BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSION: The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray

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DYSTOPIAN SCI FI

Why is this series not on the New York Times best seller? The Eden Conspiracy is the spectacular sequel of The Liberty Box that is truly a page-turner. I’m glad this sequel is more action-packed and it did not disappoint. Honestly speaking, C.A. Gray’s style of writing is remarkable and she really knows how to write a compelling story with equally exceptional characters. This sequel solidified its place as one of my favorite series out there.

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TITLE: The Eden Conspiracy (The Liberty Box # 2)
AUTHOR:  C.A. Gray
GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopian
FORMAT: eBOOK
PUBLISHER: Wanderlust Publishing
DATE READ: July 20, 2016

ADD TO GOODREADS

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GOODREADS:

Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.

The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.

Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?

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non spoilery review

AN INCREDIBLE STORY WITH COMPELLING UNDERLYING THEMES tec1

What an unforgettable sequel! I loved every bits of it and I’m really excited to write this review!

First of all, I love Jackson MacNamera. He’s a character that’s so well-made without sounding unrealistic. I love how strong and willful he is and I quote “this guy is a machine!”❤️

The story picks up right where it ends. We see our characters fighting for their survival and slowly waking up and see the dystopian world they’re in.
Everything is well-balanced and I love how intense and action-packed this book is than the first one. The world building remains impressive and the conflict keeps on getting deeper. It’s amazing to see the growth of each characters on this book and how they all shine in their own special ways. I mean it’s not just Jackson who’s actually superior in skills. C.A. Gray makes sure that the other characters also stand out. Like Will, you’ll admire his hacking skills, Nick, his leadership, Kate, from being a damsel-in-distress to a kick ass heroine. And on this book, we have seen how abominable and vicious Voltolini is to an extreme level.

Aside from the world building and character growth, it’s really nice to see that this book still has some fundamental theme; you are the architect of your own thoughts. Always stick to the truth and when you couldn’t see it, seek for it. Open your eyes and your mind and pay attention to everything around you. Our mind is the most powerful weapon and we shouldn’t allow anyone to use it against us and against our own will.

The ending of the book wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger but surely, we know that there’s a lot to come.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES. It has the ability to capture the attention of both young adult and adult reader. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO READ BOOK 3.

Thank you C.A. Gray for writing this beautiful story. You’re one of my favorite authors now and I will surely read your other works. You are the Jackson of my life ❤️


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So to start, this was a really strong sequel to The Liberty Box. The first book ended with a cliffhanger saying that Will is back! The question is, how? The second book contained some of the answers we’re looking for. Will happened to escape the Potentate and disguised as a soldier and now he was able to save some of the people from the cave including Kate. If you think this was grand reunion, apparently, it was just for a brief moment. There are lots of things at stake now that majority of them had died, they needed to formulate a plan. The group is then divided into two; those who prefer their own safety, and those who wanted to save the others left in the Republic. But little they know, neither is a safe choice.

  • Totalitarian Regime

Often times when we read a book that deals with fighting against the government, we never get to see how rebel groups are formed. Suddenly, the story wants us to believe that they’re just there existing for a long time in huge numbers. But in C.A. Gray’s story, we see the humble beginnings of a revolution. They’re not revolutionary at first, they don’t have resources and conviction to fight. Their numbers are small and they’d rather survive than make plans to end the government’s tyranny. Of course in all rebel groups, there’s always someone who will be the leader. In this case, it’s the Crone. What if the Crone’s leadership is starting to look as totalitarian as the government they’ve escaped? This reason divided the remainder number of the groups into two; those who wanted to stay with the Crone and fled to New Estonia; those who wanted to go with Jackson to Beckenshire. Neither is a safe choice for them because first, going to New Estonia doesn’t guarantee actual safety. We have discovered here that the Crone used to live there as a baroness before coming to the old United States. I can’t really blame her for clinging into the single hope that New Estonia is their only promise land. She had risked and lost too much people along the way and just wanted to ensure safety to what’s left.

It’s also good to see that there are certain people who voiced out their own opinion and made a stand. The stand they couldn’t make before in the Republic, they made it today. Some chose to go with Nick, even it’s uncertain. But they have put their fate on each other that they could make this through together.

“Die now for certain, or risk dying later. Take your pick.”

In this book, we have also learned the true mark of leadership, it doesn’t have to always be by force, you just have to give people a choice. And maybe that’s the fundamental difference between the Crone and her council with Nick , Jackson and the rest who went with them; letting your people make a choice.

  • Extension of the Potentate’s Influence

Throughout reading the book, one of my questions are, why does the other countries don’t interfere anymore with the things going on in the Republic. This book finally gave us answers. There came a time when the international trading stops which basically left  each countries on their own. I tried to picture Republic at this point as North Korea. They’re closed to the rest of the world and all information coming in and out are controlled. The Potentate created a paradigm and a make-believe image that they are really doing well, and that its citizens are happy and wealthy. But like in North Korea, we do believe that’s not true. With countries like New Estonia who posed a military threat, they’re basically considered as the enemy of the state.

This is why the Potentate wanted to extend his influence to other countries. He wanted to brainwash the rest of the world. I’m not sure if he had already won, but the Potentate is quite an unpredictable man. Who would have thought that he also made a targeted brainwashing that specifically intended for certain people. Kate was the first victim of it and whether or not it’s working , we don’t know.  The answer only lies with Kate’s mind. If her mind is strong enough not to be brainwashed, chances are she could help Jackson and the rest of the world be free.

