The Culling

The Culling Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Series: The Culling Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a solar system where The Authority decides who lives and who dies, only one of their own executioners can stop them.  

Glade Io is a trained killer. Marked at a young age as an individual with violent tendencies, she was taken from her family and groomed to be a Datapoint—a biotech-enabled analyst who carries out the Culling. She is designed to identify and destroy any potential humans that threaten the colonies: those marked as lawbreakers, unproductive or sick. But when she’s kidnapped by rogue colonists known as the Ferrymen, everything Glade thinks she knows about the colonies, and The Authority that runs them, collapses into doubt.  

Pulled between two opposing sides, and with her family’s lives hanging in the balance, Glade is unsure of who to trust—and time is running out.

©2017 Relay Publishing (P)2018 Relay Publishing

What listeners say about The Culling

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings...

I'm not really sure how to feel about this book. I've read a lot of dystopian books over the last 2 years and they're starting to feel very similar. However the book is well written and the characters are really interesting. The concept of the Culling is horrific and even worse that they train teenagers to carry it out.

Glade is a great lead character and an interesting contradiction, chosen for her sociopath tendencies and trained to be unfeeling she does still care, a lot in some cases.

Overall it's left me with a desire to know what's going to happen next.

The narration is excellent, great character voices and the delivery is emotive and dynamic.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

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8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Much better than I thought!!

Glade Io is a Datapoint. She has been groomed by The Authority to carry out the Culling. It's her job to cull anyone showing violent or murderous tendencies. She wholeheartedly believes that she is making their world a better place to live in, but that all changes when she is kidnapped by a rebel group known as the Ferryman. While in captivity, she learns that what she believes to be true, may not be, and that The Authority is different than she was led to believe. I have the kindle copy of this since it came out but never got the time to read it, and to be honest, I was getting a little fed up with the tropes in the dystopian genre. But when it came to audio, I jumped at the chance to listen. Well, this book was awesome!! It was so much better than I thought and I flew through it. I really liked the idea of the plot. The Earth is uninhabitable, or so the Authority will have you believe, so everyone lives on different planets in the solar system. The Authority rules all and has a firm grip over everyone. Every few years, they use the Datapoints to Cull the population. With the use of their biotech, they are able to determine who will show violent or murderous tendencies and they then cull them. The plot held a steady pace and kept my attention throughout. I really liked Glade Io. She was brave and wasn't like the rest of the Datapoints. Even though she was brainwashed since she was young, she didn't enjoy her job and did wonder about it. The only reason she kept doing it was because she wanted to save her sisters from the life she has to live. Once she gets kidnapped and meets Kupier, she starts to question everything and is determined to get to the truth. In all, this was a great read. I mean, it does follow the usual pattern of girl realising the bosses are evil, girl also finding out she is special and the only one able to either stop them or help them destroy the world, and there is always a boy!! Even with this formula, I still ended up loving it. The world building and character development was awesome and I can not wait to read the next one!! Stacey Glemboski read this really well. She portrayed Glade perfectly and her tones and cadences brought the story to life. She was easy to listen to and I loved her performance. I will have to check out more by her. I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

7 people found this helpful

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Takes a while to get into but worth it

