As always, I want to say I was given access to a copy of this book to review as part of book tour by Henry Roi Pr. My reviews are always a 100% honest and contain my own opinions. #BookTour #BookReview #HenryRoiPR #JosephJDowling #MandateThirteen
Mandate Thirteen is the kind of gritty, dystopian I have been searching for. Sometimes bleak, sometimes violent and often heartfelt this is a brilliant debut being the authors first published novel. Set in a world with dwindling birth rates all young women must submit to compulsory fertility checks at the age of thirteen. For those lucky, or perhaps unlucky, enough to be able to conceive a docile existence inside the Birthing Schools beckons or a far worse fate if they all into the wrong hands. When Baby Farmers and their brutal leader Miko arrive to snatch away his daughter Michael makes a split second choice between his own freedom or to lose his daughter forever.
Within a few pages I became hooked which at first surprised me because I will confess I didn’t particularly like any of the characters that much in the start, particularly Allison, although Michael’s choice of music was top tier. That quickly changed as we got to know Michael more and shortly after Hope, his thirteen year old daughter. By Chapter two I was completely invested in these characters and the story. So much so I finished this in two sittings. Those who follow my reviews or know me at all know I adore that the dystopian genre not only lets us exam things like political and social extremes but it lets us examine human nature. Obviously humans are vastly different in many aspects and that is what in part makes us great but also makes us sometimes dangerous. This is showcased brilliantly by Dowling with the cast of memorable characters we meet throughout Michael and Hope’s journey toward Scotland.
The tension is built and kept brilliantly throughout with plenty of action and gritty violence too for good measure and while it might not be to everyone’s liking I adored the way that Dowling made it make sense. You never felt that he was adding in violence for the sake or for shock value as you sometimes can with this genre and horror particularly. Each part of the story makes sense and fits the jigsaw perfectly to create a brilliant plot.
I never spoil books but the ending was just perfect as well and left it open to potentially see more of Michael and Hope in the future. I really adored the world that Dowling made despite it’s bleakness at times and I will definitely be awaiting future works by this author in the future.
Mandate Thirteen is at it’s a heart a tale of how far a father is willing to go to protect his daughter but more than that it is a brutal dystopian that will definitely stick with you long after reading. A definite must for fans of the genre.
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