  • If There’s Going to be a War Between New Estonia and the Republic, Who Has the Best Chance to Win?

This is like asking what will happen if North Korea invade South Korea. I have been thinking about this since I’ve started reading the book. The answer to that is still uncertain. First, we have yet to see New Estonia and we still don’t know what kind of weapons they have. Is it stronger than what the Republic has? But I have noticed that, despite having strong brainwashing programs, majority of the people in the Republic don’t understand what they’re doing. Their ability to think for themselves vanished along with the brainwashing. This might be an advantage point with New Estonia if they go into a war. They “might” are more experienced with how the real world works and maybe they’re more strategic than the people of the Republic. They could outsmart them. The inability to think might lead to the Republic’s demise. But this doesn’t have to happen because if all people from the Republic would be awake, that just leave a one person to take down, the Potentate.

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I think I have mentioned this earlier but I absolutely love C.A. Gray’s characters. They all stand out in their own special ways and nobody feels like throwaways. Everyone plays a vital role in the story.

KATE: Kate from being the darling of the Republic to a kick ass woman who stands on her own. Gone is the Kate who doesn’t make a stand and let others make decisions for her. When she was awakened, it’s like she had woke a part of herself that has been asleep for a long time. What I like about Kate is that she’s doing these changes not because she’s trying to be someone else or because she wanted to show off. She admitted to Jackson she’s not really the kind of girl who likes being dirty while cleaning the rib cage of a deer. But in the situation they’re in, nobody would pamper her. She doesn’t really have a choice but be tough.

JACKSON: Remained my favorite character on this story. Aside from his special qualities that I’ve mentioned on my previous review, we have seen here that he is the type of person who encourages Kate to be who she is. He let her be and give her a choice and if she wanted help, he’s willing to give her. That’s his difference from Will, he let Kate be independent. Jackson is truly a kind hearted person and I could see that he is willing to sacrifice himself for the people he care about and for those who seek for help.

WILL: I have to admit that I hated Will on the beginning of the book. Especially when he called Kate weak and incapable. He become so manipulative because in the old world, he’s used to being Kate’s knight in shinning armor and fully being dependent on him. I know he’s just doing this to protect Kate. I like the fact that he’s mature enough to handle the situation. When Kate chose Jackson, he didn’t beat the heck out of Jackson but instead, he respected her decision. His dedication into fitting in the people he just met is really interesting to see. I guess people with the same common goal, stick together.

NICK: He is the kind of leader that everyone should have in the team. He respects his members decision and he hears them out before making decisions. I don’t know what happened to him but Will’s POV on the sneak peek made me think that he’s dead.

CHARLIE: He’s such a cool bro. At first I thought he’ll be one of the people who won’t believe on Kate. But he’s a natural curious boy. He has a cool personality and his jokes made me smile. Apart from dad, he’s frank and really good at engineering stuff.

BEN VOLTOLINI: Like President Snow, he’s annoying up to the bones! He has a very unpredictable mind. I have to give credit to C.A. Gray for making him a not so inferior villain. His intelligent and difficult to outsmart because he always had a back up plan when all else fail. But the source of his wealth remained a mystery to me. I wonder how was he able to come up with this kind of virus or idea of brainwashing? Was he an unloved boy? I think I wanted to read a novella about him!

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Now we’re getting something! I know this book is not a romance-driven story but in this sequel JACKSON KISSED KATE. Omg. And Kate confessed to him that she loves him though I never understood why he didn’t confess it too when clearly his eyes say it all. What I like about their romance is that it’s no insta love. It took time and they first learned to develop friendship and trust with each other before blooming into a romance. I like the fact that they took things slowly. Kate broke up with Will because she knows that it’s unfair for him knowing that she has feelings for Jackson.

For Jackson’s part,  he never tried to snatch away Kate from Will. He never show any motives in front of her. He talked to Will man to man that as long as Kate chooses Will, he will step aside. I’m glad that he respected Will’s and Kate’s relationship rather than being in between them. Their interactions made me swoon a little bit and Jackson is so funny when he’s shy and when he’s trying to divert the subject so Kate won’t start talking about “feelings.” I wish that their love will be a key to Kate’s mind. You know what, I’ve sobbed in the end when Jackson was recalling to Kate every memories they’ve been through. I really felt that Jackson loves Kate so much and he doesn’t want her to forget him completely. I wish that Kate would not forget him. I wish Jackson had said I love you to Kate. I wish this book will have a happy ending!

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C.A. Gray is a remarkable writer and I wonder why I’ve never read her books before. Reading The Liberty Box is one of the best decisions ever because I fell in love with its story. She writes beautifully and authentically. All her works are suitable not just for young adult readers but also for adult readers. Her style of writing is truly captivating and the world she created felt alive in my mind and her characters felt like my long lost friends.

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I give this 5/5 stars because the story is absolutely riveting. It’s really a great read and there are no dull moments. I’m really excited for book 3 and you guys should really read this book especially if you’re looking for a realistic NA dystopian-sci fi that is not romance-centric. ❤

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Thank you for reading this review! See you again next time 🙂

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