This novella is presented as the prequel to a dystopian series,
explaining how a divided, bitter, famine-struck world emerges from
modern society in America. DAWN OF
DYSTOPIA focuses on two youngsters adopted from an orphanage,
where increasing numbers of "throwaway kids"are sent.
Young Gerry suffers various kinds of abuse before being adopted by a
New Yorker who doesn't share his Irish heritage and has money from
providing healthy food. To Gerry's credit, he insists that he won't go
unless his pal Anthony, an older, African-American boy, is chosen, too.
Partly we see this as insecurity: he wants to bring a stable friendship
with him through one more upheaval in his circumstances. But partly it
is because Gerry, though he doesn't yet know it, has feelings for boys,
which emerge much later in the tale as he grows to a young man and
starts to understand his feelings. But by then, the world has changed; a
corrupt government has been removed and replaced by a monarchy,
which seems just as impotent as the government before it, and is
reliant on a new religious order for authority.
DAWN OF DYSTOPIA by C.M.
Barrett starts a new series to be called Dystopia in Drag, examining how people not considered to
be the norm might be treated in a less tolerant future. With some
strong language and adult concepts, this YA tale isn't for the nervous
but will give young adult readers reason to consider the news they see
and the books they read. The only drawback I can see is that after
halfway, the book is more about telling than drama, as it strives to set
the scene for further storylines in the series. I'm certainly interested in
reading more of this series.
Gerryâ€™s mother told him he came from the stars, but when the
ten-year-old comes home to an empty trailer, he fears being
homeless on earth. To survive, he learns to charm social
workers and orphanage administrators. His new friend,
Anthony, guides him through the child welfare system, and
Gerry refuses to leave Anthony behind when a wealthy gay man
wants to adopt him.
Their life in a Greenwich Village brownstone seems too good
to be trueâ€”and it is. After famines and plagues kill
millions, the Redeemers, an increasingly powerful
evangelical church, blame all deviantsâ€”including scientists,
academics, artists, and anyone else who challenges their
dogmaâ€”for the disasters.
Those targeted by the Redeemers believe that the church
plans punitive actionâ€”but their intentions are far more
brutal than anyone could have imagined. Now a young gay man,
Gerry discovers that his unusual ability to create harmony
flowers to serve his community, but it takes a tragedy to
shock him into realizing what coming from the stars really