Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling
(The Union Trilogy Book 1)
In the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn’t matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it’s all about being noticed at the right parties.
But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.
Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?
Blinded by the Light is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.
This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It Shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to ‘do the right thing’.
Set in a future where the population has been decimated by the Sandman Virus and the elite live in Neighbourhoods run by The Light Foundation. This was an enjoyable read, told from MaryAnn’s point of view.
MaryAnn’s father is an important man in The Light Foundation and at the start of the book MaryAnn has a perfect life, she’s a spoilt rich kid who has everything she wants.
After meeting her estranged brother, Daryl, at a party, disaster strikes and MaryAnn has to live with the Director of the Foundation. Although still rich and spoilt, she becomes isolated with only the Director’s daughter, Maud, for company.
When her brother contacts her again, she discovers he is a Unionist. The Unionists live outside of Neighbourhoods and know the truth behind The Light Foundation. As MaryAnn is introduced to other Unionist members, including her Uncle Patrick and Daryl’s friend, Peter, her beliefs are challenged, and her world changes from the ‘them and us’ attitude that she was brought up with.
The characters were well written and multi-dimensional, my favourites being MaryAnn and Peter. I loved seeing MaryAnn adapt and mature as the story went on, and the developing friendship between her and Peter, though it was heartbreaking watching the life she knew collapse around her.
The Author has done an amazing job of world building and how her society is structured, and it’s easy to imagine living there, either as one the elite or one of ‘outsiders’
Overall, a topnotch and imaginative start to a trilogy for young adults, and older adults also. I’ve already started Book 2, Light the Way.
About The Author:
Joe Kipling is a West Yorkshire based young adult fiction writer with a lifelong passion for Sci-Fi, particularly the post-apocalyptic variety.
She currently lives in Holmfirth with her dog Kenny and is a full-time consultant and part-time writer.
A lifetime of travelling and avoiding near catastrophe has provided endless inspiration for The Union Trilogy.