I read or started all of the following series this summer. Let me explain a little about why I like science fiction. Story lines can get relatively repetitive, especially if there is romance involved. In the spirit of Reading Rainbow books can take you anywhere, and that is especially true with science fiction. In science fiction you can change about anything you want that you would normally assume, and you have to consider how those changes affect everything else. You could say, “What if a virus left only women alive?” What would the world be like? I read some interesting books this summer that just might interest you, so I thought I might share their basic premises. All of these books are set in some kind of futuristic earth. Not necessarily more advanced, just in the future.
Spoiler Alert (kind of)
By the way, saying anything about a book spoils at least the beginning of the book where the author introduces the book in his or her own way. So you are officially warned with the smallest of spoiler alerts.
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
The basic idea is that in order to eliminate differences that attractiveness has on society a mandatory surgery is required when everyone turns 16. Those over the age of 16 are called pretties, and those under are called uglies. In addition to the operation the pretties relax all day and party all night. However, the operation and lifestyle hide a secret that will shake the foundation of the entire society of the world. (I think they are going to start working on a movie this year for the first book)
Matched Trilogy by Allie Condie
One of my ‘favorite’ episodes of X-files was the one with the perfect suburban neighborhood that had a monster in the grass that would kill you if your yard light went out or something else wasn’t perfectly in order. There is just something creepy about forcing people to live an idyllic life. This book plays on some of those themes.
In Matched a Big Brother type government takes data on its citizens in order to match them with the perfect spouse and perfect job. Differences are limited between neighbors in order to prevent jealousy. Disease is eliminated and everyone dies at the age of 80. Few choices supposedly limit the traditional failures of human nature. However, just a few hiccups make the protagonist think about whether the society’s choices were really the best for her and her family.
The Giver (Quartet) by Lois Lowry
I know this is an older book that a lot of people read a long time ago in school. The movie even came out before I read it. I actually only read The Giver, but The Giver is part of a semi-related quartet. I don’t think the books take place with any of the same characters or the same setting, just the same themes.
The Partials Trilogy by Dan Wells
Partials is set in a world where everyone but 35,000 people died from a virus that they believe was released by bio-engineered (partially human) super soldiers. However, even the survivors holed up on part of Long Island can’t have children, so the future of the human race look bleak. They’re hoping for immunity, fighting for a cure, and they are worried about what the partials have been up to for the last 20 years.
The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau
The testing trilogy is also set in a post-apocalyptic society where most major cities were bombed with nuclear weapons. Large parts of the country are contaminated with radiation, but people are regathering and developing radiation resistant crops. In order to help educate the best and brightest, different colonies send their smartest high-school graduates to their capitol to be tested for additional training. This series follows an intelligent teenager who travels to the capitol for additional education. However, neither the tests or the other testing candidates are as she had been taught. She must navigate dangerous and competitive challenges to save her own life, but the lives of many others as well.
I felt the story was well written, interesting, and engaging. It has many general similarities to the Hunger Games trilogy, but I did not feel like I was reading a rewrite of the Hunger Games series. There are many different creative ideas for the setting and plot to merit it to stand on its own. I have not yet read the third book, but I plan to read it in the near future. So, I can’t say how I fell about how it ended, which some people care a lot about.
Remake by Ilima Todd (intended to be the first in a trilogy
This book has a post-apocalyptic setting due to a virus that drastically cuts down the worlds population. The series follows a young lady as she is about to choose her gender and occupation for the rest of her life – her remake. Her society has decided to limit their population by ‘creating’ humans in predetermined batch sizes with limited physical differences until the age in which they can choose how they want to be remade. However, the young lady soon learns that there are other ways to live, and other opinions on the role of gender and family in society. It is a unique and thought provoking story with interesting characters and an exciting plot.Personally, I felt that the story for the first chapter or two started a little slow, but it doesn’t take long for things to pick up fast.
The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this series. I only randomly read the first book because I saw I had a small credit in the Google Play store, Google recommended the book to me, and the first book, Legend, was only about $2.50. However, it has a higher rating on GoodReads.com than The Hunger Games and Divergent. There are a few details about the characters that seem unlikely, but who likes to read books about normal , boring people. The books get your attention relatively early on, and the books get better as you read. To me, the books have a good pace and nothing really dragged out unnecessarily long, but the character development is still thorough. The book is a YA dystopian novel which is told from the perspective of two main characters, Day and June. They live in a world with shrunken land mass due to extreme melting of the polar ice caps, and the government has become overly militarized to control its own people and fight neighboring enemies. The characters, the character’s relationships, the politics, and the struggles the characters are involved in are steadily, well developed throughout the three books.