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?I was just a baby when we were relocated and I don?t remember much. Everybody has that black hole at the beginning of their life. That time you can?t remember. Your first step. Your first taste of table food. My real memories begin in our assigned living area in Compound 14.?
Just a generation ago, this place was called America. Now, after the worldwide implementation of a UN-led program called Agenda 21, it?s simply known as ?the Republic.? ...
“I was just a baby when we were relocated and I don’t remember much. Everybody has that black hole at the beginning of their life. That time you can’t remember. Your first step. Your first taste of table food. My real memories begin in our assigned living area in Compound 14.”
Just a generation ago, this place was called America. Now, after the worldwide implementation of a UN-led program called Agenda 21, it’s simply known as “the Republic.” There is no president. No Congress. No Supreme Court. No freedom.
There are only the Authorities.
Citizens have two primary goals in the new Republic: to create clean energy and to create new human life. Those who cannot do either are of no use to society. This bleak and barren existence is all that eighteen-year-old Emmeline has ever known. She dutifully walks her energy board daily and accepts all male pairings assigned to her by the Authorities. Like most citizens, she keeps her head down and her eyes closed.
Until the day they come for her mother.
“You save what you think you’re going to lose.”
Woken up to the harsh reality of her life and her family’s future inside the Republic, Emmeline begins to search for the truth. Why are all citizens confined to ubiquitous concrete living spaces? Why are Compounds guarded by Gatekeepers who track all movements? Why are food, water and energy rationed so strictly? And, most important, why are babies taken from their mothers at birth? As Emmeline begins to understand the true objectives of Agenda 21 she realizes that she is up against far more than she ever thought. With the Authorities closing in, and nowhere to run, Emmeline embarks on an audacious plan to save her family and expose the Republic—but is she already too late?
They took Mother away today.
I was on my energy board when they came. They didn’t knock. They just came in, men in black uniforms. Enforcers. I shut off my board and stumbled, hitting my hip against the metal sidebar. They didn’t say anything but held up their hands in a way that told me to stop and not come any closer. My meter was only halfway to the finish point. Mother had gotten off her sleeping mat when she heard them at the door and stood there, head down. How tangled her hair looked, gray and lifeless.
They asked which sleeping mat was hers. She pointed to mine. I started to say, “No that’s mine,” but she gave a little shake of her head so I kept quiet. One of them rolled up the mat and put it under his arm. The other one tied short, dirty ropes to Mother’s wrists. I knew not to cry in front of the Enforcers but tears burned hot behind my eyes.
Mother hadn’t done her duty walking since I was paired with Jeremy two days ago. She had stayed curled up on her sleeping mat, her face to the wall, her back a row of bony knobs. I had walked both my board and hers those two days so our meters would register at Central Authority for two people. That was the only way to get food for both of us.
Maybe they could tell one person was doing two different meters because the meters registered at different times. Who knows? I’ve seen too many things over the almost eighteen years I’ve spent on this Earth to ever doubt the Authority’s power.
Mother went quietly, shuffling her feet across the rough concrete floor. She looked back at me and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t teach you enough . . . . I love you.” There was a scratchy sound to her voice as though the words were stuck inside her. “I’m sorry, Emmeline.” I didn’t know what she meant and I didn’t have time to ask. The Enforcers, one on each side of her, tugged on the ropes. She looked weak and shrunken between them.
I watched through the window slit as they pulled Mother up the steps of the bus-box. How trapped she looked sitting between them. Six other men, large and muscular in orange uniforms, stood in their harnesses. The Transport Team. The bus-box lurched forward as the men began walking in unison. I watched until it disappeared around the curve past our Compound.
Then I ran after her. The Gatekeeper didn’t see me; he was making rounds at the far end. I ran as fast and as hard as I could along the ridge between the ruts in the dirt road, the muscles in my legs clenching and unclenching like fists, until I could see the bus-box.
I slipped to the side of the road, crouching down, creeping closer. The bus-box turned onto a narrower road, hidden by trees. I never knew that road was there.
The green flag marking the area was barely visible. Beyond it was a building I had never seen before. Bigger than any Living Space and a deeper, darker gray than the other buildings. No window slits, just blank, forbidding walls.
The bus-box stopped in front of the building’s only door. Through the trees I could see the Enforcers walk Mother to the door. Dust swirled around her ankles as she shuffled. The odor here seemed familiar but was much more potent.
