The Seclusion
In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she’s ever known.While on a routine assignment scouting the viability of dwindling natural resources outside the massive urban centers most American citizens call home, Patricia ’Patch’ and her co-worker Rexx discover a relic from the past containing dangerous contraband―unedited books from before The Seclusion. These texts will spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s father arrested by the totalitarian Board.Evading her own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States, seeking some way to escape the only home they’ve ever known. Along the way, they learn about how their country came to be this way and fall in love. But their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.Book one of series.Advance Praise"A terrifying glimpse into what could be at the end of the path America is on today. Castle does an amazing job transporting us into the future - too great of a job."- Atia Abawi, award-winning foreign correspondent (former CNN and NBC news) and author of The Secret Sky and A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes.“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger's Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester“If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic

The Seclusion Details

TitleThe Seclusion
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 4th, 2018
PublisherInkshares
ISBN-139781947848511
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia

The Seclusion Review

  • Bella
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review: Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again.The Characters: Patch: What an amazingly strong female lead character. We need more strong females like this in books. She was intelligent, questioned things on her own and didn't have to depend on others to rescue her in every situation. Rexx: My sweet boy, what a doll. While I wi I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review: Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again.The Characters: Patch: What an amazingly strong female lead character. We need more strong females like this in books. She was intelligent, questioned things on her own and didn't have to depend on others to rescue her in every situation. Rexx: My sweet boy, what a doll. While I wished we had seen his family and gotten to know them like we did Patch's family it was still amazing to get to know him. He had such an openness towards everything and was strong and resourceful. Great character to compliment Patch. Oliver: I love you Oliver, I hope there is a book two and we see you there. A remarkable representation of the good in humanity even when it feels like there is none left. Robbie: I hope, like Oliver, we see you in book 2. You deserve your story to be told. Plot: Like I said it's such an amazing mix of all that makes dystopian novels such wonderful reads. It plays on the fears of Trumps America just enough but allows for other extremest ideas to be explored within it. Well worth the read and it opens up so many opportunities for both books about 2029 and the current situation with Patch.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so scarily wonderful. I will be asking every teen and fan of YA to read this book when it comes out. While not intended as a cautionary tale, its premise is so plausible in today’s world that the dystopian setting does not seem that far in the future. The premise is engaging, the characters are wonderful and well developed and the writing flows. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start it again, I cannot wait until others can read and start talking about this book! It ha This book was so scarily wonderful. I will be asking every teen and fan of YA to read this book when it comes out. While not intended as a cautionary tale, its premise is so plausible in today’s world that the dystopian setting does not seem that far in the future. The premise is engaging, the characters are wonderful and well developed and the writing flows. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start it again, I cannot wait until others can read and start talking about this book! It has an ending that leaves the reader satisfied. I sure do hope that the author writes a sequel soon, though, because I want more more more!
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    This was dystopian sci-fi with a 1984 type totalitarian government. The basic premise is that the United States has built walls on all of its boarders and now The Board monitors and controls every aspect of everyone’s lives. As an American, it made me think, “what if we really did start building walls?”I liked that this book is set in a near enough future that there is still some history in the minds of a few citizens. The main characters are young and they don’t know any other way of life. Thei This was dystopian sci-fi with a 1984 type totalitarian government. The basic premise is that the United States has built walls on all of its boarders and now The Board monitors and controls every aspect of everyone’s lives. As an American, it made me think, “what if we really did start building walls?”I liked that this book is set in a near enough future that there is still some history in the minds of a few citizens. The main characters are young and they don’t know any other way of life. Their lack of knowledge plays an important role in their journey. This book did a really good job of not giving you too much information before you needed it. It kept the story moving along at a fast pace, but I never felt lost or confused. I really enjoyed it and I thought the ending was great.
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  • Kevin Walker
    January 1, 1970
    "The Seclusion" is a thought-provoking novel that offers a possible future for America if leadership is left unchecked and the people fail to exercise their democratic authority over their government.Echoes of "1984", "Atlas Shrugged", "The Hunger Games", and "Divergent" can be heard in its pages.The final chapters left me wanting more. Don't pass up Ms. Castle's new book!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog! This story starts out strong and quickly turns into a very frightening tale of how protection can easily be distorted into complete control and manipulation of a people. The world created by the author is so real you can taste it as its painted as this lovely, equality based society where everyone has a place to be, health coverage, and a job. It doesn't take long before that mirage is twisted into what it really is: that these people My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog! This story starts out strong and quickly turns into a very frightening tale of how protection can easily be distorted into complete control and manipulation of a people. The world created by the author is so real you can taste it as its painted as this lovely, equality based society where everyone has a place to be, health coverage, and a job. It doesn't take long before that mirage is twisted into what it really is: that these people are a select few from those who were originally here, the age of those who live is much shorter than it used to be, and the "rehabilitation" of those who don't follow the society's rules isn't nearly as heroic as they make it seem. Patricia, known as Patch, starts out as a believer in the system. Her world was perfect and she loved her place in America until that van appeared and than Rexx spilled his guts on what he knew to be shortly after. Everything about what she believed in falls apart and all she can do is run forward or face the consequences of going against the Board in control of America now. Realizing that your entire life is a fabricated lie is huge and somehow she takes it entirely in stride in a way thats almost unbelievable.
