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Publisher's Summary

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of 24, she's the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancée 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?

©2015 Lauren Deville (P)2016 Lauren Deville

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Impressive

There is not much waiting for this story to take off. I was not expecting this. The synopsis does not do it justice and now off to part 2! As of this posting Audible does not have the "next book in series correct" The Eden Conspiracy is book 2.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent book the narrator does an excellent job

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would and have recommended this book

Who was your favorite character and why?

No certain character

What does Melissa Williams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This is the 1st audible book I have listened to and Melissa does a wonderful job she brings life to the book and makes you feel like you are in the middle of it

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book no lie

Any additional comments?

I don't normally read these types of books and I couldn't wait for the 2nd book to come out

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

A Story Earworm - Can't stop thinking about it!

Captivating story with complex characters. The story unfolds with surprising twists and turns at a pace that keeps it interesting, but with enough time for the implications of what is going on to sink in. The unpredictable plot facilitated satisfying anxiety attacks during story turns. Melissa Williams' voice inflection and change in speech pattern as she switched between characters was incredible. Even when I stopped in the middle of a chapter and picked it up days later, I could recall from her tone and inflection exactly which character was thinking/speaking and where I had left off without starting at the beginning of the chapter - bonus! C'mon on Book 2!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I wanted a bit more out of this story

It took me a while to get into this book. I found Kate boring and had trouble buying into the brain wave control mechanism done by the government on nearly all the population. I did like this is a near future story set after the US has fallen and sort of pieced itself back together with this technological way of brainwashing it’s citizenry into not noticing the general poverty. It would have been better had it included some regular mind-numbing drug to make people more susceptible to the brain wave machines.

Things do pick up a bit after Kate loses her fiance Will, she herself has to go on the run, and Jackson lands in the USA (he’s visiting from Iceland for his mom’s funeral). I waffled back and forth on liking Jackson for the rest of the book. He brings some skills but it’s a flavor of believing in the Force, be strong in mind, and all will be well. On the other hand, he has practical survival skills and can defend himself. I did find it hard to swallow the idea of ‘just realize there are no bullets and you’ll be OK’ because the government militia won’t be carrying loaded weapons, ever. Right….. And Jackson thinks too highly of himself. I don’t mind if he turns out to be awesome, but show me itself of having Jackson tell me repeatedly.

There’s these refugees hiding in the woods near a big metropolitan area, and they have been there for years and have gone unnoticed. I found this odd…. but tried to go with it. They have cleared land for crops (which I would think would be visible to government drones or planes), have organized the work (with women doing like 90% of the domestic chores), and have a very loose, basic government led by the Crone. I really like the idea of these refugees that can spearhead a revolution but I found somethings unrealistic. They are living on the cusp of starvation and yet they don’t eat organ meat until Jackson shows up and teaches them how to saute them with some onions. Right…..

I did like Alec’s role. I found him to be the most believable character. He and his lost love (Maggie?) and Kate all went to school together. When Kate shows up again in his life, it stirs up all his rough emotions. He’s angry with Kate but also doesn’t know what to do with his anger.

There’s also some insta-lust & budding romance thrown in which just muddied the waters and detracted from the story. The ladies in general don’t get to do much. The Crone affects the plot in a minor way at a few points. There’s also a female hacker that lends a hand but has a very minor role. Kate herself doesn’t do much other than weep and feel conflicted. Nick’s wife holds a high station among the refugees because of her husband’s role in that society instead of her own merits (and we don’t get to see her doing much other than laundry and cooking anyways). So, yeah, I wanted more from the ladies.

The tale ends with a cliff hanger. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Melissa Williams did an OK job. She was really good with the emotions of each character. Her male and female voices weren’t always distinguishable from each other. Her pacing was good. I especially liked her voice for Alec and her elderly voice for the Crone. Her vapid voice for another newsreporter was also good. I did wonder why Jackson didn’t have at least a mild Icelandic accent (he was raised by his American aunt and uncle in Iceland since the age of 2). There were no technical issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

The tour is being sponsored by C.A. Gray. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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

Who's Talking?

