A World of Words

Reviewing children's books

Interview with Ruth Silver

I’ve just posted a review for Aberrant, which you can read here. Below is an interview, spotlight and giveaway with Ruth Silver, the author. Thanks for your time, Ruth!

Having read the story, Aberrant seemed to me to have hints of The Hunger Games and Brave New World. Did these books influence you at all? If not, did any other book inspire you?

I can’t say Brave New World had any influence because I haven’t read that book yet! The Hunger Games did have some inspiration in getting me to read a lot of YA dystopian fiction. Another book that influenced me (not so recently but in general) with world building and infertility was A Handmaid’s Tale. I read that novel in college and I absolutely loved it. At the time I had no idea a dystopian genre even existed.

I love dystopias, and thought the worldwide infertility, as well as the government choosing a partner for everyone, were both brilliant. Where did you get those ideas from?

The idea is a columniation from around the world, personal experience, as well as creatively. For example, most people by now realize China has the one child rule. How far away is our world from saying “you have one child, that’s great, but if you have any more, we’ll take them away”?

There are people that already suffer infertility, for a variety of reasons. Often, we as a society implement the use of vaccines, especially in preventing disease and now even cervical cancer. Of course the vaccines are all safe and approved by the relevant authorities for the country you live in. I decided to think a little further ahead, and a little darker. What if it was an epidemic where everyone was required to get vaccinated and testing had been shortened or barely done at all? It might take years to see the full outcome of infertility and at that point, the government might be forced to step in, to prevent our entire species from becoming extinct.

As for the government choosing a partner for everyone, book two will delve into that a little more deeply on the reason for it. Spoilers for book two: I will say it has to do with genetics. If the government was forced to help people conceive children and do so in a lab, why not insist on putting people together that would further benefit society? A sort survival of the fittest, chosen by the government.

I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts that I think there are two types of dystopia: the far-removed kind (we hope!), like Aberrant, and the kind that could happen in 50 years or so if things went badly wrong. If any dystopian issues were to affect us in the not-too-distant future, what do you think these are most likely to be?

Disease could definitely be one of them. You hear in the news about SARS and H1N1, these epidemics that exist and you see how easy it is to transmit the disease with airplanes commuting between different countries and continents. A Biologist I was friends with right after college, she used to say it was only a matter of time until a disease wiped out a huge percentage of the population. I never wanted to consider it, no one does, but it’s a possibility and probably the most likely as a dystopian issue.

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. Can you give away any teasers of what to expect for Olivia and Joshua?

They are definitely going to have their ups and downs, as a couple but don’t give up hope because I always love happy endings!

 Speaking of the rest of the trilogy, when will the next two books be released?

I wish I had an exact answer for that question. Right now book two and book three are rough drafts. Book two needs a lot of work, since I changed some plot points in Aberrant, now I need to fix those changes in the second book, Moirai. I do think Moirai (Aberrant #2) will be released in 2014 and am estimating book three will be released in 2015.

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About Ruth
Ruth SilverRuth Silver is the best-selling author of the YA dystopian novel, Aberrant, which is the first in a trilogy, released on 27th April 2013.  Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time.  She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication.  While in university she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004.  Her favourite class was Creative Writing senior year, where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.  Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia.  Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favourite books with other readers.  She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all, writing.
 Check out Ruth’s FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and website, if you want!
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Aberrant, by Ruth Silver

Aberrant, by Ruth Silver

Published by LazyDay Publishing

Aberrant

In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. 

Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed: her existence.

Olivia is unlike the rest of the world, born not from The Day of the Chosen. The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

I was contacted by Ruth Silver, the author of this book, to promote Aberrant. In the next post will be an interview, spotlight and giveaway. She gave me a copy of the book to read, but it goes without saying that this review is honest.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was thrown headfirst into the action, first meeting Olivia when she is preparing for her wedding day. This piqued my interest, which was held right the way to the end. It was a brilliant dystopian plot, full of turns that I wasn’t expecting. It reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games and Brave New World, in that the government was very much in control – so much so that it could control the most intimate of features in its inhabitants’ lives. There’s a lot of uncertainty throughout the book as to what will happen to Olivia. She’s often not as safe as she would like to be, and feels the weight of expectation, the latter of which is something I think a lot of young adults can relate to.

I think what enhanced the book for me was Olivia and Joshua. Their relationship is written really well; as best friends with a complicated aspect thrown in, there’s the right touch of familiarity versus the unknown. Throughout, they work as a team, the realism of which I liked – it makes a change to the power games that appear in other YA books where sexual tension is at the forefront. Josh and Olivia have been raised in an environment where conception – and therefore sex – doesn’t happen, which made a really refreshing change. Even though they’re 18, the reader is able to see certain realisations bloom in their minds, and that was great to read!

When I interviewed her, Ruth Silver said about what inspired her to write the book:

Often, we as a society implement the use of vaccines, especially in preventing disease and now even cervical cancer. Of course the vaccines are all safe and approved by the relevant authorities for the country you live in. I decided to think a little further ahead, and a little darker. What if it was an epidemic where everyone was required to get vaccinated and testing had been shortened or barely done at all?

Hearing it put like that made me uneasy, because it brings home how potentially easy it could be for something to strike the world, and for us to find ourselves in a dystopia. I think stories such as this one, where it stems from a simple idea, are the most effective. Mix that in with great characterisation, a little bit of the supernatural, and a plot that twists and turns, and you’re sorted. A great read, thoroughly recommended.

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