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  • Robert Batten
    January 1, 1970
    The Seclusion is the debut novel from journalist Jacqui Castle and it’s a ripper. The story is set in a dystopian future America that has been twisted into an isolationist authoritarian nation, separated from the rest of the world by the enormous Northern and Southern Security Borders. All history predating the walls is banned and information is tightly controlled. In this new America, the people are ruled by a faceless board and mindless patriotism is favored above all else. Into this setting w The Seclusion is the debut novel from journalist Jacqui Castle and it’s a ripper. The story is set in a dystopian future America that has been twisted into an isolationist authoritarian nation, separated from the rest of the world by the enormous Northern and Southern Security Borders. All history predating the walls is banned and information is tightly controlled. In this new America, the people are ruled by a faceless board and mindless patriotism is favored above all else. Into this setting we meet Patricia. As an environmental scientist, she’s one of the few people permitted to roam beyond the city walls. It’s while on one of these research trips she stumbles upon a trove of forbidden information that triggers a harrowing sequence of events.There’s no pretending The Seclusion isn’t political. It was written before the election of Trump, but many will see it as prescient, with the world it paints an extreme conclusion to the right-wing populism currently sweeping not just the USA, but many other countries as well. Basically, if you’re a racist, right-wing conservative who doesn’t believe in human rights, you’re probably not going to enjoy The Seclusion. Suck it.I loved this novel. Patricia is a great protagonist who grows throughout as events spiral out of control. The world, though extreme, is well realized and the journey from present-day to dystopian future all too believable. Disclaimer: I read an advance review copy of this novel. However, I had already pre-ordered and paid for a retail copy before receiving the version I reviewed. The author, Jacqui Castle, and I are both contributors on the Writing Bloc website.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    In real life, the idea of building a wall to keep people out illegally sounds like a good idea to some people. But what if they built a wall that kept you in? Everyone in a place of authority lied the same lie, only let you know what you needed to know to do your job, and you couldn't speak of it outside of work? And then you find evidence of the real truth...I need the next book! This was amazing, easy to relate to reality.
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  • Isabel
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thought this was kinda be a bad or shittier Matched. Like, the love aspect is there in the book and I didn't really believe it but it was nothing like Matched at all. When I first read Matched, it was a favorite. I devoured the books but it hasn't really stood the test of time. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to that. I don't know why I did think it was gonna be like Matched by Ally Condie, but I'm glad it wasn't. While it h I recieved an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thought this was kinda be a bad or shittier Matched. Like, the love aspect is there in the book and I didn't really believe it but it was nothing like Matched at all. When I first read Matched, it was a favorite. I devoured the books but it hasn't really stood the test of time. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to that. I don't know why I did think it was gonna be like Matched by Ally Condie, but I'm glad it wasn't. While it has some similar aspects such as "The Board" in the book can be related to "the officials" in Matched, and there are similarities, in this book it feels more developed. It feels a bit more organic, and some of the things honestly reminded me about The Handmaid's Tale (obs! not the book but the series). There are some problematic things in the book I really didn't get such as the love aspect which just left me ???? okay ??? but I'm not gonna go into spoilers.One thing that also slightly bothered me was information dumps. There was a lot of them, and they didn't really seem to be in the right place most of the time even though I get WHY they were there. I think I'd read this book again or definitely check out the author with more books.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    This was everything I want in a post apocalypse book. The world was as we know it is gone and the one Particia or "patch" is living in is a world where everyone and everything they do is monitored the place she lives is surrounded by a giant wall and they are told by the "board" (government as we know it is gone) that everything on the other side of the wall is bad and will kill them. To say during this time we are in this book is a possible future for the U.S. may still be a stretch but its far This was everything I want in a post apocalypse book. The world was as we know it is gone and the one Particia or "patch" is living in is a world where everyone and everything they do is monitored the place she lives is surrounded by a giant wall and they are told by the "board" (government as we know it is gone) that everything on the other side of the wall is bad and will kill them. To say during this time we are in this book is a possible future for the U.S. may still be a stretch but its far closer to being a possible reality then it was 3 years ago. The character building for Patch was perfect weak mild to brave was a steady build. I absolutely loved this book and can not wait for the next installmen.
