My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
Ashley Bogner’s debut novel, Reintegration, calls to mind some of the best dystopian books of our age–books such as Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy, Nadine Brandes’ Out of Time Trilogy, and The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. It also follows the dystopian pattern of three, being the first of a trilogy. The sequel is set to release in 2018.
Reintegration’s strongest suit is its characterization. The reader is deeply immersed in Katherine Holliday’s point of view, and experiences the entire plot through her eyes. It was impossible for me not to connect with Katherine on some level, because while reading this book, I was Katherine. I was thinking her thoughts, feeling her emotions, and following along with all of her actions and reactions.
The deep characterization did lead to some drawbacks, however–for the first 60% of the book or so, I felt like the plot was spinning its wheels a bit. Katherine rehashed the same issues over and over, without coming to any real conclusions. It wasn’t until she decided to stop worrying and start acting that the book hit the ground running. Once the plot stopped revving its engine and got started for real, it took off at light-speed and never looked back.
The last quarter or so of the book was especially phenomenal. I could not read fast enough to find out what was going to happen! Bogner packs a lot of punches into those last few pages, making up for the slow beginning several times over. There are a lot of secrets hinted at through out the book that weren’t explained by the final page, and some major surprises that I wasn’t expecting. Miss Bogner has chosen to play her cards close to her chest, and there’s no telling what will happen in the following books. I’m rating Reintegration 3.75 stars out of 5. While Reintegration dragged some through the beginning and middle, the end made up for it with non-stop action and surprises. I’m hoping that the sequels will keep the action going, and get off to a flying start.
Recommended for Ages 13 and up
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some light kissing, hand-holding, and hugging.
Matthew is a Christian, and shares his faith with other characters in the book, resulting in one or more conversions. The Federation teaches relative morality (that there is no “right” or “wrong,” and everything is a matter of opinion), and intolerance is a punishable crime under the Federation.
One violent death. Several injuries (some by use of a “stunner”–a taser-like weapon, and others by fist fights.)
Matthew is drugged to forget his past. A character takes a medical drug later, and experiences painful side effects.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Cross-posted on The Story Sanctuary on August 18th, 2017.