Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{Review} "The Park Service" by Ryan Winfield

Title:  The Park Service
Author: Ryan Winfield
Publisher:  Birch Paper Press
Publication Date: October 15, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format:  Kindle 540 kb  |  Paperback 338 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Kindle Version  |  Paperback
Author's Website:
Author's Goodreads Profile:  Ryan Winfield

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
In a distant, post-apocalyptic future, the surviving descendants of global nuclear war live deep underground, begrudgingly working assigned jobs until they can retire at 35. The Foundation in charge prevents overpopulation by operating Eden, a virtual reality retirement center.

Fifteen-year-old Aubrey Van Houten can’t wait to retire and be reunited with his mother. But first, Aubrey must qualify for a career by passing an arduous test—a test he’s been studying for since the day he was born; a test he’ll remember until the day he dies. Through a series of curious accidents, Aubrey stumbles onto the surface and discovers a paradise off limits: a pristine planet where humans are hunted and killed by a mysterious Park Service. Now Aubrey must decide just how far he’ll go to survive and whether or not he has the courage to uncover who’s behind the horrific Park Service.
Diving in...
As you may know, I have been patiently waiting for this book, even without knowing what they genre was going to be.  I must say that I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it was a YA Dystopian, I was even more surprised when I read it.  Now that we know it's going to be a trilogy I am sure that Mr. Winfield will get incredibly tired of us bugging him to finish the next one so we can see what happens next!

You don't get many YA books that are written from the by a man and from a male first person POV, and I love that about this book.  I think that it was a refreshing change from so many YA books being told from the female POV.

The world that Mr. Winfield creates here is very well thought out and perfectly captured down to the last detail.  This story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world nearly 900 years from present day.  Aubrey is a young man on the verge of truly becoming a man.  Little does he know how much his life is going to change.  He is faced with challenges that will shape him into the man who will hopefully be able to change the world he knows for the better.  Early on he meets Jimmy and forges a friendship with him that is stronger than any other relationship he has had previously.  Then Hannah enters the picture rounding them out to a trio on a mission to save their world and hopefully humankind along with it.

It's so hard to do this review without posting spoilers so I am going to have to keep my comments to a minimum as far as the plot is concerned.  Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed the book.  The character development is very well done and really I think the plot moved along a really nice pace all through the story.  Ryan is excellent with description and didn't let us down with this book.  

The only thing I had a problem with, and it's really tiny, is that suddenly about 1/2 way through the book Jimmy starts cursing and he only does it a couple of times, but it seemed unnecessary and kind of out of the blue.  Other than those couple of words, one use of the F word, this is a really clean YA book.  I don't mind cursing in the books that I read, but my 12 year old daughter wants to read this one and I really have to think about whether I want to let her read it.

This book is the start of a great series.  It has a little bit of everything in it and can really appeal to a pretty wide audience.  I know that I can't wait for the next book!


  1. You sure have a way of diving in and coming up with wonderful reviews that capture the story without giving it away. I was proud to find this post. Thank you.

  2. I'll be getting this one for my Kindle. Thanks Heather. I love your reviews and know just how hard it is. I did book reviews for an online mag years ago but had to stop when I went to nursing school and have just never attempted it again. Thanks again.

    1. Melody, actually this is my (Shelly) review, but if we are lucky I will be able to talk Heather into posting some book reviews for us as well.


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