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  • Dave Milbrandt
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of its merits.As we are living in a time where we are discussing the height and depth of a wall separating America from its southern neighbors, and we have a president focused on putting America First, there is definitely some timeliness to this piece. The story was well told and engaging, serving as a dystopian warning that if certain trends continue, the result may be something we should not encourage to continue.
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  • Kerys
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I was offered an arc through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions. These options are my own and no one else’s. Also, this is a slightly different review based on my thoughts WHILE reading the book. I will publish a more in-depth (not bullet pointed !) review on my blog, nearer the time of publication. This book was really good! Here are some of my thoughts on the book! It has spoilers so sorry but not like major spoilers. * So it started of by telling us about the wall and also hin Note: I was offered an arc through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions. These options are my own and no one else’s. Also, this is a slightly different review based on my thoughts WHILE reading the book. I will publish a more in-depth (not bullet pointed !) review on my blog, nearer the time of publication. This book was really good! Here are some of my thoughts on the book! It has spoilers so sorry but not like major spoilers. * So it started of by telling us about the wall and also hinting how nobody knows how secure it really is * ‘The devil lies in the details’*Ooh... I like secrets. And that’s a pretty good idea* Mc is 22. I thought it was too old but not really. * She likes the feeling of dirt and doesn’t want to enhance herself with beauty things. * The girs’s clever! She knows science and stuff!*YAY!! She has flaws and she has real life struggles like forgetting to go shopping!!* But she has that friend who doubts? Maybe too similar to other plots*Cos it’s always like oh no after a disaster world. We’ve got a great world but there must be some secrets. Looks for secrets. Realises whole life life is a lie. Torture. Pain. And I’m guessing there’s going to be a revolt in the next book????* OMG!!! They find a secret suitcase full of ‘printed, bound, ink and paper books’*Love that description but they should Obviously LEAVE. * The fact that Patricia thinks there are only patriots or traitors made it quite unique. You can’t really be just one or the other.* ’Musty, aged paper - that grassy, vanilla smell’ oh no 😱 YOU CANNOT BURN THE BOOKS?!?!?* The betrayal was really sad but the fact that Patricia isn’t like super mad means that she’s really stupid or too kind. * She’s also cool in an intense situation! She knows what to pack and stuff but also has emotions and freezes. * I like how quotes from other books are used* That’s pretty cool * Patricia also knows what’s important and doesn’t mope or throw a tantrum because Rexx didn’t tell her about the letter* but NOOOOO DOES THERE HAVE TO BEE ROMANCE BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS??????* I’d have preferred it if Rexx stayed a bit broken and so did Patricia and the romance came like right at the end of the book. * i mean they lost they’re best friend and Rexx lost his girlfriend and he should be acting all broken and guilty not like ‘I’ve wanted to do that for a long time?????’* ughhhhh. * Seriously? His girlfriend’s probably dead and he can’t just fall in love with his girlfriend’s (and his) best friend???* But it was sweet * if Rexx stayed broken, tho, it would have hurt my heart more and made me love him even more but I guess I can get over him and Patricia * oh and there wasn’t a love triangle between Oliver Rexx and Patricia which is always good* I think the statement ‘It felt like a lifetime’ is quite overrated. You’d probably find something like that (if not the exact words) in probably every dystopian story?* I like how her pain wasn’t under or over exaggerated so it made it easy for me to sympathise with Patricia * Also made it seem as if they’d never get out which kept me wondering cos they’d have to get out somehow. * I love the bit when she said the five details about her father! It was so sweet!* The chapters ended on cliffhangers and made me want to keep reading* The ending wasn’t like a MASSIVE cliffhanger which is good but I NEED a second book. * Omg what happens next??? Does Rex come back?? Omg he can’t be dead!?!?!? I neeed my small broken baby to come back!!!!
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  • Jenny Yergin
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick read for me because once I started it, I couldn't put it down! With the political themes it hit very close to home. I think it will be successful, I worry though since it isn't set very far into the future if it will be outdated in 5/10 years. I believe teens and adults that enjoy dystopian story lines will enjoy this book and those that see the comparisons with the current political climate in our country right now. I highly recommend the book.
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  • Nprice84
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't stop turning pages because I loved how a bit more of The Seclusion's interesting world was revealed each chapter. Some of the plot elements were extremely relevant to the modern era and made a big impact. Much of the details were scarily plausible and I couldn't help but imagine my own child living in this world. It was a really fun book to read, and I hope there is a sequel.
