Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dystopian Novels: Uglies, Ashes, and Birthmarked

The Uglies - Scott Westerfield

1.  Uglies, 2005
2.  Pretties, 2011
3.  Specials, 2011

In this series, society operates on all young people when they turn 16.  They are made "pretty," and their minds are altered so that all they want to do is think about "happy-making" and being "bubbly."

The books tell the story of one young woman's fight against what society has forced on her.  Some readers don't care for these books because the characters act like airheads much of the time.  That's the point, which those readers missed completely.  Society has made them into airheads, and then they fight against it.  I enjoyed these books.

Westerfield wrote a fourth book, Extras, which I have opted not to read since it features different characters.

The Ashes Trilogy - Ilsa J. Bick

1.  Ashes, 2012
2.  Shadows, 2012

This is another zombie apocalypse trilogy.  In these books, an electromagnetic pulse wipes out all electronics and kills billions of people.  Of the people not killed, many become zombies and others attain heightened senses.

I enjoyed the books, but they are heavy into extremely graphic gore and have excessively long fight scenes.  I found myself beginning to skim the fight scenes, as I was just not that interested.  If you enjoy really gross content, these books are for you.  I will be reading the third book when it is released because I want to know what happens.

The Birthmarked Trilogy - Caragh M. O'Brien

1.  Birthmarked, 2010
2.  Prized, 2011
3.  Promised, 2012

While I enjoyed the Birthmarked Trilogy for the most part, I found a lot wrong with the books.  The main theme has to do with reproductive rights.  Women who live outside the city's walls have to give their children up for adoption by families who live inside the city.  The protagonist, Gaia, is a midwife.

In the first book, Gaia is all about saving babies' lives.  In the second book, she is all about killing the unborn.  In the third book, some truly horrific things happen to Gaia, and I'm not sure what the point is.  At the end of the third book, I just felt depressed.  I also didn't really care by that point.  I felt like I had been through a traumatic experience and like I would have been better off not reading the books.

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