Monday, July 1, 2013

The Library - Adult Dystopian Review "25 Perfect Days" by Mark Tullius

Title:  25 Perfect Days
Author: Mark Tullius
Publisher:  Vincere Press
Publication Date:  March 15, 2013
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Paperback 322 pages

Buy this book on Amazon:  Paperback

Author's Goodreads Profile:  Mark Tullius

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A totalitarian state doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow, dangerous slide. 25 Perfect Days chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, an ultra-radical religion, and the extreme measures taken to reduce the population.

Higher taxes, strict gun control, an oppressive healthcare system. Complete media control, genetically modified food, experimentation on citizens. The push of depersonalizing technology, unending wars, government sanctioned assassinations. Is this collection of stories merely science fiction or soon to be fact? Are these policies designed for the greater good or disguised to benefit a chosen few at the expense of the masses? Is this brave new world the best we could do or part of a sinister grand plan?

Through these twenty-five interlinked stories, each written from a different character’s point of view, 25 Perfect Days captures the sacrifice, courage, and love needed to survive and eventually overcome this dystopian nightmare.
My Thoughts...
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  This is a collection of 25 short stories that span the years 2036-2076.  Each story is told from a different persons perspective, but all in the same dystopian world.

I think that the world Mr. Tullius created for this set of stories was quite imaginative.  In the year 2036 the world, or at least the United States has undergone a drastic transformation where personal freedom is no longer present.  As the years pass by it just gets worse.  It seems to start out as a religious dictatorship where an organization called The Way, under the leadership of a man who calls himself The Preacher, runs the country and controls what government is left.

The book starts out with a story called "Five Minutes Alone" that is strange and disturbing, but will hook you in even though it doesn't really give much of a clue what the rest of the book will be like.  What you do know, right off, is that things are very different in this world that is just 23 years from now.  Each chapter is a different day that tells a consecutive story that spans 40 years.  Each story is told by a different person, in a different place, but they all intersect at some point.  An 11 year old boy whose father tells the story in the first chapter is a hired killer in a later chapter whose actions cause severe consequences for the female population.  

What is clear throughout is that The Way has corrupted everything, but doesn't seem to follow any type of organized religion.  It's basically The Way or no way at all.  They persecute anyone who doesn't follow them.    They have taken control of the government and because of the overpopulation they have put into practice laws that control how much you can weigh, who can drive, who is allowed to have children, etc...  They have even given the DMV the authority to set up a lottery system to determine who is allowed to renew a drivers license.  If you aren't chosen to renew the consequences are quite disturbing.  

There are definitely some disturbing things in this book.  Bad things happen to so many people throughout the course of the 40 years.  We see kids grow into adults, some good and some bad.  Some try to make a difference and some actually do, but others do what they have to do to survive.  We see some pretty gruesome things, mass murder, torture and all manner of horrific things.  We also see people helping others, people who just want to live and be happy 

While all the stories aren't as good as some, they are all written in a way that will keep you reading right to the end.  I think I read this book in about 3 hours.  Mr. Tullius is quite a talented writer and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more of his work.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good Dystopian read.  I can guarantee you haven't read anything quite like it.

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.*

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