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  • Pibrocher
    January 1, 1970
    America unified and secure - what price would you be willing to pay? The Seclusion provides a great vehicle for exploring this question and leaves the reader hoping that this all too possible tale remains a work of fiction. The nation's citizens are cared for, protected, and entertained - all of this in exchange for their unerring obedience and disclosure - So what should a smart, obedient scientist do when she discovers something they don't want anyone to know? I loved Patch's journey from duti America unified and secure - what price would you be willing to pay? The Seclusion provides a great vehicle for exploring this question and leaves the reader hoping that this all too possible tale remains a work of fiction. The nation's citizens are cared for, protected, and entertained - all of this in exchange for their unerring obedience and disclosure - So what should a smart, obedient scientist do when she discovers something they don't want anyone to know? I loved Patch's journey from dutiful employee of The Board and member of society to a fiery champion for change. Her adventure across the wastelands of the future United States is exhilarating and eerie and just the sort of fiction that chills you in the shadow of recent news and events. A cathartic, world-shattering, cautionary tale for our modern age of ideological and informational landmines. The Seclusion reminds us why we must tread carefully!
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  • Fernando
    January 1, 1970
    The Seclusion is a fascinating and frightening YA book about what the United States could look like in the near future if border walls were built and an oppressive government took power. Jacqui Castle created a timely story, acutely relevant to current events and our current governmental situation. My word cloud about this book: border walls, isolationism, oppression, evil, oligarchy, authoritarian nationalism, total control. These are heavy themes but the story is fashioned beautifully for a YA The Seclusion is a fascinating and frightening YA book about what the United States could look like in the near future if border walls were built and an oppressive government took power. Jacqui Castle created a timely story, acutely relevant to current events and our current governmental situation. My word cloud about this book: border walls, isolationism, oppression, evil, oligarchy, authoritarian nationalism, total control. These are heavy themes but the story is fashioned beautifully for a YA audience, those who might benefit the most from this prescient forewarning.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    When I first found Jacqui Castle on Inkshares, I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book. I knew I had to have it right away, backed it, and then I was lucky to get an early copy from NetGalley.Patricia Collins lives in a world surrounded by walls. In this future, where America is run by a Board of Directors, she has lived her entire life knowing she is safe. The country has been protected ever since The Seclusion, when society retreated behind huge barriers at each of our borders. When I first found Jacqui Castle on Inkshares, I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book. I knew I had to have it right away, backed it, and then I was lucky to get an early copy from NetGalley.Patricia Collins lives in a world surrounded by walls. In this future, where America is run by a Board of Directors, she has lived her entire life knowing she is safe. The country has been protected ever since The Seclusion, when society retreated behind huge barriers at each of our borders. Her work assignment, apartment, and even what she watches on TV is all planned for her. She doesn't have to think about anything. But when she discovers that her family has a history of rebellion against the government, she starts to question her role in this world. And when she digs deeper, she finds that she's willing to risk everything she loves in order to find out what is beyond the walls.At first, it took me some time to connect with Patch as a character. She seemed somewhat boring, a doormat. But then I learned that everyone in this society is a doormat - they're sheep people, prodded by the government to do what they "should" do. This book's strength is Patch's character arc - her slow realization that she is not a sheep. She has the power to change her life, and it's worth doing, despite the risk. It's hard to say much without giving up the full story, but by the end, I was fully rooting for her and with her on her journey.Much like THE HANDMAID'S TALE, it was a bit terrifying to think about this book in the context of our current situation, but I'm hoping that this story can be a mirror for our country. And I'm hanging on to the hope that is ever-present throughout the novel.Full disclosure - Jacqui is a fellow Inkshares author, and we have worked together on a few projects. Review is honest, though. While I give most books 4-5 stars, I don't usually finish books that I'm not connecting with. I know that authors work so hard on their manuscripts, so I want to review the ones that I truly feel passionate about.
