A Road To Redemption – Mark F Geatches
Two decades after the Wave of Destruction that nearly destroyed America, the United States is no longer recognizable. Dictator Joseph Stoner has transformed it into a socialist utopia. A society where, even though there is no freedom, there is also no opposition to his tyrannical rule. The weekend sabbaths where food, beer, and weed are handed out freely, have replaced self-will, disapproval, and even a sense of ambition in the soul of the people.
When three kids, Zammi, his sister Sydney, and their best friend Straz sneak into the forbidden structure that was once Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library, they realize how much has been lost. Not just gadgets and other possessions of a once wealthy nation, but a sense of community, truth, and freedom as well. Determined to make things right, they create a clandestine organization called The Liberation, and embark on a risky plan to overthrow the President.
In a world where everything is banned, including various letters of the alphabet. Heavy curfews, and nogo areas such as libraries and museums, have transformed America into somewhere unrecognizable. The population are worked until they are exhausted, and plied with free beer and weed at the weekends to keep people from even contemplating rising up. Not to mention the harsh punishments for breaking the rules.
Zammi, Straz, and Sydney frequently break into one of the forbidden libraries to learn whatever they can about old America, and the truth about the things they’ve been told over the years about the past and the dictatorship’s rise to power. Together with a friend, they decide to do what they can to work together to overthrow the Dictator and his government.
The story is written as a memoir, as Zammi looking back on his history (with a few additions from his sister Sydney). This style provides a lot of humour in the way it is told, and some great banter between Zammi and Syd. I really quite enjoyed this style of writing. The memoir style also provides the full picture into the inside of the rebellion in each stage of it.
I really liked Zammi as both a character and a narrator, and I enjoyed the chemistry between Zammi, Sydney, and Straz. I also liked that even though there is a slight romance/love story, it is always in the background but never overshadows the rebellion itself.
I found the text a little heavy to read at times. A lot of the English language and spellings were banned under the dictatorship, which means there are quite a few typos in the book (purposely done, but require a double take sometimes). And the memoir style sometimes meant that the flow was a little off.
I haven’t read a lot of dystopian type novels, but this one did have a similar feel to The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games, just with a lot of extra drugs and booze thrown in.
A Road To Redemption does include a few triggers like sexual assault and various forms of oppression, so steer clear if that
Do you like dystopian novels? What is your favourite dystopian novel?
I received the ARC for A Road To Redemption via Hidden Gems Books, this my voluntary honest review.