Friday 21 August 2015

{Review} The Company Store by H.D. Gordon

25129878Posted by Melanie
Release Date: August 3rd, 2015
Finished Date: August 10th, 2015
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Thanks to the greed of man, Earth is dying. Climate change and human greed has wrought mass destruction over the planet, and a fraction of the population remains.

The Company Store controls the last civilization, known as the Single Nation Circle. Those outside the Circle are Outliers, outcasts and gangsters who do whatever it takes to survive.

Samuel Poe is the 18-year-old leader of the Poe Boys, the Northern Outlier gang. With resources ever dwindling, Sam knows he must be the toughest of the dogs fighting over the scraps if he hopes to keep himself and his people alive.

When Sam meets Anna Rose, daughter of Mr. Company, the most powerful man in the dying world, he finds himself in a deadly race toward resources and a new life.

Much like those of their ancestors, the choices of the two star-crossed teenagers will echo through the ages, the fate of the human race resting on their shoulders.

The Review: H.D. Gordon sure does give her reader food for thought in her latest offering. As the synopsis tells us – Earth is dying. Every resource is controlled by fat cat corporations – namely The Company Store – led by Mr Company. What remains of the population have formed groups; those within the Single Nation Circle are ran by Mr Company and everyone contributes to a big pot in some way so that they can receive allotments of food, water etc. but the downside is that you are forever beholden to the ‘The Company Store’. Those people who aren’t born there and live outside of its walls are called Outliers and they also have groups that are ran by cunning gangster like leaders giving their existence an organised crime syndicate kind of feel, where they will do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of their ‘families’. Things are very dire for everyone but none more so than the Outliers. Samuel Poe is the leader of the Poe Boys and he runs the Northern region, surviving in caves and the last remaining forest area. Sam may be young at 18 but he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders as leader, he views each and every one of those in his care as his family and has done some terrible things to ensure all of their safety. He is an intelligent young man considering he hasn’t had much of an education, but street smarts are always worth a lot more in a savage world. One day, Sam stops a girl from being hurt and escorts her to the walls of the circle, they are both drawn to each other but the trouble that will come from their relationship has danger written all over it and when each side is threatened by the others – how will they stop the inevitable? Can they save everyone? Or will they all keep up hostilities and kill whatever is left of a dying Earth and its inhabitants? I really loved this book, the author could write the phone book and still reel us into her world. I’m not a massive fan of dystopian novels but I love this author and I love a story with a message. Sam’s character is very complex and multi layered, he has the persona of a hard man, he is a brute, an enforcer, a leader – someone who gets things done at any cost but we are also privy to his thoughts and motivations which gives us another layer to him. Through that we get a grasp of his intelligence, how he views the world, the people, his surroundings and his responsibilities so that you’re left without a doubt that he is more than capable of his burdens. When Anna Rose comes along, we see a softer side to him, his coldness melts for this girl, he would risk anything for something so sweet in his harsh life because Anna had an innocence about her that beckoned him. Their moments together were incredibly sweet, they gave an air of forbidden romance too with her being from the SNC and him being an Outlier and I loved how it offset the harshness of their world. The storyline was great, I can’t go into it as much as I would have liked but it really grips you and takes you on a race against time kinda journey. It was rather slow going in the beginning as the world is built up, you could really get a sense of desolation for the Outliers and to live there is to face a survival struggle every single day where not only are food and water fought over but everything! People would sooner kill you than have you in their territory and the more savage you are, the more likely you will survive. It gives a long glimpse into the breakdown of civilisation and what will become of the people. The Outliers aren’t the only savages though because those with power in the SNC are not afraid of abusing theirs either, especially when it comes to the Outliers and what people think of them. The story steadily introduces problems between all of the leaders and you can really feel the mountain of tension that will come crashing down. There is a mutual goal that Sam & Anna Rose much strive for, we feel the imperativeness of it throughout the story and it’s easy to route for them but always thinking what will happen to everyone else at the same time. Then the chaos builds and we are shown the true face of a lot of characters that leads to an epic showdown of their own making. The story is bleak, it is violent, it shows humanity at its worst…. But also at its best and what some people will do for the greater good – even forsaking their own selves. It has a message of love and hope but it also is a stark warning that this could come to pass, if we don’t wise up about our world, treat her with care, stop the pollutants, chemicals, nuclear waste even everyday rubbish plays a part – we will lose her, she won’t be able to sustain us anymore… and that to me is scary and also a tragedy. So please, while you enjoy this story, also be mindful to its message and pass it on… or this could very well be a glimpse into our future. 

Thank you to H.D. Gordon for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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