Publisher: Patchwork Press
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
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 one 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.
I'm a bit undecided on this one. On one hand, I don't like it when dystopians don't move things along fast enough. On the other hand, I felt like things maybe moved too fast in Aberrant. And by things, I mean Olivia ends up in three separate and (mostly) unique dystopian societies during her journey. The author does a pretty good job giving the reader a decent peek at each society, but there's no thorough world-building...mainly because she doesn't stay in one place long enough to necessitate it. I still don't know if it's a good thing or not.
Ill try to break it down, and you can decide for yourself...M'kay?
There may be some mild spoilers below, but the vast majority of the stuff in my review has already been stated in the blurb.
The first society is the one she was raised in. Everyone in Cabal is well provided for, but all of their decisions are controlled by the government. The marriages are arranged, the jobs are assigned, and children are regulated by a lottery.
Olivia is ecstatic when she is chosen to marry her best friend, Joshua. She expects them to live happily ever after, and is shocked when she is arrested on her wedding night.
Wait. I forgot something.
It's not a regular wedding night, because somehow nobody has sex anymore. She learned about it from outlawed trashy romance novels, and was attempting to put the moves on her fella when the POPO busted in. But they aren't arresting her for that. Evidently, her mom and dad also bumped fuzzies! And even though it is genetically impossible for women to get pregnant anymore, nine months later Olivia was born. She's a medical miracle! Her mother and father managed to pay off some people to pretend that her mother had been artificially impregnated, and somehow the government just now found out.
Of course, Olivia doesn't find any of this out until later, and she was unaware of her bizarre birth until the cops show up at her door.
On the outside of the city, there's a rebellion going on that (again) Olivia was unaware of. The rebels help her escape to one of their cities, and here's where the second society comes into play.
In the rebel city, everyone is allowed to choose what they do and who they marry. Except Olivia. They give her two years to choose anyone besides Joshua to marry. Why not Josh? Well, it would look bad if the government was right about anything. It starts off with a nice suggestion that she spend time with other guys, and ends up with her being locked up in a room when she doesn't listen to their friendly advice. Oh. And she needs to hurry up and have a baby. Because that would make the government look bad, and help their cause. And since she the only woman who might possibly be capable of becoming pregnant naturally, she really doesn't get a choice in the matter. Haven is starting to look just as horrible as her original home by now.
In a twist of fate, the army raids the city to find her, and she and Joshua are able to escape in the confusion.
They steal a solar-powered jeep, and ride off into the wild together on another epic adventure!
When they were back in Haven, Joshua found a map with a hidden city on it. Hoping that it will be better than their last two homes, they decide to try to seek asylum there.
Welcome to the third and (maybe) final society.
After a rough trip across the Gravelands, they arrive at...the new place.
Here they find out that they need to compete in some sort of survival games to determine if they are worthy to be allowed into this secret group. These guys have their own set of rules that the two need to abide by in order to play the game.
Oh. And there's another twist that's got a bit of an X-men vibe to it, but I don't want to get too spoilery.
Sound like a fun book? Then go get it!