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Posted July 6, 2012
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimers: I received a electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Intense. Brilliantly written. Dramatic. Suspenseful. Those are all words that come to mind when thinking about this novel.
I started into this novel not really knowing what to expect. It had been a long time since I read the synopsis, because it unfortunately took a long time to get to this one. But the second I started reading this, I was hooked.
Tony did a great job at creating characters and a world that intrigued me from the get-go. One of my favorite characters was Reed. I was drawn to him from the moment he was introduced.
This novel was darker than I expected but thoroughly addicting. I couldn't stop turning the pages with this one. I kept trying to figure out the plot, but the ending left me surprised. I love books that can do that. I feel so often I read a book and know exactly what is going to happen. This book was not like that--it kept me guessing until the very end.
This novel was a compelling read from a great writer. The character development was fantastic, the plot line engaging, and the writing fantastic. If you like dystopian novels/sci-fi (The Starters, etc), then read this one.
In Summary: A read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely a fresh book in the dystopian market.
Warnings/Side-notes: Some swearing and a little on the dark side, but thoroughly clean other than that. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
The Wrap-up: A novel that I'm thrilled that I read. It was an enjoyable read that like I said I recommend to any dystopian fans. And I absolutely adore the cover, great choice on changing it.
2 out of 2 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 January 31, 2015
Posted August 19, 2014
I don’t think this book would normally be my type of book. It is a horror of sorts but it’s the Sci Fi aspect that really threw me off. It was hard to get into and since I was listening I noticed that if I missed ANY thing I would have to go backwards to figure out what was going on with the story.
Needless to say, this slowed me down quite a bit.
But it was Paul Licameli’s performance that kept me hanging in there. At times he sounded a bit like Mr. Smith from The Matrix. The ebb and flow of his voice was mesmerizing and quite interesting. What I absolutely loved was when something dire was happening and Paul Licameli’s voice would get all riled up as if he were in that situation. I loved it. Even the female roles were perfect. The entire audio feel of it was great. I loved the production and all of the extra sounds that were added in.
Going back to the story there are some parts that I did think were horrific (which I love!!). The whole going into the haystack thing was incredibly horrific. Like I said above though, there was a lot and a lot of people so keeping up with what was going on was lost on me. It was hard to decipher which character was who, although, they do talk to Danny Boy quite a lot so I was able to understand his character easily. The rest though? They swooshed through my brain.
There was also a whole lot at the end all smooshed into a small bit. It was a lot! Again, if you miss any of this while listening you will get lost. So many times I had to rewind!
Honestly, it was an interesting story but with all the Sci Fi I just couldn’t adjust my thinking nor my appreciation of Sci Fi. Not my favorite read but I bet the Sci Fi lovers will die over this one.
Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.
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Posted May 28, 2014
I wasn't really sure what I was going to think about this book. It was technically a young adult books I suppose, but I felt like the issues and everything that was being faced was much more adult themed. This book starts out with boys waking up on an island with jumbled memories about their past and even who they are. The boys are sent into an alternate reality called "Foreverland." They are told that they must go into Foreverland to heal themselves. Danny Boy is the newcomer to the island and he is about to find out what exactly "Foreverland" entails and how much being healed can cost.
This book starts out intensely with one of the boys being tortured. This books wasted no time in jumping into the story. And a very imaginative story it is. Set slightly in the future, but not too far off in the realm of possibilities, it delves into a new type of "virtual reality" of the mind. I have never read a story quite like this. It was very descriptive and very intense and not afraid to venture into some sensitive topics.
I don't want to give away too many details. I definitely recommend this book, more so to adults than even young adults. There are many messages and great lessons in this book, and yet upon finishing I was still left with a feeling of unease in the way that people think and what lengths people will go to in order to obtain what is most important to them.
The Annihilation of Foreverland is written by Toni Bertauski and has a sequel that I started on today called Foreverland is Dead. I was swept into this story from the beginning and somehow managed to finish it in a few short days. I loved how the book was broken up into Rounds with a newspaper clipping at the beginning of each to leave clues and insight into the direction the story is going. I loved the ending and it left it open for many questions. I must commend Mr. Bertauski on his incredible imagination.
I highly recommend this book with a 5/5 stars. It is very innovative and has a Matrix-esque feel to it. It tackles a lot of societal issues. It was written with great flow and could be made into an amazing movie with the right script writer. If you are interested in things like virtual reality, lucid dream states, or dystopian fiction, than I would highly suggest that you check this book out.
