Foreverland is Dead

Foreverland is Dead

by Tony Bertauski

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Six teenage girls wake with no memories. One of them is in a brick mansion, her blonde hair as shiny as her shoes. The others are in a cabin, their names tagged to the inside of their pants. Their heads, shaved. Slashes mark the cabin wall like someone has been counting.

Hundreds of them.

There's wilderness all around and one dead adult. The girls discover her body rotting somewhere in the trees. As the weeks pass, they band together to survive the cold, wondering where they are and how they got there. And why.

When an old man arrives with a teenage boy, the girls learn of a faraway island called Foreverland where dreams come true and anything is possible. But Foreverland is dead. In order to escape the wilderness, they'll have to understand where they are.

More importantly, who they are.


Almost all of my books have names with special meaning, some foreshadowing a big twist. In The Annihilation of Foreverland, Reed's name was symbolic of his ability to tolerate suffering, bending in the face of gale forces but never breaking. 

Sometimes, I can't remember how the story started by the time I get to the end. The Annihilation of Foreverland started with the premise of identity. I wanted to write it as a YA book in the science fiction dystopia genre in a way that slowly unfolded as well as questioned who we are and explore our fear of death, and what we're willing to do to avoid it. Like all of my stories, it does have a romantic angle mixed into the action. Because it should.

I failed because there's only one female in The Annihilation of Foreverland. However, the young adult sequel (Foreverland is Dead) passes with flying colors since its mostly female characters that rarely talk about men.

The bodies die, but not necessarily the characters. Chew on that a second.

In The Annihilation of Foreverland, I only casted two characters in my head while I was writing it. The Director is Jeff Bridges and Mr. Jones is Anthony Hopkins. It was like watching a movie as I wrote.

I've been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather's science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and alternate realities and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that's why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body? 

What am I?

A few years ago, I figured I'd write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love. Science fiction.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153321875
Publisher: DeadPixel Publications
Publication date: 06/06/2013
Series: Foreverland , #2
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 702 KB

About the Author

I grew up in the Midwest where the land is flat and the corn is tall. The winters are bleak and cold. I hated winters.

I always wanted to write. But writing was hard. And I wasn’t very disciplined. The cold had nothing to do with that, but it didn’t help. That changed in grad school.

After several attempts at a proposal,  my major advisor was losing money on red ink and advised me to figure it out. Somehow, I did.

After grad school, my wife and my two very little children moved to the South in Charleston, South Carolina where the winters are spring and the summers are a sauna (cliche but dead accurate). That’s when I started teaching and writing articles for trade magazines. I eventually published two textbooks on landscape design. I then transitioned to writing a column for the Post and Courier. They were all great gigs, but they weren’t fiction.

That was a few years later.

My daughter started reading before she could read, pretending she knew the words in books she propped on her lap. My son was a different story. In an attempt to change that, I began writing a story with him. We made up a character, gave him a name, and something to do. As with much of parenting, it did not go as planned. But the character got stuck in my head.

He wanted out.

A few years later, Socket Greeny was born. It was a science fiction trilogy that was gritty and thoughtful. That was 2005.

I have been practicing Zen since I was 23 years old. A daily meditator, I wanted to instill something meaningful in my stories that appeals to a young adult crowd as well as adult. I hadn’t planned to write fiction, didn’t even know if I had anymore stories in me after Socket Greeny.

Turns out I did.

