The world is getting older.
The world is getting younger.
The United States is dead.
The Democratic Unity killed it.
After catastrophic wars and the Meltdown, the Unity rules from its East Coast citadel, leaving the outlands to savages and its strangely altered plants. Providing free health care, employment, computer-less surfing, and recreational drugs at quite reasonable prices, the Unity mandates retirement at 40 before fatigue and error contaminate a culture of youth, innovation, and vigor.
Seventeen-year-old, and thus middle-aged, Lieutenant Malila Chiu, is a veteran officer who, despite well-earned fame, finds her career in tatters. Vandalism at a distant station triggers her demotion. Facing denunciation, or worse, Malila's one option is to enter the outlands to repair the station herself. At first, the repairs go well.
Dropping from fatigue, she sleeps only to awake to find a hideously ancient savage, Jesse Johnstone, has murdered her platoon and now holds a knife at her throat, making her the Outland Exile.
Part coming-of-age, part political augury, part societal commentary, Outland Exile follows Malila on a brutal foot trek through a devastated America even as it reveals to her the lies about her advanced society. What unseen forces are holding her a pawn in unknown game? Is there escape?
Lieutenant Malila Chiu, is an officer in the Democratic Unity, a utopia of sorts, where all your needs are taken care of… as long as you don’t rock the boat. 17-Year-Old Malila has been stripped of her rank for vandalism and is sent to the offended station in the Outlands to clean up her mess.
Malila wakes to find her companions murdered and a knife held to her throat by a “savage” Jesse Johnstone a grizzled old warrior and so begins Malila journey, an odyssey filled with unspeakable violence and danger, some brought upon her by her captor Jesse and some by enemies of them both. Forcing Malila and Jesse to form a distrustful and uneasy alliance to survive.
This audiobook is nothing like I was expecting, rather than a procedural dystopian type novel, this story delves into societal expectations and the blind belief in righteousness that members of a Utopian society are indoctrinated into from birth.
I found this well told story fascinating, especially given the climate we are currently living in. This story has plenty of suspense. I feel compelled to issue a warning, if you have triggers you may want to skip this one, there are many scenes of graphic violence and threat of rape.
Outland Exile clocks in at 10 hours 43 minutes. Jack Nolan does an excellent job narrating this fully voiced production. He has so many voices in his arsenal! What a treat. The one issue I had, and in the scheme of things, it’s a small issue. The production quality, there were times when the narration seemed to speed up inexplicably, it never lasted long but it happened a few times I noticed.
If you enjoy Dystopian or Utopian novels I suggest putting this one on your list!
This audiobook was gifted to me exchange for an unbiased review!