Posted July 23, 2013
The Annihilation of Foreverland is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year. It’s entertaining, a little out there, and makes you think.
While I found this book to be different and new in many ways, I can also find similarities with many other popular (more mature) YA books/series. Ender’s Game was one that came to mind right away. The Hunger Games, and some other dystopian titles can also be grouped with Bertauski’s novel. I think fans of either of those books, dystopian, and books with an alternate or cyber reality might like to check this one out.
I think my favorite part of this book was Foreverland. It’s concept and the virtual world itself, made me wonder about the real-life possibilities of the human mind and our computer technology. This is often the case when it comes to science fiction and I think the author set it up effectively. I also thought the characters were great. Danny Boy, one of the main characters, was my favorite. All of the characters were well-developed and played a big role in the story. There were even a few times when I sympathized for the “bad guys.” With a story like this one, it’s not easy to do (but you’ll have to read it to know what that’s all about. can’t reveal too much without spoiling this one.)
This is the first book of a series, and if this is any indication of what to expect in future books, I think it has a chance of becoming one of my favorite series.
Posted July 11, 2013
Posted July 8, 2013
Thought its fiction I could really climb into the story because it was described so well. I'll prob read it again and alreadt started the next bookWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 22, 2012
Wow! Just, wow! (This will be a better review once I get past the "wow".).
Ok, now that I've had some time to let this book settle into my brain: This was one of the best books I've read in quite awhile! There were plot twists and turns that I never expected and blew me away. The Annihilation of Foreverland is one of the only books I remember thinking about a lot even when I wasn't reading it. I recommend this book to all of my friends that like sci-fi type books.
I am definitely a fan of Tony Bertauski
Posted July 1, 2012
I was given a free copy of this in return for a review, but my review is completely unbiased.
I have to say I didn’t have a real idea of what Annihilation of Foreverland was truly going to be about when I read it, and wow it blew me away. It was so interesting, the plot twists were excellent, and the characters felt very well developed even.
The main character is a 13 yr old boy named Danny, better known as Danny boy. He’s an excellent hacker (makes me wish I had even a tiny bit of those skills) and is busted by the FBI. The next time he opens his eyes he’s on an island with all boys for “rehabilitation”. He has several memories, but can’t sort out what memories are real and what are fake. He also has a strange hole in his head, and a tracker sticking out of his neck. Sounds strange I know, but if you read the book it will all make sense…….
The boys have access to all of the latest gaming equipment, tablets, and classes aren’t real classes. Danny proves his mettle to all the other boys when he begins to play one of the latest combat games. His team all dies, and goes out and annihilates the other team. He has no idea how he does it, just that if came as naturally as breathing. Each boy has a “mentor” and Mr. Jones is Danny boy’s mentor. He looks after him, tries to encourage him, and makes sure he’s following the rules of the island.
While this sounds like paradise, there is a darker side to the island and the mentors. Every couple of weeks the boys have to endure what is known as the “haystack”. The boys are lined up, told to take off all of their clothing and locked into a small cage for 8 hours (they aren’t told the length of time) it’s sensory deprivation combined with pure torture. The temperature is cold, it’s humid and mist sprays down on them. All they have to do is insert the needle into the hole in the forehead and they are free of the physical torture and can do anything they can dream of in “Foreverland”. Who wouldn’t want to escape that pain into a world that they control?
One boy, that’s who. His name is Reed and he’s never once taken the needle as it’s called; instead he’s endured countless forms of torture. The Director of the Facility and the Mentors don’t like backbone. They want the boys nice and compliant. Danny is just that as he takes the needle. In fact, the book reminded me at this point of the movie The Matrix. As Danny navigates Foreverland he meets Lucinda a girl who exists in Neverland. She helps him navigate his first 3 times, but after that he really doesn’t need help. After his 3rd trip he starts to enter into the data stream, and he actually becomes the data in the system. He knows how to manipulate it, bypass it, and merge with it. And he never loses his self-awareness throughout the process. It’s something unheard of in The Facility. A boy that can become one with the data?! He can bring the whole operation crashing down.
But what exactly is the operation that’s going on here? Well, when a boy “graduates” smoke billows out of the chimney, the mentors aren’t who they claim to be, and no one is allowed to leave the island, except when they graduate. But why would smoke be coming out of a chimney when a boy “graduates”? And some boys just don’t work out, and disappear suddenly… It’s a race to find out exactly what’s going on, and only Danny can navigate the data stream. It’s a good thing he has some friends to help him.