It took me a while to get into this book but I’m glad I stuck with it. I really enjoyed the characters and the main struggle. Glade Io is a pretty standard main character. She’s likable but a bit flawed in her absolute belief in the Authority. Still, I felt it was true to her character that she wouldn’t immediately believe those that oppose the Authority. It’s that struggle (Glade’s ability to parse the truth) that really drew me in. The Ferrymen of Charon are your standard rebels or resistance. They just want to protect their families and have enough to live a decent life. Coopier inherited the leadership of the Ferrymen when his brother Loose died. The Ferrymen have come up with a plan to take out the Authority, but they need a Data Point and set about kidnapping a few (Glade and Sulia). This is where things finally got interesting for me. Glade’s 16 years of believing in the Authority are challenged by the Ferrymen (how they act & what they show her) and her world begins to crumble a bit. Back at the Authority, Glade continues to train under Don, her long-term mentor. The story has set up a love triangle and love triangles are not my thing. It rarely works for me and it doesn’t work here. Despite that, I like Don and his own inner struggle – to trust Glade, hold true to the Authority, hate the Ferrymen. The main premise of the tale is that specially trained people with a very specific personality (a little sociopathy, still maleable, highly intelligent, etc.) can work with specialized tech to read another person’s brainwaves and then snuff them out. Yep. Snuff out hundreds to thousands of people from afar. Planetwide but sometimes from other planets. I couldn’t help but shake my head at this. The writing could have made this a bit more believable but it was real loose and ridiculous. Also there were small things that just didn’t ring true. The Authority monitors the Data Points during training… yet not during an actual culling? Some of the Data Points take up communicating silently through their tech and yet it’s not a common practice and is apparently unmonitored? Unlikely. Also, Glade is considered rather important and yet they don’t monitor all her movements all the time through her tech? It would be so simple to do…. So because of all these small things like this, I often felt the writing was lazy instead of giving us a story with solid, realistic rules. On the other hand, the emotions of the characters and how some of them grow throughout the story kept me engaged. Even Sulia, who is a jerk, might have something more going on than just what we see on the surface. Because of the characters, I look forward to Book 2. 4/5 stars. The Narration: Stacey Glemboski did a great job with this book. She had distinct voices for all the characters and her male voices were believable. I really liked her voice for Coopier’s little brother and for Sulia when she’s being nasty. There’s plenty of tense emotions in this story and Glemboski did a great job portraying them. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars. I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 people found this helpful

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Tried so hard to finish but couldn’t.

I thought this book would be like Hunger Games but it was so slow and not interesting. I got through 3/4s of it and finally gave up.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent story, great narration.

For me, this was an enjoyable listen but the story felt a bit 'thin' at points. I think the biggest weakness was the description of how the culling technology worked and was described. It just felt pretty vague and wasn't extremely interesting. We get to see some interesting bits about the surrounding world but I would have liked to have heard more (though maybe that will be build on more with the remainder of the trilogy). Narration by Stacey Glemboski was great! I have no complaints beyond a little less variation in character voicing when compared to other works of hers I've listened to. Besides that, we get a great narration here. This book doesn't really do anything new or groundbreaking (and some of the premises felt strangely familiar) but, overall, it was an enjoyable listen and I have no regrets! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

A Sociopath's Tale

3.5 stars Now, this is a dystopian concept that I haven’t run into before and fresh ideas are always welcome. Much of the tale’s plot and the behavior of the characters is similar to many other books but that all supports the central theme, that sociopathic tendencies can be harnessed to do the bidding of an evil government without a care or concern. Glade is one of those sociopaths and, after being snatched from her mother and younger sisters as a young girl, she has been melded, in a manner of speaking, with a biotech system so that she is able to locate and assess candidates for culling and then carry out the procedure. What it boils down to is Glade is judge, jury and executioner; she murders people with the approval of the seven-person Authority and, because she’s a sociopath, she feels no remorse or reluctance whatsoever. Except when she remembers that her own father was culled and she’s never understood why. Things could have gone along this way for years but Glade and another Datapoint are taken captive by a band of resisters known as the Ferrymen and their leader, Kupier, begins to have a small effect on Glade and on her perspective. For the first time in her life, she has niggling questions about what she does and why and about the Authority. Back on the space station, she has a different view of herself and her fellow Datapoints, especially Dahn, and begins to fear one of the Authority, Jan Ernst Haven. Even with the similarities to other dystopian stories, I came to really like these characters (my favorite may be Kupier’s kid brother) and some of the details of their world but there are still missing pieces. For instance, I want to know much more about how Earth came to be uninhabitable, how the people became space colonizers and why the Authority turned into such a force for evil. Perhaps more will be revealed in the next book. Narrator Stacey Glemboski does a nice job with clear tones and good pacing. She has to work with a bit of a hindrance in that the point of view and even the setting frequently change without warning and it can be momentarily difficult to make the transition as a listener/reader but Ms. Glemboski eases the pain with her quite believable and effective voice characrterizations. I’ll gladly listen to more books she does.