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book for fans of books like Divergent or The Giver as it goes deep into the life of one young woman as she slowly awakens to a greater world around her.Patricia is satisfied with life. She's got a better job than most with more freedoms than many and has a caring family. The Board, the ruling group, won't tolerate anything beyond their rules, but she's okay with that. Until her and her best friend, Rexx, make a discovery which turns everything they've been taught on its head. Suddenly, This is a book for fans of books like Divergent or The Giver as it goes deep into the life of one young woman as she slowly awakens to a greater world around her.Patricia is satisfied with life. She's got a better job than most with more freedoms than many and has a caring family. The Board, the ruling group, won't tolerate anything beyond their rules, but she's okay with that. Until her and her best friend, Rexx, make a discovery which turns everything they've been taught on its head. Suddenly, Patricia finds herself a fugitive, something she never wanted to be.The is an engaging, dystopian read which takes many of the lovely aspects found in this genre and builds them around a character with great depth. The author lets the reader get to know Patricia in and out, not at the point right before everything starts falling apart as in most dystopians, but earlier on. Much of the first half of the book is spent getting to know the daily life, dreams, and fears of Patricia as she lives fairly satisfied and convinced of the country and its policies. The doctrines and brief moments of information give light to the society and regulations, but the real dirt comes later on. This makes for a bit of a slower read in the first chapters, but also gives the reader a deepened connection to Patricia and understanding of her plight.As the story progresses, the tension grows. It's hard not to become invested in Patricia and her struggles, making this is read hard to put down, especially toward the last chapters. Emotions are evoked while the plot builds, and the entire thing leaves off with a cliff hanger, begging to head off into book two to see what happens next. Food for thought peppers the pages as the problems fall in bit by bit. A couple background pieces are fuzzy, but most sits pretty firm and allows the reader to sink into the story. Fans of YA dystopian are sure to enjoy this one, especially if they like having a little time to dig deeper into the main character and society first. I'm looking forward to seeing where the next book will take Patricia and her friends.I received a complimentary copy and found it interesting and engaging enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
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  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    This book is eerily prophetic. First they built the southern wall. They built the northern wall. Then America gave up every freedom for it's own "safety". Although sometimes heavy handed, with a bit of uninspired dialogue, this book was a horror story of the worst kind. Surely the beginning of a series, I am afraid of where it (and we) might end up in this narrative.
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  • Ralph J
    January 1, 1970
    Suspenseful dystopian novel about American future where corporations have taken over and limited freedom for everyone's safety. The ending left me gasping for the sequel with a powerful woman taking on the powers that be.
  • Sue R
    January 1, 1970
    I love author's first books and this one is amazing. Can't wait to read the next one.
  • Elli Andrews
    January 1, 1970
    Patricia lives to work for the Board, a totalitarian government that rules a futuristic version of America surrounded by a giant wall. When she and her friend Rexx make a discovery from the past however, she starts to question everything she has ever believed…The Seclusion for me is very reminiscent of 1984 or Equilibrium - not that that is particularly a bad thing as I enjoyed both of those stories, it just makes it a little predictable in places. An indoctrinated protagonist who find something Patricia lives to work for the Board, a totalitarian government that rules a futuristic version of America surrounded by a giant wall. When she and her friend Rexx make a discovery from the past however, she starts to question everything she has ever believed…The Seclusion for me is very reminiscent of 1984 or Equilibrium - not that that is particularly a bad thing as I enjoyed both of those stories, it just makes it a little predictable in places. An indoctrinated protagonist who find something that tears their vision of the regime to pieces and makes them question everything they have held dear – it’s very standard. I must admit it’s well written, engaging and easy to read which got me to power through and finish it in 2 days so I can’t really hold its predictability too much against it.The plot describes a world not too dissimilar from our own – particularly when you consider Trump and his Mexican wall – which makes it all the more chilling to read. This book is very much the start of a series – it ends on a cliff hanger which inspires you to want to pick up the next in the series to find out more. I did think occasionally the plot skipped over certain parts of the history of the world which I would have perhaps wanted to find out more about – but I think this may be explored later in the series. Whilst I enjoyed the world building, the characters lacked a bit of depth for me. I loved how we are introduced fully to Patricia in her indoctrinated state which can be glazed over in other dystopian stories but felt the character progression wasn’t as deep as it could have been – both her and Rex felt two dimensional in places. I was particularly sad that Oliver’s character wasn’t as explored as he could have been – I would have liked him to open up a little more as a character.Overall I did enjoy reading The Seclusion; it’s well written and chillingly focused on a world so very close to ours, however it’s predictability and lack of character depth let it down in places. Thank you to NetGalley and Inkshares for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.You can read more of my reviews here: www.kindig.co.uk
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  • Bob Lyle
