This book is short, sharp and I really enjoyed it. Plus awesome setting alert. AUSTRALIA, buttttt DYSTOPIAN AUSTRALIA.
Published by Buddy Iris
Published in August 2017
Australia is ruled by the SIF. The Special Investigation Force controls everything. Water, food, fuel … women’s bodies. 18-year-old Ora has never questioned their authority; everyone knows it’s all for the ‘safety of the nation’. But Ora’s decision to move in with her aunt is a bad one. She’s just landed herself in the middle of nowhere with a deluded activist who wants to change the world, one illegal birth at a time. Sooner or later someone is going to die and Ora doesn’t know where to turn. The beach is her only sanctuary and it’s here that she meets Jake, thoughtful and experienced, who encourages her to live a little. So why is it that as soon as she starts to have some fun, everything goes dangerously wrong?
Thankyou SO much to Charlotte Young for sending me this book for review! However, this does not effect my opinion of this novel.
This book may be short but it packs a lot in to it's pages. Probably my favourite thing about this book is the unique setting. Something very rare, in fact I haven't seen it anywhere else. Dystopian Australia! Someone tell me why isn't this done more?! It's such a good idea, and Charlotte did this setting so well in her book. It was very well explained and there's just something so great about reading a book set in where YOU LIVE's future.
Ora's Gold is one of those books that leave you pondering what Australia will be like the in future.
The concept of the SIF was another well-thought out addition to this dystopian narrative. The SIF are a task force who control everything. Something that really struck me was how the SIF controlled food and water and when Ora received her rations she often commented on how it tasted "synthetic" which I thought was a very interesting thing to say, considering how popular synthetic foods are in the world today. The SIF's rules are also very clearly stated and reiterated many times and the reader can see from the perspective of Ora how strict the SIF are with the laws. Seeing this all through a teens eyes, I could imagine what it would feel like to have a Government as strict as this.
Ora was a good main character. I didn't love her. Sometimes she could get a bit whiny and overall just someone I didn't care to read about. She was a stubborn "my way or the highway" kind of character. I'm not saying that she was absoloutley terrible, not at all, it's just sometimes she could be a bit annoying. But I can see where she was coming from. She's a teenager, and she has a VERY tough life. But I always find it a lot harder to connect with characters who are always complaining.
This book also addresses womens rights particularly when having children. In Ora's world, women must have their babies in centres, where the Mother's often come back feeling nothing like themselves. It was horrible reading about a world where women didn't have a choice about where or how they had their baby. These sorts of decisions should belong to the Mother and Father alone never the Government. The SIF believe that women should have them in centres so that the mother and child are safe, but often the Mother would be better off outside of the SIF centres, where no one knows what the medical staff do to the children. This book also talks about the difference between keeping someone safe and taking away their freedom, a very important discussion especially with this dystopian Australia and the SIF.
Bits & Bobs:
- I didn't love the romance in this book. It all just felt a bit too forced.
- I really liked Ora's love of the beach and swimming.
- I enjoyed how Charlotte portrayed the media in this book. It was interesting to read about how the media worked in this dystopian setting, unafraid of stepping out of line, challenging the SIF and doing whatever it takes for a good story.
Thankyou so much again to Charlotte for sending me a copy of your book!
Tell me, do you want more dystopian Australia books? Have you read Ora's Gold, what did you think of it?Also, do the SIF terrify you, as much as they did me.