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Foreverland is Dead 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Kiribear13 More than 1 year ago
I must disclose that I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Brilliant…. Simply brilliant. When I first started this book I was coming off of the high of the amazing creation that was the 1st book in this series The Annihilation of Foreverland. That gem was told from the perspective of boys. Needless to say it was vastly different from Foreverland is Dead. To start with, you start out in the mind of a girl and are seeing things from the girl side. Foreverland is Dead starts out with the main storyteller of a girl named Cyn. She wakes up in a bunk house with 4 other girls, all with shaved heads and nothing but a long t-shirt. They find themselves in the wilderness of someplace akin to Montana or Wyoming. None of the girls has any recollection of who they are and even who their names are, apart from nametags on a box of items below their beds. Stress and tensions are quickly escalated as the girls find themselves resorting to survival mode without any more idea of what is going on than when they first woke up. At least 40% or more of the book has you wondering if it will even be connected with the first book in any way…. That is when the plot thickens. I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say, that this book explores a similar virtual reality realm in a completely different way than the first book. Foreverland is Dead is written by the rapidly expounding author by the name of Tony Bertauski. Tony already has quite the plethora of novels under his belt and upon finishing this 2 book binge of altered reality I will indeed need to check the out. The last book was so great that I started this book out ready to roll right in to the same type of action as the last book ended with. Needless to say I felt kind of slowed down in the story establishment of this new story. I started out enjoying the story but more at a level of 3 stars as opposed to the 5 stars awarded its predecessor. However, I was still very into the story and as I got about 40% in, it was a solid 4 stars…. I binge read to finish the story that quickly sped up and sucked you into the crazy dystopian world of the girls and the ending was truly a work of art, firming establishing its rightful place as a 5 star novel. If you are into character development, virtual reality, touch societal issues, survival issues, and dystopian worlds, than this book is definitely for you. I can’t even decide which one of these was better as they are so vastly different and yet so vastly amazing. Don’t sleep on Tony Bertauski and his Foreverland novels or you will missing out on some seriously epic storytelling.
Kelly_Coffee More than 1 year ago
Foreverland is Dead is the sequel to Annihilation of Foreverland and you don't necessarily need to read it to understand this follow-up. This one actually has me a little torn as I read them with significant time between them, it took me a bit to remember and put pieces together. I think this book could be read either way--I feel the suspension and the mystery would be far more intense if you hadn't read Annihilation of Foreverland, but I also think that what happens at the end of the book is much clearer if you read the first. So with that pseudo disclaimer, onto the rest of the review. First let me start by saying that everything I've read from this author has been excellent. At this point, if he wrote it, I pretty much recommend it. Annihilation blew me away (I reviewed it as well) and I was excited to learn about the other half of Foreverland. The pacing is perfect. Despite being 300 pages, I got through it in 5 or so good hours. Bertauski has a tendency to be very straightforward in his writing that makes it for fast reading. He's fantastic at building atmosphere and certainly demonstrated that in Foreverland. His characters are real, you can latch onto them, understand them, relate to them. You care about them and what happens to them. So, the writing is excellent, great pacing, great atmosphere, great characters. Why the four stars? It sure sounds like a five. The four is a personal reaction. While I raced through Annihilation, which left me feeling exhilarated and grinning for hours with the rush of a great mystery and an ending of just deserts, I felt more compelled through Foreverland. The overall tones of the two books is very different, and there's a looming sense of desperation and hopelessness almost omnipresent in Foreverland. Even at the end, something told me not all was quite right in the world. And Bertauski reminded me he likes twists with one right at the end of Foreverland that left me feeling strangely brokenhearted. I almost got my happy ending, or at least one that I could live with, and then then twist that sort of twisted my heart. There is a third in the works that I'm sure will answer the twist, but the overall feeling of sadness I was left with just keeps me from 5 on this one. I'm old fashioned and like my happy endings. Still, the craftsmanship of this book leaves no doubt that it's a highly recommended read and I'm eagerly awaiting #3