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from the Author (After I did some pestering)Brief SynopsisThe year is 2090, and the walls are closing in.While on a routine assignment scouting the viability of dwindling natural resources outside the massive urban centres most American citizens call home, Patricia ’Patch’ and her co-worker Rexx discover a relic from the past containing dangerous contraband—unedited books from before The Seclusion. These texts will spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s I received this ARC from the Author (After I did some pestering)Brief SynopsisThe year is 2090, and the walls are closing in.While on a routine assignment scouting the viability of dwindling natural resources outside the massive urban centres most American citizens call home, Patricia ’Patch’ and her co-worker Rexx discover a relic from the past containing dangerous contraband—unedited books from before The Seclusion. These texts will spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s father arrested by the totalitarian Board. Evading her own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States, seeking some way to escape the only home they’ve ever known. Along the way, they learn about how their country came to be this way and fall in love. But their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.The Seclusion is the debut novel from journalist Jacqui Castle and I have to say I loved from start to finish. I read that The Seclusion was classed as a (YA- Young adult Novel) so let me first say I am way older than YA I'm more of a (VOA - Very Old Adult) that said I also consider myself a connoisseur of all things dystopia. This is a well fleshed out novel with hints of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, not a bad thing in my opinion.The storyline is well thought out, Terrifying at times and also politically thought-provoking.Imagine living and being secluded from the rest of the world by vast Northern and Southern Security Borders in a world where history from before the borders is forbidden and information is rigorously controlled. Are the walls to keep enemies out, or you in?Are the Board for you or against you?Shush.................. someone might be listening!If you are a fan of any kind of dystopian fiction this one is for you !Unite this NationThrough storm and droughtSister North and Brother SouthSturdy; strongBuilt to lastShelter us from troubles pastFrom adversariesFar and wideAll dangers on the other side Give us hope;Fill us with aweWith pride we serve the Board, the lawIn your shadowWe will be Secure for all eternityDedication to the Walls (Composed in 2031 by the Board)The Seclusion is released on 4th September 2018.
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  • Liz Kerin
    January 1, 1970
    If you're anything like me, you were fascinated by books like "The Giver" growing up, and later on, grounded dystopias like "1984." If that's you, then "The Seclusion" is VERY MUCH for you. Dystopia has blown up in recent years, but this is a more nuanced, intellectually detailed adventure than those stories about kids in spandex jumpsuits hunting each other for sport. Castle has constructed a remarkably chilling world and leaves no stone unturned. Every ritual, every law, and every transgressio If you're anything like me, you were fascinated by books like "The Giver" growing up, and later on, grounded dystopias like "1984." If that's you, then "The Seclusion" is VERY MUCH for you. Dystopia has blown up in recent years, but this is a more nuanced, intellectually detailed adventure than those stories about kids in spandex jumpsuits hunting each other for sport. Castle has constructed a remarkably chilling world and leaves no stone unturned. Every ritual, every law, and every transgression in this world has layers. It reminds us of a place like North Korea rather than some imaginary country of the future. Our character relationships are intriguing and filled with silences about memories that are too painful-or dangerous-to speak of. Patch and Rexx have a history, but not that kind you'd expect. Their friendship subverts a lot of typical characterizations, which is an enjoyable change of pace.My personal taste for fiction isn't always so topical, I'm personally more of an escapist, so sometimes I shied away from elements of this story that felt really prescient given our country's current state. However, the author definitely began work on this book before the 2016 election and before the idea of being "walled in" ever occurred to us as our potential reality. Overall, this is an artfully crafted, grounded dystopia that has earned its place beside my other favorites from the genre.
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  • Koeur
    January 1, 1970
    Publishing Date: September 2018Publisher: InksharesISBN: 9781947848511Genre: DystopianRating: 3.3/5Publisher’s Description: In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she’s ever known. While on a routine assignment scouting the country’s dwindling natural resources, Patricia “Patch” and her coworker and best friend Rexx discover a cache of dangerous contraband Publishing Date: September 2018Publisher: InksharesISBN: 9781947848511Genre: DystopianRating: 3.3/5Publisher’s Description: In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she’s ever known. While on a routine assignment scouting the country’s dwindling natural resources, Patricia “Patch” and her coworker and best friend Rexx discover a cache of dangerous contraband—printed books from before the Seclusion. These texts spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s father arrested by the totalitarian Board, which runs the entire country. Evading their own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States, seeking some way to escape the only home they’ve ever known. Along the way, they learn about how their country came to be this way, but their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.