Revelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. Munro
Omnium Gatherum (January 2021}
229 pages; $14.99 Paperback; $3.99 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre
In the decently distant future, most population centers of the United States of North America are domed cities where even the poorer members of society live in relative ease and comfort. Poppets, the reanimated and mechanized bodies of the deceased, have taken over most manual labor. Outside of the domed cities lies the chaos of the wilds. Ellie, the assumed heir of the company that makes and runs the Poppets, is about to learn that life within and without the domes is far uglier and more complicated than she realizes.
The basic setup is pretty standard dystopian YA. You have a regular teen nearing adulthood who is made special by circumstances beyond their control. You have a large conspiracy that operates beneath the gleaming facade of society that they eventually uncover. Heck, you even have the standard struggle between the two possible beaus.
However, Donna Munro uses the comfort of this structure in Revelation to do some interesting things with the story that would have been harder to get away with otherwise. The story stands as a fairly strong critique of the ideals of American Exceptionalism as well as the predatory nature inherent in unfettered capitalism. It also delves pretty deep into the horror of the human cost of these ideals and this system.
But, please, don’t take it as a dry treatise or anything that dull. Donna has a sure hand with character and emotional honesty. She doesn’t skimp on the intensity, either. Things get more than a bit messed up here, friends. I definitely recommend it for those who think there is nowhere else to go with the genre.