Jennyspags More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved The Annihilation of Foreverland, so of course I had to read the sequel! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Foreverland is Dead from Tony, in exchange for my review of the book. I’m certainly not a book critic and can’t break down every aspect of the book to analyze, but I will definitely share my opinion! So…I’m assuming you’ve already read the synopsis for this book on your own, so I’m not going to reiterate it. When I first started reading this book, it was a little hard to get into it and I honestly had to make sure I was reading the correct book because it didn’t start off the way most sequels do. Usually, sequels mention something about the previous book early on in the story, but not this one. (This was before I knew that this book could be read as a standalone.)  Once I realized that, it took me no time to get absorbed into the story! There were some great characters in this book…some you love and some you love to hate…but there was one character in particular that I couldn’t quite figure out my opinion on. I still can’t narrow down whether or not I think she was a terrible person even though she was portrayed as one in a way. The story is also full of mysteries, and while I could sort of predict a few of them ahead of time…most of the mysteries, stayed mysteries until they were revealed. That’s what makes a book great in my opinion. Unpredictably, the element of surprise, and a book that makes you think about your feelings towards certain parts or characters in it.  This was a fantastic book and an even better sequel. Thanks again for allowing me to read it, Tony! 
MOonthego More than 1 year ago
Without spoiling the story, I only comment that the line between fiction and realiy is umclear. I applaud the unexpected twist at the conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AudiobookReviewer More than 1 year ago
Although this is not a sequel this book is fantastic and felt like a great addition to the Foreverland series. What I did not enjoy about the first, I loved in this, mainly the characters and how they were introduced. I really enjoyed listening to this one as well where the first I felt like if I missed anything then I was in trouble. I wanted to hear every word of it since it was very intriguing and a bit mysterious! Both narrators for the books are fantastic though and I definitely recommend the listen if you do not prefer reading. I had a few audio issues with the first, however this one has been fabulous. In this the story starts at a cabin with a few girls who have no memory of how they got there. They do find some food and my favorite of the bunch, Cyn, realizes that since they don't have a clue what is going on, then maybe they should ration the food. From the beginning I could tell that Cyn was fabulous. She is able to stand up to the bullies in the group and doesn't take much crap, even in this really weird environment. I cannot express how much I enjoyed listening to this compared to the first. Although the first I considered good I just wasn't compelled to get to know the characters. I hung in because of the first narrator. The narrator in this, Linda Velwest, also did a fantastic job of helping me to stay focused and IN the story. There are many female characters and I was able to distinguish between them all. Kudos not only to the narration but also to Tony Bertauski who kept the gals very different from each other. Audiobook provided for review by the narrator. Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so different from what I normally read but it was awesome. I was completely immersed in the story. The ending literally had me saying wow.
Cat2002116 More than 1 year ago
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review). (This review may contain spoilers). I sometimes find that sequels aren't quite as good as the first book. Often, the sequel contains a similar plot to the first book, just changed around to look shiny and new. (Kinda like the updated technology that actually isn't all that different from the previous version/s...) Anyway. This book wasn't like that. I knew the background, from having read book one, but this was quite different from book one. I liked how the main focus was on female characters in this book. It made sense to have a separate area for the girls, particularly in light of what was in the first book. It was really intriguing how the world the characters inhabited was so different from the one the boys had. There were parts of their world that I found to be particularly creepy. I did get a bit confused with the different characters at first, though by the end, I knew who everyone was. There were some parts of the book I saw coming, while others still managed to surprise me, despite coming up with all kinds of theories as I read. Although this book is a sequel, I personally feel it can be read as a standalone. You don't need to have read book one to know what's going on here, because the characters wake up with no idea of who or where they are. This book does end on something of a cliffhanger and I'm now eager to read the next book, to see how everything fits together and if the characters from both books will end up meeting each other later on. I personally feel this book and the previous one are worth reading. It's not quite dystopian in the way you might expect, but it still has some of those elements. It's definitely an original spin on some older storylines.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
