ULTRAXENOPIA | M.A. Phipps
Kindle edition | Action | Thriller | 298 pages
Released 1 August 2017
PART ONE OF THE YOUNG ADULT DYSTOPIAN TRILOGY PROJECT W. A. R.
Don’t stand out. Blend in. Remain invisible. Those are the rules I lived by – the rules I thought would keep me alive.
I was wrong.
Wynter Reeves is a law-abiding citizen of the State, a willing conformist whose daily life is haunted by terrorism and oppression. With the constant threat of death hanging over her like a shadow, she forces herself to live by a strict set of rules, all in the hope of ensuring she is never noticed. However, on her twenty-first birthday, as she prepares to take the placement exam that will determine her future within society, she begins to show symptoms of a rare and debilitating illness – ultimately attracting the attention of the State. Taken into the custody of the feared research facility known as the DSD, her worst nightmare becomes reality.
Ripped away from the life she knew, Wynter is forced to become the test subject of the mysterious Dr. Richter. Through him, she learns the true and terrifying nature of her condition: a disease called Ultraxenopia. – GOODREADS
Ultraxenopia was a chance find, which I think was a tweet of the trailer (great trailer btw). As always with me, the cover (and trailer) is what grabbed my attention so I did some more digging. Then, there’s the catchphrase … Don’t stand out. Blend in. Remain invisible. That was two ticks. Then, there was the trailer (did I mention it?) and the synopsis – four ticks.
Ok … here’s the trailer.
Wynter Reeves is a young woman who is on the brink of her future, living in a society that is restricted by uniformity and far too many rules to follow. Just another lemming in a city of emotionless souls. At the age of twenty-one, it’s her turn to sit the ‘exam’ that will decide where she fits in society. This is the point at which her life changes in a way that she never expected.
Dark visions begin to cloud and torment her mind, bringing with them a dire fear of what the future holds. Why is it happening? What is their meaning? Are they dreams or are they real? In the midst of dealing with the tricks of her mind, Wynter is unexpectedly betrayed and taken by the State and dragged into a living nightmare. Any ounce of control that she thought she had in her old life is suddenly gone. She finds herself locked away and isolated from everything that she knows, to be controlled and studied by a mysterious doctor who she doesn’t trust. She is barely coping and each new vision is more painful and vivid than the last.
Wynter’s story had me hooked from page one, reminding me of Hunger Games and Divergent, but with an original twist. The first half deals with captivity, loneliness, hardship, mystery, and twists. The second deals with new beginnings, resentment, uncertainty, trust, bonds, revenge, and even more twists. I found this to be a compelling and engaging book. It ebbed and flowed with nice pace that kept me wanting to snatch a few more minutes of reading whenever I had the chance.
M.A. Phipps has cleverly weaved a nicely balanced plot that takes us on a journey from soulless conformity to … (not telling). It follows the struggles and triumphs of a strong female protagonist. Her character shines and adapts as she learns about her past and her future, before ultimately accepting what she needs to do to set things right.
Ultraxenopia is an exciting and engaging read recommended for fans of dystopian fiction. Book two is definitely on my TBR list.
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Click or tap the cover below to read chapter one.