Publishing Date: June 2017
Publishers Description: New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.
Review: Why is the world being ravaged by storms of ash that never seems to accumulate? Why does it cause people to scamper away in fear for their lives? Is this dystopian world biologically supportable? These questions and many more will never get answered so either hitch up your skirts and hop in the phantasmo train or be left behind scratchin’ yur ashy-head.
So for whatever reason everyone lives in New San Francisco, or so I presume as the world building is finite, and scramble around under the yoke of oppression and constant ash manifestations. There is a twist on the Hunger Games shtick so that the young may become part of the Inner Circle through death trials, only that Circle is never defined. The IRA is the opposing force to the evil regime, (which is kind of ironic) and the guards run around beating people senseless on whims.
Besides all that, the writing is technically good but lacked an infusion of believable originality, rendering the story line hard to stay interested in. The characterization is flat even with the constant movement. The depth just never develops in the main characters so you don’t really care what happens to them. This might appeal to YA crowd that will hump anything reminiscent of Katniss.