As the fourth decade of the 21st century looms, new PM Guy Morrissey and his fitness guru wife Mona (hashtag MoMo) are hailed as the motivational couple to get the UK #FitForWork, with Mona promising to ‘change the BMI of the nation’.
Lita Stone is an influential blogger and social media addict, who watches as Guy and Mona’s policies become increasingly ruthless. Unemployment and homelessness are out of control. The solution? Vast new compounds all over the country, to house those who can no longer afford to keep a roof over their heads.
These are the Hope Villages, financed by US corporation Nutricorp.
Lita and her flatmates Nick and Kendall feel safe in their cosy cyberspace world. Unaware of how swiftly bad luck can snowball, they suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, behind the carefully constructed mirage of Hope.
Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller that weaves through the darker side of online life, as the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows ever wider. Whether or not it will mirror a dystopian future that awaits us, we will have to wait and see.
This novel is classified as a dystopian thriller, but make no mistake, it’s also a horror story simply because it isn’t outside the realm of possibility something like this could happen in the not too distant future. And that should scare the crap out of anyone.
The new PM, his wife, and family are perfect examples of how social media can be used to manipulate followers/viewers and distort the truth. As in real life, much of the population buy into what they’re selling, but others are put off by the hype and determined not to drink the Kool-Aid. Soon, disturbing ramifications of these new policies and laws come to light, and the number of jobless jumps significantly. Lita and her friends are employed and feeling secure in a shared comfortable flat, believing homelessness and unemployment can’t happen to them. Until it does. And it’s terrifying to see how easily it can happen.
Tyler does an outstanding job at portraying the different reactions of three people in identical circumstances – yet, Lita, Nick, and Kendall’s emotions and actions are entirely believable and valid. I felt their frustration and outrage at the system and the sense of helplessness and lack of control over their own situations.
This was an easy five star read for me, and days after finishing, I was still thinking about it. With shades of Big Brother and current events, Hope is guaranteed to leave you feeling unnerved.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.