This was an excellent read. I read it all in one day, because I was determined to answer all of my questions. Let me tell you, while I was right on some major points I was waaaaay off on others. SPOILER ALERT*I literally yelled “Noooo” when I realized that Danny hadn’t made it out of the program and help wasn’t coming*END SPOILER ALERT I definitely got some weird looks from the people around me, and I’m pretty sure they all tried to scoot away from me!
I would have never guessed the ending in a million years, especially with Reed. It was an excellent read. Even when I felt like it was part Matrix I still liked it, because it explained in detail what Danny was doing. That was fascinating to someone like me. It had some good fight scenes, but where the book really shines is in its strategic plotline and unexpected twists. There is some major suspense all throughout the book, so you don’t want to put it down because there is always something good happening or coming up.
Tony Bertauski gets my vote hands done for his excellent writing style. I easily read 10-15 books a week, and some are amazing and some just so-so, but Bertauski takes such great fundamentals of writing to the next level. I’m usually very good at anticipating what the back story in a book is, and what’s coming next, but this kept me on my toes. I loved it!! I’m going out to buy some of his other books, because this one was seriously that good. Trust me, if you like mystery, suspense, and action you will like this book. It’s worth the money and the time invested.
Posted April 28, 2012
As I was reading this book I could not stop picturing the movie Boot Camp (2007) Staring Mila Kunis.
But this story is an all boys camp, and the reason they are there is more devastating that I would have ever imagined.
The story was darker than I thought it would be. It is defiantly a thriller and part horror story. The very beginning with get your mind whirring about what kind of cell/building are the characters in, what is happening to them and is this a form of torture or medicine (could be the same difference in some situations)
The first couple of pages the MC is in a dark room with no light, a fan with some sort of needle attached to it and the Dr like person keeps saying that it's needed to help him get better. Is the MC in a hospital of some sort or a torture chamber? (possibly the same difference as well) He continues to resist because of a memory he has of a girl that tells him to resist the needle, if he resists then they will be able to be together again. But the man keeps telling him that they have implanted false memories into his brain and that the needle is the best thing for him, the sooner the better.
As the story gets going it splits into two different boys stories getting told. We get perspectives from both Danny Boy and Reed. The boys in this camp are confused, their memories and what they are being told don't quite match up. They keep referring to the dark place referred to as The Haystack where the needle room is, they get stripped naked and put through some awkward and bizarre situations.
I think both of these MC's represent different angles to the story, Reed who is fighting back, resisting. And Danny Boy who seems to be the most flexible and accepting boy in the camp. This made for a great story to get these different perspectives to what was happening to both of them and the other kids in the "camp"
if you passed the tests than you got "smoked" (which is a good thing?)
It's a dark novel, but as it is written for teens it's probably something that will not give you nightmares, anymore than the Escape from Furnace or the Maze Runner would.
I know I have not gone into details because it's easy to spoil this one. The best I can do is hint at the situation and hope that something I say may peak your interest. I enjoyed the story, giving it 4 stars I think it's something I will read again.
Posted April 16, 2012
Lord of the Flies for a new generation
Part Ender’s Game, part Inception, part Lord of the Flies, Tony Bertauski’s The Annihilation of Foreverland places young teenaged boys on an island, surrounds them with video games, fun food, and the world’s best teachers, requires they exercise body and brain, and even gives each boy an individual, elderly guardian to prove they’re wanted and valuable. But why are they there?
Some may have been in accidents. Some may have committed crimes. All they know is they’re here to “get better,” to become better people so that eventually they’ll graduate. But the road to graduation seems strange, the older players obtaining a peace that’s dangerously close to unconsciousness, while the younger are filled with hope and fun.
A scary room hides the secret where the serious training gets done. One young rebel refuses to be trained. One new recruit leaps into everything all too eagerly. And one strange girl haunts the dreams of both of them.
As Danny Boy makes friends and enemies, he uses his skills to investigate what’s going on. Newspaper reports create a nice sense of dissociation for the reader, deepening the experience of the tale. Guessing alongside the character, wondering how it might all turn out, and hoping their might be a fix, the reader is quickly drawn in, making this a difficult book to put down. The writing’s quick and convincing. The dialog’s straightforward and appropriate. And the author soon creates that level of trust with the reader that leaves you sure the conclusion’s going to be good. As indeed it is.
I really enjoyed this book. Questions are introduced and answered with perfect timing. Characters demand to be heard. And the set-up’s scarily convincing. A story that should appeal to any sci-fi fans, whether they solve their mysteries quickly or slowly, this one’s highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Posted April 4, 2012
This is one of those stories that grabs on and doesn’t let go. From the very first page, it engages the reader with its quick pacing and unique storyline.
