- Chasing Liberty
By Theresa Linden
When each of us imagines a flourishing future society, I think it's safe to say that each of us may imagine something slightly different from the other. The reason for the differences in our visions could stem from the fact that each of us values particular parts of society over others. In Chasing Liberty, Theresa Linden shares a dystopian possibility of a future society with her readers that takes us knee-deep into adventure.
Chasing Liberty is told from the point of view of Liberty of Aldonia, as well as an omniscient third-person narrator. Liberty is a young woman - almost 20 - when we meet her living under the Regimen Custodia Terra government. On paper, the structure of Aldonia should result in a utopia. However, as we learn through Liberty, a dystopia would be a more apt description.
The world Linden has created for Aldonia is easy to become completely absorbed in. The government has their eyes, ears and hands everywhere with strict rules for their, what can only be called, captives to adhere to under threat of punishment. The government makes every decision for its citizens; from the color of eyes you'll be born with to the time you have outlived your usefulness in your elder years. Next to nothing passes by in a citizens life that doesn't have the governments fingerprints all over it.
When we meet Liberty, we are given a glimpse of her pre-20-year-old life where she works at the Senior Living and Recreation Center. She has a fondness for the elderly residents, particularly Abby. Because there is no such thing as a family unit in Aldonia, Abby is the closest person in Liberty's life. Abby is the person Liberty feels she can rely on like one might a parent. Although they have to take care in what they discuss, Abby is the only person Liberty can discuss life with.
At the outset of the book Liberty is lamenting over the huge change the government has ordered on her twentieth birthday when she'll be assigned to her permanent job as a Breeder. Most that know of Liberty's new career are envious. Those women who are picked for the breeding program are kept in the lap of luxury with amazing housing and facilities at their disposal. However, Liberty doesn't want the job. She wants to pick her own career - something where she can tinker with tools and fix stuff as is her side job now.
Her dislike of her upcoming career assignment along with several other events set off a series of events that will not only open Liberty's mind to the possibilities life can offer, but will change her world and the world of others forever.
Chasing Liberty was very well written. Linden paints a vivid a believable future world unlike any other with relatable characters, great imagery, and the ability to open the mind of the reader to possibilities not considered prior. It was one of those books that, while perhaps not the quickest read, kept your attention and made you want to know what was going to happen next.
I highly recommend Chasing Liberty to all my readers whether you like dystopian fiction or not. I think you'll find yourself just as caught up in a world where paper, pen, and even writing are obsolete as I was. In addition, I'm pleased to hear that there will be a follow-up book to this one that I can't wait to read.