Aberrant by Ruth Silver
My Copy: ePub eBook, 186 pages
Original Publication Date: April 17, 2013
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The on requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from “The Day of the Chosen”. The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
has a lot of similarities to other books of the Dystopian genre all wrapped into it. I noticed various similarities to Matched
, and The Hunger Games
. It seems as though Silver read these books (which are some of the most popular books in the genre) and decided to write her own story that merges aspects from each, while also adding her own flavour into the mix. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing to do. No, it is not the most unique story in the world, but all writers borrow something from a book they read in the past. It is impossible to be completely original when so many ideas already exist out there in the world of fiction. While I like to read books that are a bit more original than this one, I have to give Silver credit for making it all fit together so well. She melded the ideas from those other books very well. And, don’t get me wrong, she did add her own originalities in there as well. It wasn’t all borrowed ideas.
I felt like some things were a bit rushed with the story. I felt as though I wasn’t able to delve into the cities that Olivia and Joshua were in as much as I would have liked, because they were torn out of them so quickly. The book starts off with them in Genesis and — as the synopsis points out — they are somewhat forced to leave. But, it happens very near the beginning of the book and I felt as though that was a bit of a mistake because there wasn’t enough time to build a good picture of what exactly that city was like. I mean, we got the main points, but I was never able to fully visualize this place or delve deeper into things.
I don’t have much to say about the characters, as they didn’t excite me but they didn’t bother me either. They were just kind of there. I didn’t particularly like or dislike Olivia and Joshua. They weren’t good or bad characters. There was just nothing special or memorable about them, in my opinion.
Overall, I would recommend Aberrant to fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, and Divergent — as long as you aren’t too picky when it comes to originality. I wouldn’t highly recommend it, due to the strong similarities to those other books, but if you liked those books there’s no reason not to like this one.
Creating a Dystopian World
By: Ruth Silver
Dystopian fiction has been on the rise in recent years, especially in the young adult genre. It’s popularity increased significantly with the success of The Hunger Games. Dystopian fiction has been around a lot longer than just the past few years. However, prior to The Hunger Games, many weren’t aware of its existence and the genre.
Creating a Dystopian world in fiction is much like creating a fantasy world. Elements are often taken from what exists today and is moulded to fit the author’s vision and story. The story is often told in the near future making it feel to the reader like it could happen.
In the YA Dystopian novel, Aberrant, Utopian Socialism is the main construct for the government of Cabal. Our heroine, Olivia Parker, grows up in the town of Genesis where food, shelter and clothing are provided for everyone. Equality is the basis for the society, giving everyone exactly what they need, nothing more. The ideal would be Utopian, the perfect society where everyone has a job, no one is homeless and society is functioning to its fullest potential. The reality in Cabal is much more dire. It is with the government’s power and control over the people that a Dystopian society has formed.
Drawing up the idea of a Dystopian world needs a basis in reality. Aberrant functions on the understanding of Utopian and how trying to achieve the perfect system, there could be inherent flaws – especially as other outside factors come into play. For example, the inability for society to naturally conceive children. This one outside influence disrupts the Utopian society that the government of Cabal has tried to create. Not everyone is provided with a child and those that are allowed to conceive through medical intervention, no longer keep society purely equal. The unbalance is merely the beginning from Utopian to Dystopian.
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