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Today’s Dystopian within Finding Sage by @LoganRJudy & #Review

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Today’s Dystopia

by London Sage

When I started Finding Sage two years ago, I had no idea that dystopia was going to be so huge when I finished.  I hadn’t even heard of The Hunger Games before the movie came out, and Divergent wasn’t even on my radar.  The only modern dystopian work I was aware of was Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series.  I have to say, though, that I’m pretty impressed with where the genre has gone.

The dystopian books that influenced my work were the classic dystopian stories that most of us had to read in high school.  They were books along the lines of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and the like.  Modern dystopia, however, has followed a different path.  They’ve tapped into the Young Adult craze (which I suspect will never completely go away), and applied thought-provoking issues to it.  Instead of going straight to politics like many of the “classic” dystopian works (such as Orwell’s books, for example), they’ve instead addressed concerns within our own culture.  Unwind tackles the issue of abortion.  The Hunger Games inquires about the endgame of a culture entertained by violence.  Divergent addresses individuality and how some are forced into society’s box.

That’s really what dystopia should do.  It should offer commentary and warning about problems within our own culture, instead of just offering up a cool story or exploration of an alternate reality.  Modern dystopia, to my view, has done that pretty well.   It’s changing with the times, addressing the new problems of our culture and engaging it with thought-provoking questions.

That’s what I hope to do with my dystopia.  It shouldn’t be written unless there’s a point.  There was a reason I wrote Finding Sage (which should be apparent upon finishing it, without explanation).  I don’t do all of my writing to make some sort of point.  Sometimes I write just for the enjoyment, or to explore a cool story.  That’s not why dystopia exists as a genre, though.  It’s not there just to tell a cool story.  It exists to make a point.  To give a warning.

I am curious, however, as to how writers of modern dystopia will end their books.  Dystopia from older times has typically ended alike to Shakespearean tragedies Modern literature, not so much.  Some modern dystopia books end well and some of them not so well, but I’m not crazy about a series ending in between (which is the case with one of the popular dystopian series I’ve read.  I’ll not say which one for the sake of avoiding spoilers).  Writers need to consider that very carefully.  Does a good ending to a dystopian work unravel the message?  Saying that everything will be alright eventually anyway?  Or does it give a solution to the problem that has been so tragically outlined?  That might depend on the story.

As for my own work, you’ll just have to read it to the end and see.  There are reasons to end dystopia both positively and negatively.  I only promise you one thing.  It will not be in between.

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About Logan Judy

Logan Judy is a dystopia, science fiction, and fantasy author who thrives on the theoretical and lives for the imaginative. He self-published his first book Finding Sage in 2014 and since then has continued to pursue his dream of being a self-published author. He currently lives in Indiana with his wife and their Don Quixote-esque guard dog.

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Today’s Dystopian within Finding Sage by @LoganRJudy & #ReviewFINDING SAGE
Series: The Rogue #1
by Logan Judy
three-stars
Pages: 343
Published by Self-Published
on March 30, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal
Source & Buy Links: Bewitching Book Tours
Amazon • • Goodreads •

In the future, some people, known as rogues, exhibit supernatural abilities. That’s not a good thing, however, because the global government hunts them down and executes them, imprisons them, or forces them to become assassins. Silas is such a rogue. He lives day by day constantly paranoid about his chances of survival. So when a wide-eyed hobo offers him a solution to his problems, a mysterious man who the U.N. seems desperate to find, he follows, not having the slightest clue what he’s just stepped into.

Alice hides a dark secret. Many rogues have come and gone in past years, but if people only knew how dark her so-called gift was, they would reject her. Attack her. Kill her. Where can she turn?

Sage is the one that connects them. The one that offers hope to them both. Little is known about him and precious few have seen him. So why is he the only one that the U.N. is afraid of?

I received this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I love Dystopian fiction, as many of you know, and was intrigued with how the author was going to blend in paranormal/super hero powers into the framework and conventions of dystopia. Would the author try to blend the best of both worlds? The bleakness and absolutely no happy ending of true dystopia combined with a meaningful message hidden within the pages or was it going to be an obvious in your face message with a love interest and a happy ever after or … in the middle.  For Finding Sage I found it almost got there with some things, but it was trying to hard to be a new dystopian with conventions of the older ones and wanting to give us a huge wonderful exciting story and no trimming of the fat. It ended up being a bit watered down and not as poewrful as it could have been with half the cast and more character development. It was set in a world attempting to be a dystopian build but it is to all over the place and the world is not rigid enough to pull it off for me.

As mentioned above it is right in the middle. No happily ever after, at least not yet but there is a beyond obvious message of equality. What I do like about the message is the equality wasn’t for women or gays, blacks or religious zealots but for humans. Humans who happen to be born with a super-human gift. This is a great hook, this blend of the new and old in an attempt to get us excited from a different perspective. Many dypstopian’s written these days the protagonists are loaners or characters which stand above with their natural talents.  They are normally “super human” but without the paranormal. Such as fantastic trackers, or hunters or exceptional loaners. It is almost there, almost.

But, there are a lot of problems. It is only 343 pages-long a pretty easy read for me, but holy cow did it take me forever to get through it. Not because it was boring, at least not all the time, but because it dragged on in way to many directions. I actually kept up with the characters, because I ended up making notes. Many reviewers say it was their biggest problem was the cast being to huge, it was way to huge. So much so no real full character development happened. The  main characters were developed as far as supporting “cast members” but not actual full characters. I would start connecting with a character and a new one would be introduced and bam… more watered down. On top of it all, the characters were not the only thing being crammed into these dang pages and the story did not even bother getting going till about 2/3’rds of the way through and then it just flew, or I skimmed when I never do that.. just a bit because I was getting frustrated.

The world build started off well and fell apart a bit in the middle and then back up in the end. Again the problem was to much information being crammed into 343 pages. This was such a great idea, it read like an older young adult read truthfully, with violence. I didn’t enjoy it all the time, it did not trap my attention for a non-stop read, it took me ten days to finish when these types of books are generally ate up fast by my reading. Heck when I was sick I read over 14 books in 10 days and I didn’t skim I just read.

The book didn’t do it for me. But I loved the story so I am going to be curiously grabbing the next one to see if the pace set in the last quarter of the book keeps up. I cannot give it higher than 6 out of 10 on the Cabin Goddess rating (so 3 out of 5 stars). I wish I liked it more, the story has so much potential and the idea is great. I just hope the next one is not as water down with so much information! If you are a lover of hard dystopian books I would not grab it for that, if you like action books with an epic fiction size cast with a message and some fun paranormal twists grab it set in what is attempting to be a dystopia go for it. It was an OK read but not all the way there… YET!

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5 Comments

  1. I have become a huge fan of dystopia too. I haven’t read Hunger Games yet, even though a lot of bloggers laugh when I say that. I have read the first two Divergent books and enjoyed them very much. I love the sound of this one and am disappointed that it fell flat. On to the next book.^_^

    • Just remember it is my opinion, not ever reviewer has felt this way. I am just a real stickler. I have read Hunger Games and Divergent (all three of those). I loved 1&2 of the Divergent series. Save yourself and don’t read the 3rd, it was god awful. Hunger games is just YA with Dystopian window dressing, not a real dystopian.

      • I had borrowed the books from my sister who raved on the Divergent series. She has also read all the Hunger Games and liked Divergent better.

        • I liked Divergent much better and the second one was better than the first. I never read past the first HG book. I read the third Divergent series and wanted to KILL someone! It was so godawful! I was so mad! LOL

          • I was happy with what I read and there are so many books that I think I will pass on book three. Happy reading.

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