So with this series CA Gray has a great opener! I like it when dystopian books take on a new and exciting way to showcase a genre that has been written to death about. With our characters they literally can’t see that reality is different because the government makes them see the good things. What an awesome concept! And it is truly cool how our main character has to go through some things before she can see reality and not the government’s creation. I do have some questions about plot holes where the main character kind of just goes along with the rebel group and that the rebel group isn’t targeted by the government, but I’m sure it’ll be explained in future books. I give it a 4.5/5 stars!

The voice acting was good, but not the best I’ve heard. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good sense of who was talking throughout since the voices weren’t super distinguishable from the others. For me it’s a 3/5 stars since I was confused often by who was talking.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.A. Gray. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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

Great story, great characters!

Yey! I’ve discovered a new author (shame on me for doing it so late)! I liked this book so much as it is so close to what we are facing now. I liked all the concepts, I liked the intrigue, the politics, the heroes and the antagonists.

I am always curious to see how other imagine our future, especially good writers, that can integrate a story worth following. In this case, C.A. Gray develops a future in which society is decided by one person, a society in which people have the illusion of a good life, or believe they can take decisions willingly. Well, things are not always what they seem. In this case, things are not what they seem at all!

Years after the United States has been declared a Republic, no longer a Democracy, reporter Kate Brandeis begins to remember things she should not. The trigger: Death of her former childhood friend. Once her fiancée starts helping her, he has a mysterious accident and passes away too. Left with the realization that her world is not as good as the government wants its people to believe, Kate has to run and hide to save her own life. That’s how she meets newcomer Jackson MacNamera – recently arrived in US for his mother’s funeral. He also has to deal first hand with the government’s manipulation but his mind is not as easy to break. They will both fight for what they believe – that’s their only chance of surviving, of avenging the ones that had the courage to think.

The book has strong themes. It is a story not only for the soul, but also for the mind. Because while we are chasing the main characters, while we imagine their actions, we think about our own lives. I think the subject is quite sensitive and enlightening even. Mind control is deeply analyzed, being stronger “in the head” is what sets these characters apart. We see them evolve, we see them developing strategies, learning to be one step ahead of the government. But is it enough? I tell you, I cannot wait to start book 2.

Unfortunately, I must admit that the beginning of this book was not the greatest. Things happen too fast and it seemed a little forced. As for the narration, I liked Melissa Williams’ interpretation, but her voice acting is not as developed as I would have liked.

Even with these negative points, I cannot give “Liberty Box” less than 3.5 stars (rounded to 4). It is a story that kept me focused until the end and made me want to read the next books in the series, which I am sure, will have a higher rating. Hope you’ll give it a try

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.A. Gray. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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

Remarkable.

What a remarkable book this is. I loved it from start to finish. To see how everyone is dealing with the government... Just fantastic. The state wasnt doing great so some rich young kid offered a bail out but not without the cost of doing things his way only. They started doing things to young kids with their minds, brainwashing. However many people don't realize it. And the ones that do, have escaped. Kate who learns her friend passed away is so upset because she doesn't remember her much. But as she uncovers more of the truth with her boyfriend things aren't what they seem. Without giving away anymore... I recommend picking this awesome book up.

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

Clean, exciting, and an excellent story!

"It's hard to see the truth when you're constantly bombarded with the false." -The Liberty Box

Believing the truth is often hard enough, but what if it's your own eyes that are lying to you?

The Liberty Box is the perfect combination of adrenaline, wit, humor, and surprises. Everything about this book never once lost my interest, not in the perfectly paced and detailed action, not in the slower scenes that let us catch our breath and think, and certainly not in the plot that was so full of twists. This book is so good.

Jackson and Kate are both excellent main characters and they both grow so much throughout the story. They're likable enough at the beginning of the book, but by the end, they are so real that it's hard not to love them. I was also concerned with how realistic Kate's transition from believing the lies, passionately, would be to suddenly believing the truth without question, but that concern was unnecessary because it was handled stupendously. 

