Hello world. I intended to post this review up earlier but then I caught a bad cold (ugh I hope I get better before Monday, it’s a torture to study when I’m sick) so here it is now! I received an ARC of The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray in exchange for a review. Thank you to Royal Social Media for sending me a copy! Since The Eden Conspiracy is the second book in a trilogy, I was sent the first book as well, so I’ll be reviewing both books. This will be a review on the first book, The Liberty Box. If you want to skip straight to the review of the second book, click here.
The Liberty Box is about a country (USA) led by a dictator who brainwashes and manipulates the citizens. An economy meltdown in the US resulted in chaos as there were no businesses, no jobs and no money. A billionaire, Ben Voltolini, stepped in and provided the necessary funds to implement the brainwashing process, which involves a mass vaccination to weaken the citizens physically and prevent more chaos, followed by sending false information to their brain waves. So basically, every citizen lives in oblivion as they are sent signals telling them that the Potentate (their ruler) and the Tribunal (essentially the government body) are great. They’re also poor and emaciated, although their minds trick them into thinking that they’re well-fed and living in luxury. Until one day our protagonist, Kate, starts to ‘wake up’ and see through the illusion. After that, well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out! Read the original synopsis here.
This book is a breath of fresh air in the dystopian genre in the sense that it isn’t romance-centric like so many others that I’ve read. Which was just as well, because I gotta admit that the romance, or rather the build-up to the romance, was poorly written. I just didn’t feel the chemistry between the main characters, Kate and Jackson. I even thought that the book would’ve been better off without the whole romance aspect. It was that unnecessary.
With that being said, I really enjoyed the thrilling action and adventure parts of the story. They were very well written. I remember squirming in my seat nervously, heart racing wildly, palms sweaty as I followed them on several dangerous (and potentially suicidal) journeys. I wouldn’t say that this book is action-packed though, because it touches on other elements which makes the story a whole lot better than it would’ve been if it had focused solely on the adventures. Which brings me to my next point…
I was really intrigued by the idea that the people would be able to discern the truth from lies as long as they had control of their own minds, even though they’re being brainwashed. There’s so much more I want to say, but no spoilers! I also thoroughly enjoyed the in-depth conversations about finding one’s purpose in life, the connection between the mind and the body, how our emotions affect us as well as the debate of ‘achievement versus glory’. This, coupled with the action/adventure aspect, made this book a thought-provoking, exhilarating read.
Here are some of my favourite quotes in the book:
“Power is a byproduct of a peaceful and quiet mind… but the moment power becomes an end in itself, the peace evaporates.” -Uncle Patrick.
“…all living things are connected, like part of a great tapestry of the universe. One thing can’t move, can’t even exist, without having a ripple effect on everything else – most powerfully on those in its closest proximity.” -Jackson.
“I think that beliefs, even false ones, have the power to kill.” -Jackson.