A girl wakes up, remembering nothing, in a room with slashes on the wall, as if she’s been counting days. She walks toward a brick house and collapses unconscious. Other girls help her, and there’s a Lord of the Flies feel to these castaway lives; no one really sure of who she is, all seeking their own input to who they will turn out to be. Of course, who you are is always a balance between who you were and where you’re going, and this fast-paced novel explores the concept powerfully and mysteriously. Mysteries abound as food disappears from the kitchen, a dead body lies on the path, and one shy little girl seems to have powers beyond everyone else's. Meanwhile danger rears its head in the choice between starvation and escape. And always those hauntingly missing memories threaten from the gray. Foreverland is Dead is a sequel to Tony Bertauski’s the Annihiliation of Foreverland, but it stands alone as a powerfully evocative and disconcerting tale. The teen girl voices are convincing and compelling. And the mystery enthralls. The story draws readers in on its own, with no need for preconceptions, and I truly couldn't stop reading; I wanted to know what would happen here and now; I wanted to know why these girls were trapped (and remembered vaguely, there were boys in Annihilation). And I wanted, like the characters, to know which things were real and which were dream—and who could be trusted. The solution is scary, dark, and pleasingly self-contained by the end of the tale, despite a final line that begs for more. Personally, I hope there will be more—this series has all the classic elements of reality vs imagination, self vs image, the value of life, and fast, intriguing storylines. And these books are really good reads for teens young and old. Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I’m offering my honest review. I honestly loved it.
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
Girls, waking up not knowing who they are, having no past. Learning early that they have been implanted with a device that knocks them unconscious if they wander to far from the hut. Fighting for clothes, and food with the heavy feeling of a never ending struggle to survive. But Miranda is different, she explores the high tech, well stocked house. But without knowing how long they are stuck here, can she risk sharing and how much? Foreverland is Dead takes a darker turn pretty fast. The stink of rotting flesh and struggling just to live through the day. Its pretty obvious from the beginning there is a leader, calling all the shots. She is not about to let anybody show her up, and she'll fight to maintain her power over the other girls. First in the series The Annihilation of Foreverland we saw a group of boys struggling with their lives, but now it's the girls turn. Each book can be read as a stand alone or any order. They are dark, with twists you won't see coming and engaging characters you want to see win in the end. The story is very powerful and suspenseful. At times keeping the reader on the edge of their seat to see if the girls will make it out of danger, alive. It's dark and incredibly imaginative, violent and creepy. PG-16
LilMissBookmark More than 1 year ago
I don't know what to talk about first. My head is still spinning from this novel and not exactly in a good way. My first thoughts ... sigh. Okay. When I first read the blurb on Foreverland is Dead, I was really excited. This sounded like a dystopian novel ... I LOVE dystopian novels lately. And this one sounded like it had some crazy twists ... I do love twists! Then I started reading. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm expecting too much with books today. Maybe that's what it is, my expectations are too high. I want to pick up a book and be transported. I want to go to another time or place and be swept up in what is going on in these pages. I don't want to think, I want to be overwhelmed. I want to feel something towards these characters ... I want to hate, love, dislike, despise, adore ... I don't care what emotion, really. I just want the characters to come alive. At the end of the book, there is a MAJOR twist. And if I'm being completely honest, this twist was totally lost on me because I couldn't remember exactly who a certain character was. Really?!? I wanted to throw a massive temper tantrum and go kick someone in shin. I felt like I was let down. Granted, that may be my own fault. Maybe I didn't pay attention. Maybe it was the beginning of the book that lost me. At the beginning, I was a little thrown off by the haltingly way that the book was written. It felt like the author was trying to use the least amount of words possible for each sentence. The sentences were cut off, not in a way that left a fragmented sentence, but in a way that I felt I was only getting part of the information. The book read like it wanted to be more ... does that even make sense?!? I have another one of my crazy analogies for you ... the book is like a balloon that was only blown up half-way. The balloon wants to be huge! It has so much potential! When it's only blown up half-way it's a waste. The short, weird sentences never completely went away. It was hard to get the feeling of the story ... feel what the characters were going through or get a full sense of what was going on around them. Eventually the sentences lengthened but by that time, I had lost a bit of interest. I don't want to work that hard to figure out who characters are and what they are about. The story wasn't bad. It was actually really good and that is the only reason that this book received 2 stars from me. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I needed to know what was going to happen. And let me tell you, that's a really weird feeling when you only know about half of the characters. I wanted to know but then I would have to go back to the beginning of the book to figure out who it was happening to. Once again, I'm in the minority with this review score. A lot of people really liked it. You should give it a shot. If nothing else, you'll read a really great story concept.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago