Friday, 20 May 2016

Spotlight and Review: Regress by SF Benson

Regress: The Alliance Chronicles (Book One)
Tru Shepard is a teenager committing acts of treason living in war-torn New Detroit circa 2025. The New Order, a government run by scientists and technologists, has banned creativity in favor of STEM education. In the eyes of the American Republic’s leaders, creativity is a waste of time which doesn’t foster a strong society. Besides Creatives have a tendency to speak out against the government.
Tru gambles with her life every time she steps foot in the Underground, a restricted warehouse district where Creatives congregate. She breaks the city-wide curfew to hang out with friends enjoying banned music and expressing herself on ancient sketchpads. Recently, the New Order has issued sweeps of the sector to find renegades.
But being picked up by the NDPD, New Detroit Police Department, is the least of her concerns. In ten days Tru will be seventeen, the age scientists consider a government-mandated inoculation to be totally safe. Although officials claim the vaccine is the country’s best defense against another worldwide pandemic, stories circulate amongst Creatives about individuals who lose their abilities after its administration.
Tru has her Inoculation Day orders. Failure to report is punishable by death, but if she can’t express herself artistically, she’d prefer dying. Just when she despairs on what to do Zared Aoki, someone from her past, enters her life. He may be just as dangerous as the vaccination Tru needs to avoid. He claims to know the real reason behind the vaccine—a government project tampering with the fundamental design of humanity.
The two set out to prove the true nature of the vaccine and alert the public to its devastating effects. But is the world ready to listen?

Shona's review 3 of 5 stars

The world building is great, set in the not too distant future Tru is living in a post-apocalyptic America. I'll be honest there was talk of a virus and cogents and creatives and genetics but I didn't understand all of it, either that's because it wasn't explained very well or its all just outside my knowledge base. But the basics are that creative thinkers are bad for the world and they need a vaccine on their 17th birthday.. which for Tru is fast approaching. Enter interesting boy who offers to help girl avoid her inoculation day...Except it isn't all as it seems.

Tru really bugged me... When she firsts meet Z she thought he looked familiar, then she remembers she knew a guy whose name began with a Z and then 4 days later its "he means the world to me, my present and my future".. which would be fine IF they had actually spent any quality time together. But they don't. And then despite the fact that he answers none of her questions, including the question of who he is working for, she trusts him blindly and chooses to believe him over her parents??? Alright her parents had their own secrets but at this point she had no reason to not trust them.. And then when she finally finds out who/what Zared works for she thinks of him as a traitor... given what they have both done together at this point I felt it was a tad ridiculous. According to the laws they had both passed traitor and signed their own death warrants long before the point where she realises who he really is.

For me this was one of those middle of the road books, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I thought the book had lots of promise, but for me there were too many areas that grated on me and really spoiled the enjoyment factor. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it enough that I need to read to the end to find out what happens, I just didn't get that pull that insists I stay seated and read it. 

Lisa's Review - 2.5 out of 5 stars

Regress has the promise of being a really good dystopian book, but I feel from early on the author goes wrong with lack of explanation. It can't be easy to write a really good book set in the future especially a book based on a post-Apocalyptic country, but if it isn't done right it can be even harder as a reader. Not really understanding what was going on threw me off for a lot of the book.

Tru is the main character, a teenage girl fast approaching her 17th birthday. This means she is facing her Inoculation Day, an injection given to some teenagers, with several different reasons for the vaccine cropping up throughout the story. In a desperate bid to avoid the vaccine, her life is thrown upside down. Zared enters her life, a boy who was a part of her life just a few short years ago yet she has trouble recalling who he is, but a few days later is the love of her life. Together,  they aim to take on the New Order and out the real reason for the vaccine.

Relationships were one of the big flaws in Regress. Parents, friends, boyfriends.. without giving too much of the storyline away, Tru seemed so fickle for a teenage girl, and there was a massive lack of emotion running throughout the whole book. I lost count of the how many times Tru also 'thought someone looked familiar' yet she had such problems placing them, did the girl have memory issues?? I struggled to like any of the characters, usually you find yourself rooting or connecting with at least one, but if I am being honest even by the end of the book I simply wasn't bothered what happened to any of them.
There were a few good parts and it felt as if the book needed more time and effort put in to it, it seemed very rushed in places which put me off.

SF Benson, a Michigan native, resides in Georgia with her husband, a human daughter, and a couple of miniature fur kids (two female short-haired guinea pigs). At one time she wrangled a household which included three Samoyeds, saltwater fish, a hamster, and three guinea pigs.

SF has always wanted to be a writer, but she’s had a variety of positions ‘feeding’ her creative brain—blogger/reviewer, customer service representative, veterinary assistant, marketing assistant, editorial assistant, receptionist, and even cashier for women’s clothing and shoes.

She’s an avid bookworm who appreciates a well-written book regardless of genre. SF prefers to write stories which allow her to answer the question “what if”. She leans towards writing strong, diverse protagonists set in dystopian, science fiction, or paranormal worlds.

Instagram: @authorsfbenson

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