 The story itself is also extremely clean! There are a few of the milder curse words sprinkled throughout (perhaps 12 at most) and there are no sexual scenes, comments, or actions, which is a huge relief compared to the books I've come across so commonly recently! The romances are pure, based on real relationship and friendship between the couples and a few brief kisses, so nothing grossly detailed. 

I firmly believe that the narrator is responsible for at least 40% of why this audiobook is so good. Michelle Williams did a flawless job in depicting each character's voice, creating suspense when suspense was intended to surface, and setting the tone for dialogue. This is definitely one of my more favorite audiobooks and I will be quick to listen to another narrated by Michelle Williams.
The Liberty Box is book 1 of 3 in The Liberty Box Trilogy and you can definitely expect to see the other 2 featured on my site in the near future. I give book 1 a full 5 out of 5 stars and will be patiently waiting by the mailbox until the next book arrives ;) 

I received this audiobook for the purpose of this review via The Audio Book Worm. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

This is a LiteratureApproved.com Review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What you don't know...

3.5 stars

It’s common in dystopian fiction for the people to be unaware of what their leaders are really like but not so common that they’ve been made to actually not see what’s around them. It’s that element of The Liberty Box that intrigued me the most, knowing that Kate and so many others truly believe they have good lives while the truth is entirely different. When Kate begins to get an inkling of something being off she still resists but the sudden death of someone very close pushes her over the edge and the appearance of clearly dangerous men at her door pushes her to run.

Kate lands with a rebel group, who do see what things are really like, and she meets several people who will make a difference in her life, for good and ill, but I didn’t always buy into the characterizations and the small details. For instance, if someone told me not to worry about the bullets because the government wouldn’t have loaded weapons, I’d tell that person to stand in front of me. I also think it’s unlikely so many people could escape the notice of a government that supposedly has such tight control but, I was intrigued by the story and, in particular, how Kate comes to terms with reality. I also had some good feelings about the very angry Alec and a lot of questions about Jackson who thinks he’s better than sliced bread.

The narration by Melissa Williams is pretty good, not the best I’ve ever heard but not unpleasant in any way. My main issue is that her voice doesn’t really distinguish one character from another very well.

On the whole, this is a promising beginning to the series and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A dystopian that starts to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction, The Liberty Box has a chillingly realistic premise.

A dystopian that starts to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction, The Liberty Box has a chillingly realistic premise.

“Is it better to be deceived and happy than to know the truth?”

In short, the concept is that the future America controls its population through the use of medication and brain waves. Based on the current economy and technological advances, this seems just a few steps away from being possible. With my love for speculative fiction, this is right up my alley!

The Liberty Box opens with a prologue that sets up how this future came to be. Many dystopians I’ve read just drop the reader in and fill in (some) backstory along the way, leaving me with lots of questions, so I appreciated and enjoyed easing my way in and learning about the world Gray created. Then it switches to “present” day, following a few different perspectives along the way. The perspective changes don’t follow a particular rhythm, but each chapter is labeled with the name of the person who’s eyes we are seeing through to help guide the reader.

With an intriguing and entertaining plot and somewhat less character development, this is definitely a plot driven story. Most of it had fairly brisk pacing, with a few sections that were a bit slower due to a lot of detail and information being dropped at once. Although the main characters in this book are in their mid-twenties, there was a definite young adult tone to the writing style, making this ideal for readers looking to reach just outside the young adult range.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to audiobooks, the narration can really make it or break it. Listening to The Liberty Box, I found the sound and production quality was not quite as rich or full as I like it to be. To be fair, it certainly didn’t sound like the average person speaking into any old recording device, but I happen to prefer a brighter tone. That being said, Melissa Williams’ narration style was smooth and friendly, and listening to this felt like having a mom or older sister read aloud to me.

In the end, I did enjoy The Liberty Box and am looking forward to read the next book, The Eden Conspiracy, to see what happens next. But I will probably pick that up in print. Think this sounds like something you’d be interested in? It’s available for free now in both kindle and nook formats!

*Thanks to the author for providing an advance copy of this edition in exchange for an honest review.