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Battle Ground (Battle Ground YA UK Dystopia Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
'This series is raising the standard for YA dystopian fiction, and I can't give it less than five stars' - AyJayPageFarer Book Blog
'The Battle Ground series is the most relevant series in and about the UK right now' - Writing With Wolves Book Blog
'Battle Ground feels really relevant' - Jessica Belmont
'Scarily near the mark' - Mai's Musings Book Blog
'Engaging, thrilling, intense, and wild' - Jazzy Book Reviews
'Bex is a great protagonist' - Paperbacks and Pinot Book Blog
'Action-driven, thought-provoking, dystopian YA' - In De Boekenkast Book Blog
'I didn't realise I'd read half the book until I came up for air' - Radzy Writes Book Blog--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B07VCSY3CS
- Publisher : Taller Books (18 July 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 3486 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 260 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 109667095X
- Best Sellers Rank: 286,217 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Bex is a great protagonist and ticks very few of the YA heroine tick boxes, she not all about running into danger without a backward glance for others, she seldom if ever mentions her appearance, if only to lament her “front line barbie” moniker, and it’s not about catching the eye of a cute boy. Bex has a strong morality and a curiosity about what is going on and it’s amazing to have a book where a romantic element isn’t the ultimate goal. She questions and is open to suggestion that there has to be some way of making things better.
With chapters heavy on military training, I liked how the author took the time to remind us that Bex is still very much a child underneath. The passages where we return to the school setting and her finding joy in the simpler things, the mundane such as homework really brought home her plight and those of the others. It’s one of many frightening near life scenarios that we are shown in this tale, children “enlisted” giving them little to no choice or say in the matter, made horribly parallel scenario to the drafting of the first and second world wars. The whole training camp had an uncomfortable feel with very little sympathy, but plenty of brainwashing and propaganda feeding. The concept of forcing the humanity out of the children, encouraging them to abandon anyone other than themselves, is a distressing idea. The indication that caring for someone is somehow obtuse in an environment that breeds disassociation from what they may have to do as part of the “greater good” all whilst putting on a good show for the camera’s, is one of many difficult topics the author covers and it is done incredibly well.
Whilst the start is a teeny tiny bit slow with the recruitment and training aspect, it’s still captivating and knowing that these are rapid release books means that there will be pay off from establishing the world building in this book. I did find that I struggled with how quickly Bex gained the military prowess displayed towards the closing chapters but then adrenaline probably speaks for a lot, but it was the only time that I felt the story stepped outside of what could actually happen.
There are obvious connotations with the current political climate, which is clear when reading the blurb – whichever side of the fence you are on, this book isn’t preaching about that, it’s putting across a scenario and a pretty great one at that. The story contains enough of current and recent affairs to give it a realistic turn without specifying enough to date it in future, especially with the imaginative combination of guns and armour which had an almost sci-fi feel at times. This coupled with the weaponry makes it feel like it might not be quite just around the corner, but in these uncertain times, who knows.
I’m very much looking forward to book 2 and give book one a very strong 4*
To say it makes for uncomfortable reading is putting it mildly, as the story it tells is one that feels so frighteningly plausible and so close to our current situation that it truly chills one to the bone. Britain is now practically a martial state living under the heel of a corrupt and controlling government that has traded on the fears and paranoia of a scared populace to gradually gain more and more control.
Children of sixteen are being forcibly conscripted into a version of the territorial army that promises safety, yet in reality is a cover for an authority which is power hungry and will go to any lengths to achieve maximum control over the control.
The main plot deals with rebellious teenager Bex who is one of these “paper soldiers”. Taken by force from her school and with no family to defend her, she quickly gathers a group of loyal friends around her and together they fight to maintain their integrity and individuality in an organisation intent on moulding them all into a non-thinking, non-questioning, cohesive unit.
The book is well written, with a sparsity to the prose which suits the militant functionality of the plot. The characters are multi-faceted and complex, with relationships gradually forming that layer on the reality of their situation until we, the reader, truly believe that this could really happen.
The plot took an unexpected twist about mid-point, when Bex discovers a shocking secret that jars her to the core and makes her question everything she ever believed about the country she lives in and the authority she serves. From then on, the pace picks up even more, racing through shockingly unexpected situations to finally implode in an ending which has left me wanting more.
Luckily, the second book is already published for me to read. Overall, this is a clever and sophisticated take on a very relevant topic that places this novel very much in the here and now and should be seen as a warning of what could come about.
Instead, with Battlegrounds, we are given a female character who cares and is cared for without losing her sense of self. Bex is strong yet flawed, she makes mistakes and learns from them, as we all should. She doesn't fall apart when things go wrong, but she does allow herself a moment to stutter and stumble - she's no superhero - and while she leans on those close to her for support and guidance, she is still able to make her own decisions and allows herself to be held responsible when things go wrong.
If you're looking for a YA that offers more than teenage pining, you can't go wrong read Battlegrounds.