Mother still had the ropes on her wrists and the Enforcers were holding them tightly. She turned, looked at me as though she knew I’d been following her the whole time, and somehow was able to raise one hand to touch her chest, her heart. That motion lasted only a second. I’ll remember it for a lifetime.
A hand reached out and pulled Mother inside. The door slammed shut.
While the Enforcers got back on the bus-box, I hid behind a tree and watched until they disappeared. Then I leaned my head against the tree and beat my fists against the rough bark until they bled.
* * *
I had never been alone before. Mother never allowed that. Never. Jeremy was not yet back from work. Around me was only gray. Gray walls, gray floor. A cold concrete square. One window slit on each of the four walls and the single wooden door that led outside to the Compound’s common area, a packed dirt space with a gate, guarded by a Gatekeeper. Inside, the space was divided into three areas. To one side of the door was the eating space with a counter to place our nourishment cubes and water bottles on. On the other side, the washing-up room with its limp privacy curtain. In the back was the sleeping area, with our mats on the floor and hooks on the wall to hang our uniforms. Along the wall on the right was the energy output area. This is where our boards stood, side by side.
These were all the spaces where Mother used to be.
I walked into the sleeping area. Mother’s mat, just long enough and wide enough for one person, covered with the same frayed fabric as the privacy curtain, was stretched over a foam mattress four inches thick on the cold concrete floor. Her blanket had fallen onto the floor. I picked it up and held it to my face, breathing deeply. The fabric was rough and cold, but it smelled of Mother, her skin, her hair. I could see the imprint of her body on the mat. Where her head had been, her shoulders, her hips. I ran my fingertips over the mat, feeling those spaces. Then I curled up in the imprint and pulled her blanket over me. It was safe to cry now.
* * *
There was nothing to do but get back on my board and walk. Create energy. Create energy. Create energy. Get my meter to finish. The sound of my feet pounding on the board and another sound, a low hiss, as the friction and heat of the board is siphoned away through a small hose connected to an outlet in the wall and then into the energy download bar in front of our space. Every Space has a download bar like ours, but the bars belong to the Central Authority. They own everything. They use the energy to supply our needs. Our nourishment cubes, our clothing, everything. They call it the Energy Neutral Policy. I hate their big titles.
Mother once told me that producing energy was one of the two things the Republic cared about most. The other thing was producing healthy babies. Being productive and being reproductive. The most valuable Citizens were both. Mother said I was one of the most valuable. I didn’t know what she meant at the time.
The half-hour-till-dusk bell tolled. Jeremy would be home after dusk. We’d eat our nourishment cubes together, drink our water rations. I didn’t think I’d be hungry, but I was already thirsty. I noticed that the needle of my energy meter had moved past halfway.
When they had paired me with Jeremy, Mother refused to get off her sleeping mat to meet him. Men with mustaches from Central Authority got off the bus-box first and walked in lockstep to our door, legs moving straight and stiff as though they had no knees. They had a new headscarf for me, white trimmed in black, and they turned their backs as I removed my black headscarf, my widow scarf, and put this one on. Then Jeremy, escorted by an Enforcer, got off the bus-box. He was thin, scrawny, and his skin was pale.
They did the pairing ceremony, the exchange of vows, in front of our Living Space: I will honor the Republic. I will produce energy for the Republic. I will produce Citizens for the Republic. Praise be to the Republic. Then we all made the circle sign, with our thumb and forefinger held against our foreheads, to salute the Republic.
The men went back to the bus-box and left. Jeremy and I were officially paired. We went into our Living Space. He looked around as though he had never seen one before. He pulled the privacy curtain aside and glanced into the washing-up area. He looked out of the window slits, going from one to the other, pacing back and forth with nervous little steps. Finally he stopped pacing and leaned against the counter.
“I wanted a virgin. And what did I get?” He glanced at me. “You. And an old lady.” He glanced at Mother.
She sat up slowly and pointed her finger at him. I noticed for the first time how old her hands looked, how her finger curved like a claw. She looked sad and started to say something but didn’t.
Jeremy said nothing else, but his eyes narrowed and his lips pinched together. Mother lay back down and never did speak to him.
That was two days ago.
I didn’t teach you enough. What did she mean? What didn’t I know?
Sometimes she talked a lot. Her voice had been like a metronome. Tick, talk, tick, talk. It filled our space. She scratched at her skin as she talked. Fingernails digging into her arms, her ankles. Making little sore spots bigger, crusted with blood.