(view spoiler)[Review: The Good– The first movement where Patch is more or less a drone to the ruling Board is wonderful. Strange deaths, blind programmed allegiance among a sea of potential traitors and a history uncovered was just the tip to this wonderful story line. And finally a main female character that is not constantly swooning over a hunky boy(s), but rather focused on SURVIVAL. What this created was room for character expansion while making intimate interactions more poignant. Thank you Jacqui for that.The Bad- The main premise behind the whole novel is one of great acceptance. The idea that the entire United States is overthrown by our own government, is a stretch. There is no way that our government acting without a common threat or under bleak economic circumstances (i.e. Hitler), would be able to corral 260 million people, especially when everyone hates their actions. Add to that, Wisconsin alone is the third largest standing army in the world. There are some referents to nuking our own people but that does not make sense either (contamination and subsequent extirpation of resources). The world built is hardly supportable, if indeed you reside in a nuclear wasteland.The Ugly- So again we have a story line that is reminiscent of the Mockingjay what with the Katniss clone and a hunky unrequited love interest. There is the big bad Board and all the trappings of a dystopian society. Of course Katn…….er, Patch is the lone savior. What bothered me most was the weak character development. There was plenty of movement but it was not tied to the characters growing with the story line. There are many pivotal moments in the story that could have provided this depth but the author chose to go into pages and pages of backstory. Building a history of a person based on past events does not a character make. Characters are made by the current actions they embrace and the emotional interactions that ensue. For instance; to be wary of someone, then not, just doesn’t endear you to their plight.Blondie and Tuco have a drink- At the end of the novel I had a hard time swallowing the whole speal. It really lent credence to an unsupportable world. But, reluctantly I had a good time with it. Mainly because Patch hadn’t glued her boobs to Rexx’s chiseled abs while smelling his chocolaty/pine musky scent. Really, you don’t know how much of a relief that is. The writing is good but lacks it’s own voice. Ideas are borrowed from other established works, only the names have been changed. You see this a lot with authors that have the technical talent but lack the inner creative voice.I kind of look forward to this new author to see whether she can build depth of character and create a believable world based on her own wild imaginations.p.s. Note to author: Leave Rexx where he currently is. That’s a start, is it not? (hide spoiler)]You can read all of my reviews, here.
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  • D Gillis
    January 1, 1970
    "In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she's ever known."In the future America information is strictly rationed. Everything is filtered through the Board before the public has access to it. There is no history before the walls were built. Everyone is chipped within moments of birth and children from ages 5 to 18 live in dormitories. They are educated and "In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she's ever known."In the future America information is strictly rationed. Everything is filtered through the Board before the public has access to it. There is no history before the walls were built. Everyone is chipped within moments of birth and children from ages 5 to 18 live in dormitories. They are educated and trained to weed out potential traitors, its their civic duty.When Patricia and Rexx discover a hidden cache of forbidden contraband (a suitcase full of books) they set in motion a series of events that lead to Patricia's father being imprisoned. Patricia and Rexx set out into the unknown wilderness, hoping to escape capture themselves. I devoured this book in a single day. I cannot imagine living in a world where books are illegal and being caught with one means being imprisoned. Or living with cameras in every room of my home, being watched 24/7. And the idea of being cut off from the world by impassable walls is scary for obvious reasons. I highly recommend this action-packed, dystopian novel.Thank you Inkshares for sending me this advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 The concept of this book was fascinating, and there were great moments and characters, but I struggled with the mother's character and with the late romance in the book.
  • Gmr
    January 1, 1970
    Once upon a time, there was a United States of America...strong, powerful, willing to help others, and welcome those looking for a better life. Once upon a time, this was a reality...until it wasn't. All it took was the wrong person in the right position for the powers that be to take control from Johnny Q. Public. All it took was an act of terrorism on such a grand scale that those with the means to fund full scale restoration could gain the upper hand. All it took was the masses no longer spea Once upon a time, there was a United States of America...strong, powerful, willing to help others, and welcome those looking for a better life. Once upon a time, this was a reality...until it wasn't. All it took was the wrong person in the right position for the powers that be to take control from Johnny Q. Public. All it took was an act of terrorism on such a grand scale that those with the means to fund full scale restoration could gain the upper hand. All it took was the masses no longer speaking out en masse, but swallowing the lies, hiding the truth, and ultimately playing right into the hands of moguls that should never have had their chance at controlling power to begin with...and that's all it took for a great nation to become...secluded.The seclusion was enacted to provide for and grow strong the remaining people of this once great nation. If considered a patriot, you were golden; take a step out of line, and it could be the last step you take. Really though, what reason would one have to cause discord? You received housing, a job based on interest and aptitude, monthly credits for food and a few extras, reliable transportation, and the ability to live a life serving the greater good...aka the Board. Oh, yeah...did you see a distinct lack of me mentioning the word "freedom" in there? Yeah, not an accident and it gets worse. I mean COME ON! A world without books...or at least without printed books, or those that have been sanctioned by the Board? Security of a survivable life, but without the freedom to say, do, or