Winner of a Northern Writers’ Award Longlisted in the Bath Novel Award
What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?
In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.
Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.
With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?
Publishing Date: 2 MAY 2019
ALTERNATIVE EDITION: 978-1-78965-028-0
FORMAT: Paperback and ebook
PUBLISHER: Unbound Digital GENRE: Speculative fiction, dystopian fiction
First off, I think we should all know by now that I’m super huge fan of Dystopia (note my many gushing times I’ve listed The Hunger Games under a fave book list in my posts as reference). Secondly, this was just a really great standard dystopia, it combines elements from the great classics and Lord [man I sound super religious] gives us a really enjoyable and engaging dystopia read for us in this day and age. She’s not afraid to count Brexit and other events that are currently happening as part of the world she’s weaving, this is no throw back to 1984 though the inspiration from it is clear and in fact the people of this society, if they’re old enough, remember reading it. This is one more case of how change can sneak up on a Dystopian society to create the sort of thing we think unimaginable when we read about it.
Much like Fahrenheit 451 reading the wrong books can get you into a world of trouble. After trouble with violence, and political terrorism, modern day U.K. decides to close itself off after a time, there is a new regime, and a new government dubbed the ‘Junta’ and Amy Lord isn’t afraid to take inspiration from the Russian Revolution when you read about what this new government has done.
Clara was traumatized by the abrupt end of her Father in her life as he’s taken away one night for reading the wrong books, the real twist will be who she ends up growing up with as a ‘Father figure’ and I won’t spoil it for you but I did enjoy that. Not only that but we get more than just Clara’s POV we get the main antagonist’s POV as well, well main antagonist to Clara, the Major. The book divides into parts, switching times and POVs but never getting too muddled and all of it builds up to clearly tell the story of Clara in the now. Any ‘backtracking’/looking into the past is for the benefit of the reader and I loved getting the backstory honestly.
This was not a story with particularly new elements to Dystopia but it is the first one I have personally read in a while that wasn’t specifically YA oriented. That being said, this could easily be read by a huge age range, including YA. I flew through this book in a day, I was so engrossed and I think that Lord really just has this groove, she gives you details and she gives you such an element of reality. I think that she’s yet another author I’ll be keeping my eye out for.
If you want a bit of a classic dystopia with a modern day feel and style, I would strongly recommend The Disappeared by Amy Lord, it was a treat to be part of this tour! Thanks to Anne, Amy Lord, and the publisher for the copy and being part of the tour!!
About the Author
Amy Lord is a writer, blogger and digital marketer from north-east England. She won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 for The Disappeared and was also longlisted in the inaugural Bath Novel Award. An earlier manuscript saw her shortlisted for Route Publishing’s Next Great Novelist Award. Amy is currently working on a new novel, which was developed as part of a year-long mentoring scheme with Writers’ Block NE.
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