STATE OF REFUGE BY DAVID KORSON

GENRE: DYSTOPIAN

REVIEW DATE: JULY 29, 2021 

“An action packed dystopian thrill ride!”

In a post-American world, where an oppressive global government blankets all of humanity, the entire prison system has been dismissed in favor of an ungoverned region of forced exile. Commonly called the State of Refuge, the convicts within its boundaries must fend for themselves amidst violence and anarchy if they hope to survive. When seventeen-year-old Derek Vaskez is wrongly sentenced there, he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy much larger than he could ever imagine. He alone possesses something that many ruthless people are searching for and would kill to obtain—something so valuable that it could change the entire world as he knows it.

Filled with non-stop action, exciting twists, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and even a touch of humor and romance, you are sure to enjoy State of Refuge!

State of Refuge is a great dystopian work of art written by David Korson. Derek Vaskez life is ripped away from him at the drop of a dime when he sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit. His punishment, being sent to The State of Refuge. The State of Refuge (the location not the book.) Is an extensive region of land cut off the rest of civilization where the guilty now go. To get the answers he needs, Derek must first escape hell on earth. The State of Refuge is home to murders, rapists, and evil itself.

What I enjoyed.

The first thing that I noticed about the story is that it is extremely well written. A prime example of this is that throughout the book Derek has flashbacks to his time before being in the State of Refuge. The flashbacks flowed seamlessly into the overall story. This story, with all its action, drama, suspense and even a bit of romance, all flows together. The characters are very well flushed out. Each character has meaning and purpose. Korsons writing is very descriptive and rich with detail. His writing makes it very easy to paint this harsh and unforgiving world in your head.

What I didn’t enjoy. 

I honestly have no complaints.

Overall

States of Refuge is a great dystopian work of art. To me it puts me in the mind of a darker and more gruesome Hunger Games with a splash of Escape from L.A. This a great read for anyone. Even if you not a big fan of this genre I still recommend you pick this one up. This story is very well put together and has a little bit of everything for everyone, all of which is rich in details to get lost in. This is the first of a three-book series. If the rest of series is like this, then I foresee the other two being well written page turners that I look forward to getting my hands on.

Final Score

5 out 5 stars

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LIBERTY BOUND BY NATHANEL M. WREY

GENRE: DYSTOPIAN

REVIEW DATE: AUGUST 30, 2022 

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Society has turned on its head. The “free” hide behind fortifications, and the “imprisoned” roam the wild, barren land beyond.

Finbarl-apcula guards the town of Athenia, an oasis in a parched, sparsely populated world. He keeps the citizens safe, ensures those who break the draconian laws lose their freedom, and protects what he prizes above all else: civilization.

When Finbarl is made to lie to help convict a mother he once rescued from a bully, it delivers the first crack in his unquestionable faith in the system. As further lies and corruption are exposed, Finbarl’s world crumbles, allowing him to finally see that “prison walls” exist everywhere - within himself, throughout society, and in the very landscape he calls home.

No one is free, and the civilization he was willing to die for is at the root of the problem.

Finbarl begins a thrilling adventure of twists, rebellion, danger, discovery, and tragedy to break the bonds imprisoning a world, himself, and the future. Will he find what he really treasures most: true freedom?

In creating a dangerous but exciting inverse world, where the true meaning of freedom is explored and challenged, Wrey invites the listener to consider how their own society and the individuals within are inhibited and restricted by “walls” through fear and ignorance.

Liberty Bound, written by Nathaniel M Wrey is a dark dystopian story centered on Finbarl-apcula. Finbarl is a guard for humanity’s last known civilization known as Athenia. His task is to keep order and peace along with doing whatever the leaders of Athenia, the Wardens, ask of him. The Wardens explain to him that for the betterment of Athenia, Finbarl must lie in court, which results in ripping an innocent mother away from her son and sending her beyond the walls of Athenia to die. Either to be killed by the elements of this harsh new world or by the foul beast known as Ferrals. Conflicted with what he did, Finbarl wonders if he and the Warderns are doing what is right for Athenia and its people.

Liberty Bound was my first experience with Wrey’s work, and I was not disappointed. The protagonist, Finbarl-apcula is a well fleshed out character. He goes through a very engaging story arc, full of extreme highs and extreme lows. Wrey’s character development is not just with Finbarl. Each character are very well rounded and three-dimensional. Every character has their own unique story, which builds upon the overall story. No character is there as filler. Each one has a purpose when it comes to bringing this story to life.

The world of Liberty Bound is set in our world, but many years into the future, after humanity has all but destroyed itself. Wrey does a superb job at capturing the grittiness, the darkness, the despair, and the small glimmer of hope that the characters hang on to that keep them going to see another day.   

For Liberty Bound, I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of this novel narrated by Hugh Kermode. Kermode did an outstanding job of pulling you into this world. His tone was spot on with the way Wrey meant to express the attitudes and emotions within this story.

Liberty Bound is a great dystopian read. With the combination of Wrey’s in-depth storytelling and character development and Kermode’s rich voice, that really helps you get in the head of the characters, this book is a must read and must listen for any dystopian fan.

Final Score

4 out 5 stars