A teenager is sent to a re-education camp in this realistic depiction of a dystopian world in Demon Of Yodok by Adira Carmicheal.Read my review
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: Book one of the Juche series.
Available on Kindle Unlimited ( I borrowed the book from Kindle unlimited following a request from the author for an honest review).
Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family is taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.
There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then: her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in the face of mounting evidence that he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.
I was intrigued by the author’s note on The Demon of Jodok’s Goodreads blurb. She wanted to write from the perspective of someone who has been brainwashed by a totalitarian regime and she has succeeded. The book, written from the point of view of the main character, I think captures what it might be like to completely believe a beloved Dictator which makes her incarceration in a re-education camp all the more heart-breaking.
I found it hard to warm to Areum at the start- she does seem selfish, unsympathetic and rigid especially when her overriding goal is to leave her family and become a gymnast no matter what. But then, I found her attitude made sense once I realised this was a young teenage girl whose life and dreams are slowly being destroyed despite being a loyal subject and having done nothing wrong.
The concepts of Juche in the Choson are explained early as is the particular rules in the world that Areum lives in. The writing is crisp and sharp which suits the story.
I really hope Areum escapes in the second book!
Attempted rape. Violence,
Perfect for fans
Who love realistic dystopia