“It wasn’t always like this,” she would say.
“We had our own farm once. Land. Rolling hills. Green fields. We raised animals, crops. We owned property. It was ours.”
“What happened to it? Where was it?”
“Far away. It was far away. Laws changed. The Authority owns all the property now.”
Why, I wanted to ask, did the laws change? But I didn’t ask her, didn’t interrupt the stories. If I did, she would shut down and turn her face to the wall. That would be the end of her talking.
“We kept animals on the farm,” she said.
Imagine that! Keeping animals! At every Social Update Meeting they remind us that animals are sacred and belong to the Earth, not to people. Animals are protected. We have to recite, in unison, the Pledge of Animals.
I pledge allegiance to the Earth and to the sacred rights of the Earth and to the Animals of the Earth.
Just last month a man was dragged by the Enforcers to the front of the Social Update Meeting and made to kneel before the Authorities. They accused him of running over a snake with his energy bicycle. I think he tried to say it was an accident, but his voice was shaking and hard to hear. His head was down, his chin almost on his chest. He looked small and old, kneeling that way. They put the ropes on his wrists and led him away.
Everyone at the meeting kept their eyes on their shoes. They looked tired and pale and wilted. I think every single person watching knew that could just as well have been them on any given day, for any given reason.
Mother said taking him away was wrong, just wrong. But she didn’t say it very loudly.
Posted November 20, 2012
Backers of Agenda 21 will crawl out of the woodwork to discredit this book. They want everyone to stay asleep so there is no backlash to their agenda. Agenda 21 should be read and passed around to everyone you know. If it is allowed to go unchallenged, Agenda 21 will destroy the entire world.
51 out of 65 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2012
This is a fictional story based on a very real threat, Agenda 21. You can read about Agenda 21 on the U.N. website. Anyone who has given a low numeric rating review with no verbiage isn't worth considering and the person who slanders the content and author is afraid that you will learn the truth.
It's a very good book, it reads fast and even though it is a work of fiction, the story is quite plausible. Literarily speaking, the writing is a little choppy at times with a slight documentary feel. Still, the story is powerful and you will find yourself breezing through chapter after chapter. It's difficult to put down once you start reading.
Get the book. You won't regret it. Loan it to others to read and they will thank you and ignore the shills who call this a "paranoid fantasy"
47 out of 51 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2012
Posted November 22, 2012
The majority of reviews I've seen for this book fall in one of the following categories: "I hate Glenn Beck", "Glenn Beck stole this book from the author" or "The ideas in this book could never happen". I don't care about any of that as this is a BOOK review and I thought it was one of the best books I've read this year.
This was a fast paced easy read and that would probably be my only mark down on this book as I wanted more of it when I got to the end. I'm holding out hope that Harriet Parke follows this up with another to continue the story. While this does deal with the extremes of actual documented ideas presented by the United Nations Agenda 21, I could easily see how this could come about. A few changes to laws here, a few more changes there and before you know it, all the power has been given away. And I can easily see people going along with an idea that is presented to them that they won't have to worry about making ends meet or getting ahead as long as they feel comfortable that their needs will be met and they won't have to work as hard as they currently do. I'm sure a large number would go right along with it before they realized what they'd done. As the book states, the ideas presented are at the extreme ends of what could happen, but who wants to read a book where things are only mildly messed up? How entertaining would that have been? A great novel that would make a great series that also holds the potential of educating the public on a potentially dangerous idea held within the United Nations, presented in an entertaining way. I highly recommend you read it.
33 out of 33 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2012
I had read the original Agenda 21 documents from the UN, and the Brundtland Report, so I was intrigued how someone could use fiction to show the consequences. Parke and Beck seem to have done a good job creating a post-constitutional society. It was interesting to see reviews for this book before it was even released. I do not believe they received advanced copies as their reviews were no where near the target. They seemed to focus on supporting the principles of Agenda 21 and not actually reviewing the work in question.
The main character Emmeline, too young to remember the constitutional government of the United States, was dependent on her mother's teachings. She leads a very sad life as all the "citizens" do with few freedoms, little more than human machines to be maintained to keep the energy flowing for the Authorities. No religion, no real "marriage", and everything equal and fair. Not to ruin for those that have not read, the clues left for her about their family were very intriguing. I shared her anger, as her family history was taken from her.
