Author: C.A. Gray
Series: The Liberty Box
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Date Published: October 25, 2015
Publisher: Wanderlust Publishing
Retail Price: $12.99
Page Count: 212
Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.
Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.
Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?
The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray is a brilliantly fast-paced novel set in the future United States, now known as The Republic which is run by the Potentate, Ben Votilini. This story follows two characters, Jackson MacNamera and Kate Brandeis, as they find and unravel the truth of The Republic but with two different initiatives. One is learning the truth, ultimately coming out of a spell and is beginning to rebel. The other is just coming into this area, not understanding why The Republic is that way, and trying to help others learn the same.
Right of the bat, the story gives you an amazing back story that gives you just enough to understand what is about to happen. You are asking yourself all the questions that are supposed to be asked in this prologue and then throughout the story, everything gets answered, in a quite quickly manner may I add. I really enjoyed the pacing of this novel because you don’t have to wait super long before you get your answer. But that also causes all the problems in the story to seem a bit too easy. A question is brought up in this rebel society we’re following, easily in a few chapters and/or pages, someone comes up with what they think is the answer, kind of taking away from the build-up and learning and silent battling against The Republic part. This, I feel, caused the building up of the story to be a bit cheesy in the way some things played out.
To answer a question a lot of people like to know about a novel, there is only a slight case of insta-love and no love triangle… yet. Being that we have rational characters in this novel, the insta-love is not taken too far and in-depth with the characters.
And now, something that I have to mention in almost every review that I do; our swoon worthy guys. For once, I did not have my own love towards the main male character who in this case is Jackson. I am actually in love with Alec Chambers who introduced to us at the beginning of the novel when Kate is beginning to wake up from her brainwashing. His dark hair and ability to hunt makes me fall for him so hard. Our other guy is Nick Salasar, and this is odd. Why? He’s not our normal teenager/young adult. He is a man with “salt and pepper hair”. Why do I like him? The charge he takes within the novel is very admiring and the way he cares for his wife Molly is something any girl would.
This dystopian United States, set after the crash of our economy, is scarily alike our own. Of course, not every aspect is, but things that people do and how they react in such an opposite way of life is the same.
“where one psychopath actually wanted to blow up the palace where the Tribunal convened” (13).
The tie in of stuff that, sadly happens now, is actually kind of brilliant because it adds in the real affect of this being our current world, but in a different time.
We have rational characters in this novel. Its brilliant! This is why I love Jackson MacNamera as a character. He is rational and sadly, its not something that we often see in Young Adult fiction. When Jackson and Kate get into the caves, Kate is very confused on how she feels, I’ll give her that; her husband just died. But when Kate tries to “make a move” on Jackson, he literally pushes her away.
“For heaven’s sake, she met me a couple of days ago, and her fiance died last week” (140).
He understands that it is not the right time to possibly fall for each other because of the tough situation they are in and because Kate herself isn’t thinking rationally. Yes, though, there is a slight case of insta-love between Kate and Jackson when Jackson first arrives but he was smart about it through the course of them knowing and meeting each other and knew not to take it too far.
“You met her three days ago, I told myself severly, Knock it off” (140).
“‘This room is what we call The Liberty Box'” (55). I love when we find out the meaning of the title!