Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Without Disruption, a dystopian novel written by Carrie French.
First thing first, let me thank the author and Booksirens for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
In pursuit of a different life, Harrison leaves everything behind – his family, his community, and even his own name. He can never go back.
Global society is united with a simple guarantee: everyone can achieve stable, lasting happiness for one hundred years in a curated lifestyle that brings them joy. Well… not unlimited joy, just mild contentment. No more, no less.
Every element of life is controlled by Vie – an AI system that is worshipped as divine. She guides members into ‘harmony’ with in-ear alerts, retina screens, and vast, immersive simulations.
Harrison is ambitious and impulsive with a curious habit of recalling hazy memories that never happened. The course of his life is punctuated with hasty decisions, emotional compromises, and genuine attempts to play by the rules.
He’s not only running out of options; he’s running out of time. Is Harrison’s will strong enough to break Vie’s authoritarian hold? Or will he finally learn to settle for mediocrity, just like everyone else?
The threat of ‘eviction’ is looming, and Harrison’s death day might come sooner than he thinks.
For fans of Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Lois Lowry, and Ira Levin, this thought-provoking dystopian novel sparks questions about the diversity of joy and the resilient fight for independence.
Sci-fi, dystopian, LGBTQ+
Publication date: 10/01/22
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: Fitting. The color palette disturbs me.
Wow! What a cool idea!
I’ll admit I always preferred my sci-fi with a dystopian flavor, so I might be a little biased here; still, Without Disruption is a real gem.
First of all, world-building. French had to start from scratch with it, but she’s skilled enough to avoid dumping the hows and the whys on us. All the info we need is doled out when necessary, if it’s relevant to the plot, and not a moment before it’s due. Thank you.
The MC—I’ll call him by his first name, Harrison—goes through a magnificent arc. He starts out as a kid of humble origins, then he cycles through the options Vie offers him, changing his path over and over with the passing of the years. Does he change for the better? That’s debatable. Some might say yes, some might say no (hi!), but the change is unmistakable.
First POV will never be my favorite, even when limited; I have to say that even if I would have preferred to read Without Disruption as a third limited, French makes her chosen POV work fine. Forget the intrusive ‘I, I, I, I, I’ litany that often plagues this POV—and that’s another point for this book.
Given Without Disruption’s peculiar structure, the cast of characters veers a bit on the big side, but this takes nothing away from the plot. Rather, the fact that with every transfer a new set pops up (with an exception or two) makes it enjoyable and captivating.
The execution itself is almost perfect. French has a good sense of pacing—the beginning reads a little slow, true, but it picks up fast enough—and her editor did a marvelous job. I think I spotted one lone typo through the entire story? Not more, because after the second I always start highlighting them in the text.
Flaws, well. The ending. I can’t talk in-depth about it, of course; I’ll just say I was expecting something a bit more definite and unexpected. The open-ending option, while respectable, casts a dim light on a story that has been spectacular right up to the epilogue. Also, I’ve got a nagging question about Liam. He might be a loose thread or not, I don’t know. I contacted the author about it and my final rating could change depending on her answer.
4,5 stars on GR.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Carrie French was born and raised in Oregon under a perpetually cloudy sky. It rained while she wrote her first book Without Disruption too. She has nearly a decade of experience as a freelance copywriter, and she writes for brands around the world. You’ve probably read her work while shopping online, but you’d never know it. (Funny how marketers don’t get a byline…)
Carrie also enjoys playing the oboe, sipping whiskey, filming YouTube videos, and going on long runs through the countryside.
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One thought on “#Book Review – Without Disruption; C. French”
I love this review! Thanks so much for your thoughtful insights and perspective. (DM me that one pesky typo – I really, really, really, really, really thought I caught all of them, but it’s like searching in the dark for the contact lens you dropped. Basically impossible.)