What I enjoyed the most was the way the characters related to each other. Their relationships, some which stayed the same, some which changed as the novel progressed, were nicely written, in a way that made them feel authentic. Something else that caught my eye was the way the “villains” were handled. In so many stories the antagonists are portrayed as one-dimensional, almost psychotic, but in this novel, you could see that the author really gave them some thought. He made them into interesting, complex characters in their own right.
The plot is wholly unique and I won’t say too much about it because there are many ways in which I could spoil it for other people. It’s a young adult novel that has mostly male characters, which make it completely different form the majority of the ones out there at the moment, adding to that uniqueness. All you need to know just is that you will be surprised and you will be anxious to find out how it ends. What else can you ask from an adventure book? Besides,
This is one I have no problem recommending for both YA readers and adults.
Posted April 1, 2012
I really enjoyed this book - it was fast-paced, and just confusing enough to make it interesting!
The story made me think a bit of Cory Doctorow novels - where technology is so embedded in people's lives that it is frequently actually embedded in people.
The news bits at the beginning of the main chapters were a really interesting addition to the story (so often things like that simply don't work). The added to the story, giving more background about what is going on, and allowing the reader to put the pieces together with, and sometimes before, the main characters.
Posted April 1, 2012
I was pretty surprised reading this. Its by an author I have never heard of, but that's also what intrigued me. I love reading new things, and I got exactly what I was looking for! I love the way the point of view changed. Also I love reading books that aren't so cut and dry. You would read things that you wouldn't quite understand unless you kept reading. Those moments are awesome! When you finally come across the answers. I would definitely recommend this book. This was a pleasant surprise and change of pace to the things I normally read. I don't want to give anything away so anyone reading this post just needs to read the book! lol. Great job Tony! Keep it up!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2012
This isn't a book I normally read but it looked interesting. I found that it pulled me in within the first chapter. As I read about these boys on the island I wondered how it ran, who ran the island, and what was going to happen to them. When I got to know Danny, Zin and Reed I wanted to know what was going to happen to them and the Island. It was a great bookWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 6, 2012
I started reading the book today and I couldn't stop til I go
<p>I started reading the book today and I couldn't stop til I got to the end. The beginning in my opinion was a little confusing however, it was interesting to see the mystery island slowly unravel. I was surprised to see the corrupted society in this book. At the beginning I had thought that this was a land that was a "fantasy" land. If this is where our medical and technology will advance to, I would rather have it stopped here.</p>
This is the first time that I have read a book with this kind of... plot. I really liked the newspaper clippings at the beginning of every chapter. Though this book isn't what I usually read, I found it captivating to the very end. Especially when most of the action occurred, at the end when everything was unveiled. <p> Thus, I give this book a 4/5.</p>
Posted February 16, 2012
This science-fiction novel wasn't what I expected, and I am glad of that. This book was so well-written that once I got into it, I didn't want to put it down. Plus there is a killer twist in the end and I always love that in a story!
The main character is Danny Boy, the new "poke". The story switches between his point of view, and another boy named Reed. I found the story quite hard to follow at the start, the news articles were slightly off-putting, but eventually it all starts to make sense. If you tend to pick up on things quickly, then the reason for this island, and for Foreverland may become apparent to you quite easily, where-as for me, I didn't fully get it until the end, which made it even more exciting, waiting until the last minute to know.
I think this book would suit people of any age, and any genre - it really made me wonder if this is the kind of future we may end up looking at. Scary thought!
Posted January 25, 2012
If you enjoy twists and turns, characters who compel you and an outcome that will have you grinning for hours, then you need to read "Annihilation of Foreverland."
The story begins with Danny Boy on an island with other boys that seems to be a paradise except for the fact that none of them really remember anything about who they were before they came to the island. In this story, you'll find out who these boys were, why they're on this island and what happens when one boy (who's a little too smart to have really been brought on) starts to not only ask questions, but demand answers.
Bertauski weaves a fantastic mystery and thriller that delivers on every level. The characters (which is always the biggest thing for me)draw you in from the beginning. The writing is technically flawless and the pacing is perfect. Every bit of the writing draws you instantaneously into the world and it is a race to a finish that will have you grinning for hours afterwards (at least I did).
This can be a little on the dark and creepy side, especially in the beginning when everything is all shrouded in mystery, but even if sci-fi thrillers aren't typically your thing, you should take a look at this one. I promise, it will not disappoint.
Posted September 9, 2013
No text was provided for this review.