Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dissension by Stacey Berg

This novel got off to a bit of a slow and slightly confusing start but got me hooked before too long. It is dystopian and takes place four hundred years after a tragic event. The Church has been functioning as the ruling presence in the city with a Saint providing the energy for survival. There is something going very wrong and there may be only one person who can save the Church from itself – Echo Hunter 367.

I love sci-fi and really got into this novel about a third of the way in. I would have liked a little more information and description setting the stage at the beginning. Once I got into the story line, however, the plot did grab me and kept my interest.

Hunter is a clone. She and scores like her have been developed to do the will of the Church. But it seems Hunter might be defective. She has a bit of a will of her own and comes to doubt the wisdom of the leadership. There was not a great deal of character development with Echo, but as a clone, I am not sure how much she could change anyway.

The book has many good aspects of a dystopian novel. There is a desert wasteland outside of the city walls. There is the Church and there are priests but it is not a religious organization as much as just a governing body. The priests try to find information from writings to help them understand surviving machines. There is a restless community from which the Church obtains young women to carry the clones to birth. There may even be a rebellion brewing.

This novel is just the first half of the story. It is a bit depressing and ends on a less than positive note. But there is a future for Echo Hunter 367 and I am ready for the sequel.

You can read the first chapter here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Stacey Berg is a medical researcher who writes speculative fiction. Her work as a physician and scientist has given her inspiration for her stories. She lives with her wife in Houston. You can find out more at www.staceyberg.com.

Harper Voyager Impulse, 400 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Provident Book Promotions. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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