For fans of DIVERGENT and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER
In THE COLLECTION, the second installment in Shannon Stoker’s dystopian trilogy, (on sale February 4, 2014; ISBN 9780062271747; $14.99) Mia Morrissey has escaped: America, the Registry, and the role she was raised for—a perfect bride primed to be auctioned to the highest bidder. She’s enemy number one to the world’s largest power, and there’s no turning back.
From the moment she and her friends Andrew, and Carter cross the border into Mexico it becomes clear their troubles are only beginning. Mexico may have laws to protect runaway brides, but US army deserters face deportation or worse. The young men are immediately picked up by a violent and omnipotent militia—TheCollection—and Mia is determined to come to their rescue.
With time running out, her powerful ex-fiancé‘s henchman on her trail as she flees Mexico for Guatemala, and a frightening sexist and xenophobic tide shifting back in America, Mia is also willing to put her life on the line for her belief that women deserve the exact same freedoms and rights as men—even if that means putting herself back on an auction block.
With great suspense, THE COLLECTION magnifies real issues of the modern age while developing the chilling, dystopian American society Shannon Stoker first revealed in The Registry. A society where young women are held back, only free to become uneducated breeders with no real knowledge of the outside world—and the prettiest ones go to the highest bidders.
The first book, The Registry, tells the story of a patriotic new America: girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders. Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom. All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.
Book One ends with a daring escape, and Book Two: The Collection picks up the action seamlessly.
Mia and her friend flee to Mexico for freedom, but before the first chapter ends, Andrew and Carter are apprehended by the local authorities and Mia is on her own. In the first book, Andrew and Carter help Mia escape, and this time they need her help. The adventure that unfolds is fast paced, thrilling and unpredictable. As a new blogger, I still struggle with writing a spoiler-free review. Explaining what I like about a book without saying what happens in the book is a challenge. What I can say is that I found the story to be original, well written and very fun to read.
The Collection has action, drama, romance, suspense and authentic characters living in a dystopian world. The villain, Grant Marsden, is extremely complex and entertaining and Mia, Andrew and Carter grow as they realize the status quo is corrupt and risk it all for a better life. They have genuine fears, needs and doubts while discovering inner strengths, loyalties and desires. This book was very much like an action movie; fast paced, unpredictable and exciting.
There is wonderful social commentary on government, oppression, perfection and how the grass is always greener, no matter the environment. I have read a few “women are commodities in the future” books (Wither is another good one). Critics doubt that strong independent women in this modern age could become submissive property in a future world. I am of the belief that if society hit a “reset button,” anything is possible, even if its not probable. I enjoy a good story; A Handmaiden’s Tale, The Hunger Games, Maze Runner and (especially) Brave New World are excellent examples of a future world that is equal parts far-fetched and plausible.
I very much look forward to the final installment of this trilogy. If you have not read The Registry, you should do that before you read The Collection (you can enter to win a paperback copy on this blog!)
I received a Galley copy of The Collection from the Publisher in exchange for this honest review. – kris