Posts Tagged ‘Ben Ellis’

In a Right State by Ben Ellis

October 22, 2018 - 9:21 pm No Comments

In a Right State by Ben Ellis
Published 29th June 2014
363 pages

2066 and the big corporations rule the country. Everyone’s data is analysed, and food is genetically modified. However certain residents are not happy, whether they are growing natural vegetables or having tech that will confuse satellites, they do what it takes to rebel against society.
The story opens with a body parts being auctioned to the highest bidders and you start to wonder what sort of world these people live in. Duncan an ex employer of Pharmara was not happy with how the country was going and in his own way rebelled by growing all-natural produce. Amy an employer of Pharmara, analysed data, good at her job but soon became disillusioned with the work. Whilst she did not know Duncan she knew his wife, they were thrown together when Duncan became a Person of Interest. On the run they end up at Shaded Vale, run by The Colonel, it was utopia compared to Wigthorn, living without being spied on and run by the filthy rich. The Colonel has a plan to shake up the country but need the help of Duncan, Amy and his daughter Poppy,
Amy and Duncan were as different as chalk and cheese. Amy lived by facts and patterns and was very tech savvy. Duncan at lot older, still missed the good old days. He shut himself away and only lived for his plants. Poppy was a strange girl living in her parent’s shadow, she reminded me of Violet from the Incredibles, very shy but very astute.
From the moment Duncan is in trouble you are taken on a cat and mouse adventure. The use of technology played a big part in the story and showed just how easy it was to abuse the system. The further I got into the book I did start to wonder who exactly the “good” guys as personal gain was a big issue. One character I despised straight away was Estelle, Poppy’s mom who was the biggest bitch I have read about in a while.
This was a fast-paced book as you follow the chase, but it was not all serious, there were a few comedy moments one in particular being the spray that changed your DNA, imagine a satellite seeing 3 sheep getting into a car and driving away. Whilst this is a fictional story there were parts that are realistic, and it does get you thinking what technology is in use today with our data being shared. If you enjoy dystopian with a technology twist, then this is a read for you. I hope that there is more to come and as I am interested in what happened next

Broken Branches by Ben Ellis

June 20, 2018 - 8:44 pm No Comments

Broken Branches by Ben Ellis
Published 8th February 2018
356 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

To stop over populating, pregnancies are controlled. To get a chance of becoming a family you have to have good genes and be on the National Tree. If you are an orphan, you have next to no chance of having a baby. You are a broken branch.
Grace and Charlie are twins, not having any family they are classed as broken branches. They do not get the same rights as thoroughbreds. So Grace was shocked when she was allowed to have a child with her thoroughbred husband Tom. Fearing reprisals from a terrorist group and their leader Shears, they go into hiding. To complicate the situation Charlie become fertile and gets a girl pregnant.
I instantly liked Grace and Charlie and whilst they are twins they were completely different. Grace was conscientious and kept her self to herself trying to be a good citizen. Charlie plays the field, dislikes authority and is a loveable rogue.
I love dystopian stories and enjoy books that are not the norm, and this book fitted the bill. With Britain being a nation that wanted to improve the gene pool, this story really showed the struggle with the class system and the prejudice against the broken branches. From the initial terrorist attack to the final page, you are drawn in to a story that will capture your imagination. When the babies show some unusual activity, you are left wandering what they are and whilst there were hints, I hope it is all explained further on in the series. My only niggle was that addition of an unknown prisoners dialogue as I found this made the story disjointed and I must admit I did end up skipping those scenes. Even now I did not understand the relevance, but that may be just me. That being said I did enjoy the story.
This is a new author to me and I will look out for further work. One of the interesting points was right at the end when the author explained the reason for the ps and qs and the other easter eggs in the story. This shows how well planned the story was. Overall this was a good dystopian