Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling

(I was sent the free book by the author in exchange for an honest review)

Goodreads Summary: In the near future, when the world's population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn't matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it's all about being noticed at the right parties. But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.

Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?

"Blinded by the Light" is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.

This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to 'do the right thing'. Told from the point of view of a girl from a privileged background, it follows the course of MaryAnn's awakening as she learns the truth about her life and the lies she has been told by her family and by her government, leading her to question everything she believes in. But whilst things may seem black or white to some, MaryAnn learns that there are grey areas too - nothing is as clear cut as it might seem. In real life people are not always good or bad, sometimes they just are.


In blinded by the light, we see MaryAnn as the daughter of a very influential legislator. The story's setting is surrounded by society living in safe neighborhoods after a virus had broken out and is separated into the Alphas who were your rich and powerful. The Deltas typically in today's world were your middle class working for the Alphas and the Echos who were on the outside and considered Ferals. 

We have the Union which is made up of Echos and Deltas. They are the rebellions of the group. They had most of everything that they loved or own taken away from them. Having had enough of the abasement, they band together to take down all of those withing the Light. 

Throughout the story we see how MaryAnn had to transition from having everything to having it all taken away from her. Everything that she has known was nothing but a huge lie. She has face the truth and make some hard choices. 

I started to warm to MaryAnn's character towards the middle of the story. At first she was very spoiled and got everything that she wanted. Later on, I could understand her rebellion against the Union because her whole life she has been brainwashed into thinking one thing when it has been nothing but a lie. We do see towards the end how much she has matured to a certain point is more accepting of things. 

Daryl is MaryAnn's brother. Once he found out what was really happening he ran away from the life that he knew. He was gone for four years and had not had any direct contact with MaryAnn. While he was gone, he made sure that she was protected. Daryl and MaryAnn's relation is strained at sometime but they do love one another very much. I do wish that I could have seen more one on one time with Daryl and MaryAnn's relationship. 

Finally we have Peter. He is Daryl's best friend and MaryAnn's pain in the butt and vise versa LOL. Whenever they are not bickering at each other, Peter treats her like his own family and risks his life to protect her. 

Although I did enjoy the climax I felt that it could have been more action with it but it was just enough to get you ready for the next book in the trilogy. 

Overall I did enjoy reading this book and I can't wait to read the next in the trilogy.

Rating 4Stars
Recommend? Yes