act to any degree outside what is expected? I just...no.Think a bit Hunger Games, and a dash of Divergent. Now, spread it over our own history in the making like butter on a biscuit, and you've got this delectably dark, sinister, and ultimately POSSIBLE story you won't want to miss! Seriously, it was eye-opening and mind-boggling all in one. Patch and Rexx were quite the pair, from start to finish. They played the roles given like actors to a stage, and yet inside, their heart of hearts yearned for answers. When the dice were truly rolled, they showed great resilience, dedication to the cause, and a willingness to do what it takes to reach their goal...not only for themselves, but for the whole of the country!In the end, a MUST READ for certain, and a series start that leaves you gasping for more. I know it'll be on my watch list for coming installments. Only complaint...a quick cutoff when events occur that drastically change plans and alter the story. We had built so eloquently to that point it seemed a shame to cut it short...it didn't diminish my delight overall, but I do wish it could have been built out as grandly as the rest. Perhaps we'll see more of that slow and steady pace in book two.**copy received for review
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  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!So in this book we follow a girls journey in this dystopian world of America 2090 as America is now sectioned off by a wall. Like this book was really just not my thing, I love dystopian but this was not for me. This book is described like 1984 meets The Giver, I hate 1984 with a burning passion and I'm not fond of The Giver.I'm positive that many will I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!So in this book we follow a girls journey in this dystopian world of America 2090 as America is now sectioned off by a wall. Like this book was really just not my thing, I love dystopian but this was not for me. This book is described like 1984 meets The Giver, I hate 1984 with a burning passion and I'm not fond of The Giver.I'm positive that many will people will fall for this series, I can see it being a massive thing that gets hyped up and that's fantastic because this book has a great plot and I'm sure many will enjoy this story. Just because I didn't enjoy this book does not mean it's a bad book.I can give credit to the author when I say her characters are very cool and interesting. Like our MC is very strong and I definitely appreciate that.So this book will be released on 4th September 2018 and I'm sure many will pick it up and love it. If there ever is a sequel of course I'll pick it up and try it.
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  • Blaine
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The plot of The Seclusion is one that will feel familiar: in a sheltered/dystopian future, someone is exposed to books from our time and realizes that their world is wrong. Think Farenheit 451. I think book readers (and book writers) are a sucker for this plot in large part because it elevates the importance of the books we love. (Quick tangent: with declining reading rates, I wonder when old movies or tv shows will become the sou I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The plot of The Seclusion is one that will feel familiar: in a sheltered/dystopian future, someone is exposed to books from our time and realizes that their world is wrong. Think Farenheit 451. I think book readers (and book writers) are a sucker for this plot in large part because it elevates the importance of the books we love. (Quick tangent: with declining reading rates, I wonder when old movies or tv shows will become the source of the hidden knowledge in these stories.)So, because it feels familiar, a book like this tends to rise or fall on the writing, characterization, world-building, and plotting. I thought this book hit the mark in all of those phases. Patricia is an engaging, thoughtful main character, and Rexx works as both comic relief and love interest. The writing is good, and the pacing left no significant lulls. The future America she paints is a believable extension of the current political climate, and her depiction of the effects of being cut off from the rest of the world are a logical extension of the Cubas and North Koreas of today.My only criticisms in the plotting would be if the book is intended to be a stand-alone. If that were the case, then the late appearance of a villain, and certain plot threads left unresolved, would be unsatisfying. However, the book is almost certainly intended to be the first in a series, so those critiques would be premature. This book is a fine debut. I hope there’s a sequel. Recommended.
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  • Kenneth H.
    January 1, 1970
    A quest for truth in a dystopian future, Castle’s debut novel reveals a society hidden behind walls of its own making. The projection of current political tensions takes the form of a tale told by a young woman who has been granted a rare measure of freedom to explore the world just beyond the borders of her tightly-controlled city – just enough freedom to allow her to make a stunning discovery, which then leads to personal tragedy, betrayal, and a shattering of the assurances provided by her so A quest for truth in a dystopian future, Castle’s debut novel reveals a society hidden behind walls of its own making. The projection of current political tensions takes the form of a tale told by a young woman who has been granted a rare measure of freedom to explore the world just beyond the borders of her tightly-controlled city – just enough freedom to allow her to make a stunning discovery, which then leads to personal tragedy, betrayal, and a shattering of the assurances provided by her society. On the run from the totalitarian "Board" ruling her city, young Patch - with a young man she cares about - finds dangerous hints of the Board's darker secrets, and suffers further losses along the way.The Seclusion has literary roots in a classic genre that includes We, 1984 and Brave New World, but offers a measure of hope, generally lacking in the genre, that escape is at least a possibility. Castle has an affecting, intelligent and engaging voice. The Seclusion promises further discoveries to come.
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