Age – 9+

Sky Mundy continues her quest to find her missing father, following the clues he has left. Never did her and her friends believe they would lead to an immense underwater complex surrounded by huge dinosaurs bred in the complex. The three friends find themselves in even more precarious situations, learning terrible truths and betrayals along the way.

The powerful General Kennedy is hunting them with his skilled and deadly marines – driven by the powerful Noah with a deadly plan. Can they stop him before every living thing above ground is obliterated from the Earth? Is her father alive or dead and how will they ever outrun the dinosaurs?

I enjoyed Code Name Flood even more than the 1st title in this series – It’s them or us. Great read!

(Dinosaurs, Dystopian, Action, Betrayal, Spy, Friendship, Family, Science, Environment)

The Silent Invasion

Author – James Bradley33777895

Age – 13+

Ever since strange spores covered Earth, leaving web-like threads, humankind has battled The Change. Anybody who shows the symptoms of luminescence on their skin, or strange lights in their irises, are taken from their families, never to be seen again.

Callie is not about to let that happen to her 5 yr old half-sister Gracie. They have already lost their father to The Change, and Callie can’t face losing Gracie too. Against the strict Quarantine laws, Callie flees across Australia to The Zone – a place said to be a safe haven for The Changed.

But their journey is full of danger, vicious dogs with hate-filled owners, drones on the look-out and determined Quarantine officers. Will they get to The Zone and is it what they’ve been told or is it something not of this world?

I quickly became attached to determined, resourceful Callie and her love for her little sister. The tension never lets up on their journey and it culminates in a shocking finale. A trilogy I will definitely be following!

(Dystopian, Love, Family, Action, Alien, Escape, Determination, Series, Trilogy)

Garbage Night

Author / Illustrator – Jen Lee34130220

Age – 10+             (Graphic Novel)

There are many stories out there about zombies, aliens or viruses wiping out humankind. This isn’t one of those, but tells the story of some animals who have been left behind after such events. Simon (dog), and his friends Cliff (Racoon), and Reynard (Deer) are hungry. They are waiting for garbage night, so they can raid the bins like they always have. But garbage nights seems to have vanished along with the humans.

Barnaby is looking for food too and they soon team up with him to travel to the next town. But Barnaby is sneaky, slowly working his way between fellow dog Simon and his friends, even purposefully putting them in danger. Simon has to make a choice. Hang out with new Barnaby who knows stuff and is cool, or stick with his old mates.

With muted colour illustations, larger font, and a simpler drawing style, this graphic novel will suit younger readers. The theme of loyalty and friendship suits everyone.

(Friendship, Dystopian, Graphic Novel)

Edge of Extinction (1)

Edge of Extinction

Author – Laura Martin

Age -8+

Sky Mundy and her best friend Shawn live in a warren of underground concrete bunkers built to house the human race. 150 years before, scientists resurrected dinosaurs just like on Jurassic Park, but this time they weren’t confined to an island. Along with the dinosaurs, an ancient virus returns which is responsible for wiping out 95% of human life.

Now they live under Noah – a man who rules the compounds and is said to have been responsible for saving what was left of the human race.

Sky hates being in the compound and unknown to the marines who ‘protect’ them, she sneaks outside every time there is a military plane drop of supplies. She is checking for any information about her missing father that might be held on the info pods that arrive from other compounds. Her friend Shawn hates her going outside as she is at the mercy of any roaming dinosaurs that might be about. Everyone knows that you can’t survive outside.

Edge of Extinction is a Dystopian novel for younger readers with plenty of dinosaurs to escape, defeat or even eat. Think Hunger Games – a brave heroine protagonist with a mission and two boys who want to protect her, and Jurassic Park with its wonder and fear of dinosaurs. Great read. Will definitely follow this series.

(Action, Adventure, Dystopian, Family, Friendship, Secret Society, Courage, Bunker, Series)

After the Snow

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Author – S D Crockett

Age – 13+

The icecaps have melted. There are no longer warm sea currents but seemingly endless winters.
Willo hides in the snow, watching his family being taken away by soldiers. Where are they being taken? Why? When he begins his search, he meets Mary, a 13yr old from the city. She’s been hiding in the mountains too – away from the filth, endless hunger, guns and control of the city police. They end up back in the city as Willo continues his search, but he finds things he never knew about his father. He is the leader of an underground following of people who believe there is a better life away from what they know. A return to how it was before…

(Future, Family, Poverty, Future, Dystopian, Revolution)

Insurgent (Divergent 2)

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Author – Veronica Roth

Age – 13+

Insurgent begins where Divergent left off – where Tris and Tobias have escaped after stopping the simulation that turned whole factions into gun wielding zombies, being totally under control by the leader of the Erudite.
They find shelter with others that have escaped the simulation including the factionless.
But now with the factions split apart, uncertainty reigns.
The Erudite leader (Jeanine) is determined to find all the Divergents. Will Tris defeat her again?

This second part in this trilogy will leave after with a shocking finale….

(Series, Love, Guilt, Uncertainty, Secret, Murder, Dystopian)