1 person found this helpful

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"We Don't Have to Be Enemies"

I received this audiobook free from the author and I am willingly reviewing it. I wanted to listen to this book because I had heard some of the narrator's work before and the story looked very interesting. I was not disappointed. The idea of culling out individuals and using technologically enhanced datapoints to do the work hooked me into the story. The character development was top-notch. We get to see both sides - the so-called good guys and bad guys. I like how the author changes POV between Glade and Kupier. The narrator does an excellent job letting you know not only which character is speaking, but which POV your viewing. She even changes her delivery slightly depending on which main character's POV you're in. Very glad I took the time to listen, and I will definitely want to hear the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent start to a sure to be great trilogy!

This author and narrator are both new to me.

The description of the book was an immediate draw and interest to me. I love the idea of a alternate world where we live and survive by different rules brought on by circumstances outside of our control. In this book it was brought on my the Earth no longer being inhabitable.

The story was well thought out and well written. I didn't feel as though there were any outstanding and unbelievable occurrences that happened that the author didn't make me believe was inside the realm of possibility. I am truly looking forward to getting my hands on the next book.

I thought the narrator was excellent. A lot of times a narrator can make or break a story. However, this particular narrator was truly talented. She played each character well and the emotion and tone was spot on.

Overall this is an audiobook and book I would recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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What Took Me So Long?

I've had this in ebook for...forever, and only recently made it a priority. Being able to listen to it really helped that decision, and I'm so glad I did! I've enjoyed a lot of dystopians lately, but many seem to be lacking originality and only a few have become instant favorites. I wasn't expecting to love this one so much when I started, but quickly found I couldn't wait to listen to more each time I was forced to put it down! Well written, and I loved Stacey Glemboski's narration style!

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good book well told

i really liked this book as much as the others of this genre of story

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  • Helen
  • 04-26-20

Wonderful

I Enjoyed this audio book very much from start to finish great story line too

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  • Book Addict
  • 07-17-18

A Gripping Start to This Trilogy!

This is book one in the trilogy. This book starts just as a culling takes place, and six year old Glade watches her father struck down and then his body is dragged away. The Colonies are on the different planets, and are controlled by The Authority who are rule all the planets. They are responsible for the culling of all citizens showing violent or murderous tendencies. The Culling take place every ten years. They used datapoints, humans with tech integrated so they can read brainwaves, so they can kill anyone with dangerous and murderous thoughts. Even though Glade’s father was taken in the last culling, Glade had no doubt the Authority was only trying to create a better life for everyone. Glade is now a Datapoint and will be responsible for the next Culling. All is well until Glade is kidnapped by the Ferryman, and the she spends time with the leader. Everyone shows her kindness, but Glade is still firm in her believe in the Authority. This is a gripping story keeps you listening, with superb narration. I listened to this in one go, as I didn’t want to stop. I ended listening through the night. I know this is geared to young Adults, as Glade is only 16years old. This oldie really enjoyed it, and I’m getting ready to listen to book two The Authority. 

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  • Anniiiiiiiitttttaaaaaa
  • 06-12-18

Unreal listen, great dystopian!

Firstly Stacey Glemboski made this audiobook for me. I loved listening to her voice, she captivated me with her different characters and I was drawn into this sy-fy world. Amazing! Now to Ramona Finn, I picked up this audiobook because of the blurb, the idea of The Culling was unique and intrigued me. I loved the Hunger Game and the blurb reminded me of that and I wasn't disappointed. It was great, but not the same. It has unique characters and unique gizmos and technology. I loved Kupier and warmed to Glade by the end of the book. Can't wait for the next in the series!