The novel was very well done, and I believe accurate if Agenda 21 taken to it's ultimate ends simply by taking the designers at their own words.
22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2012
I got about halfway through this book and had to put it down because my heart was pounding. Then I had to pick it right back up to finish it because I was so enthralled. Obviously, if Agenda 21 is implamented it wont be EXACTLY like this...but it will still be too close to this. I wish I could loan this to every one of my friends and family.
22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I thought this was good and interesting. I love reading about this stuff.
15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 22, 2012
Wow. Thats all i can say. It was very eye opening. Scary. Very scary that the world could end end up like this. Will very likely end up like this. And very soon too. I wish more people would read stuff like this and really understood what was happening these days. Its just crazy. By the way, whatever happened to freedom?
15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 22, 2012
Not bad, easy read, finished in a couple of hours. Interesting story line, but maybe just a bit over the top. But would recommend this book.
14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2012
I bought this yesterday and read it in one evening. It is a well written dystopian future novel. Marketed as adult fiction but more in the vein of recent teen fiction with a teenage female protagonist. Certainly suitable for teenagers. As to whether or not it is an accurate representation of the intentions behind Agenda 21, all I can say is if the ideas presented in Agenda 21 and similar proposals were taken to their logical conclusions, the world would look much like what is depicted in Agenda 21. A self-contained story but definitely leaves the door open for a sequel.
Although Glenn Beck's name is first on the cover, he really functioned more as an "editor" for the story. This is not the first time that he has paired with little-known authors and put his name on the cover. I'm really not crazy about that but, let's face it, Glen Beck's name "sells" books. I hope that once he gets series (like this one could be) established that he turns the marque over to the primary authors. He recently renamed his network "The Blaze TV" and said that it was because it wasn't about him, that there were a lot of people going into making The Blaze TV work.
13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2012
Posted November 27, 2012
It was a fantastic book. It made me think of the things that are happening today that could cause this type of life in the future. I already see things like building condo in the city - walk to everything, don't drive your car. Oh, I could go on and on.... I read the book in one day, couldn't put it down.
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2012
Posted November 23, 2012
Glenn Beck is masterful. He can take a work of fiction written by someone else, slap his name on it, and sell, sell sell. I applaud his use of the fiction genre, as his entire career, at least dating back to his pot-smoking top-40 radio days, has been one long, drawn-out study in personal mythology. Let's say your mother died accidentally when you were 15. That's just not interesting enough to include in your own re-writing of history; let's make the death a suicide, and let's back it up two years so it becomes more useful for the story. History, both recent and decades old, is to be created, on-air, so that listeners can feel like they're a part of the great "inner circle," those entrusted with the "secrets" and "conspiracies" that Beck creates, out of whole cloth.
Reading this book was very easy. There are no difficult words. The concepts are mindlessly simple. The conclusions are as obvious as an oncoming freight train. Formulaic. And that's being generous. Will people read it? Sure, with Beck's name on it. With the author's name? Probably not. It is sadly out-dated, not artfully constructed, nor at the end even interesting. (Previous reviewer's "heart-stopping" reading of this book was perhaps a mis-statement. I think the description they were reaching for was "sleep-inducing."
That's not the reason that this book should be ignored. The real reason? It is a shameless attempt to take a very real attempt to address global issues and make it into a sinister, underground plot to undermine the United States of America. For those who prefer to think for themselves, a reading of the actual, non-binding United Nations document would be helpful. Pretty tame, and written... wait for it... in 1992. Talk about striking while the irony's hot!
9 out of 66 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2012
Far fetched? Maybe. I prefer to be informed and not blinded by what the media would have us believe.
8 out of 15 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 22, 2012
Posted November 21, 2012
Posted November 23, 2012
The only thing I would recommend this book for is toilet paper when you are camping. As for reading if you want to read the rantings of a complete ego-maniac read "Mein Kampf" because at least Hitler you can understand.
5 out of 68 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2012
Being a fan of 1984, Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, etc., I loved this book!
A fictionalized portrayal of Agenda 21 taken to an extreme. But totally possible. For example, there is a pledge of allegiance to the planet Earth that already exists, so even the bizarre earth/nature pledges in the book aren't too far fetched.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2012
What a poor excuse for a plot, and terrible writing style.
This book is a collection of paranoid delusions, with boring characters that I could not even begin to like.
4 out of 57 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.