Tag Archives: Dystopia

Road to Publication #25 – One week to Release Day – And the Reviews are in…. Deep Breath

I think I’ve mentioned that people have contacted me to say that they liked the story.  Yeah, that gave me the grins and giggles.  But the actual reviews have now started to pop up on Goodreads. (Amazon is not live until the actual release date.)

When I heard, my hands shook.  “Nope, not going to look.”  I was a wreck.  Then I got a nudge from a friend telling me that I should definitely look.

Here are the reviews of “Make Believe” so far on Goodreads… cutting out just the parts that mention Last Winter Red. Links are included in case you want to see the full review.

Brook – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/459716333

Last Winter Red was probably my most favorite story. I am really into dystopian literature and this definitely had that underlying theme. I loved the world building that went on. And I liked the separation of the “classes” in the two different worlds, which is something you see in all dystopian novels. I could definitely see this story sprouting into a book or even a series. And I loved the twist to this story, it was one I was not expecting!

Jill – 4 Stars  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/462048340

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton … was an interesting story. It reminded me a little of Brave New World. We have to civilizations living apart from each other both thinking the other is diseased and living a strange lifestyle. This follows a girl that is moving from one civilization to the other and the discoveries she makes about her life and herself. This is one of the top stories in the anthology.

Danielle Villano – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/460337884

This was such a great premise for a story! “Last Winter Red” had a significant dystopian feel that was not present in the other pieces, and so it stands out in my mind. While Emily is a bit whiny as a main character, her personality is completely justified: her upbringing has her believing that she is entitled to a certain way of living, and a certain caliber of privilege. As she leaves the boundaries of the Red and enters the world of the Gray, she is faced with the fact that she is “different,” and not cut out for the hardened Gray lifestyle. The twist in this story was very well-done and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rachael Morgan – 4 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/442896275

MAKE BELIEVE is a magical collection of short stories. Just the right size for someone like me who falls into bed too late every night and doesn’t have much time (or energy) left to read! It was a pleasure to escape into so many diverse fantasy worlds, some completely different from our own, others familiar but with a dash of the paranormal. All the stories were well-written, but I think my favourite was LAST WINTER RED, followed by BIRTHRIGHT. Those two captured my attention the most, and kept me clicking through the pages when I should have been switching off my light and sleeping! Overall, an enjoyable escape from the real world. Fantasy-lovers should definitely check this one out.

Jen – At Random – 5 Stars http://lratrandom.blogspot.com/2012/11/make-believe-anthology.html      (Loved it overall and didn’t comments on any story specifically.

Aimee Lane – 5 Stars http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/327147561

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton 4/5
Another self-sacrifice story, but one mixed in with selfishness (on some people’s parts) and a totally different world in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting. I liked that this was totally different than the rest with its settings and purpose.

Sans – 5 Stars on Amazon

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
This one is a kind of dystopian tale in that Terra is surrounded by a wall to keep out the “diseased”, the people inside are known as Reds. Reds are supposed to marry and have many children to increase the population as they all seem to die young. Outside the people are known as Grays, or vermin. The two are not supposed to mix ever. There’s a “red” doctor trying to help the grays and give them health care as they seem to be living to older ages and have age related ailments that need medical help. Emily is a Red besotted with the doctor who ferrys the doctor supplies from Terra to Outside. Emily’s husband died before they have children so she now needs to find a new husband and begin having children to contribute in Terra and be considered a good valued Red.
I enjoyed this as the dystopian genre is one of my favourites. I would also love
to read more about these characters too. Maybe this short story could be the
start of a series?  So I would give this story a 5/5 I want more!

Wow.  Ya gotta love that!  But I’m a realist, so I will now stop reading them again until someone nudges me.

This really helps me moving forward, though.  Maybe I should step out of my comfort zone more often!

How about you… have you had success with something that was far different from anything you’ve done before?


Guest Post: Zombies & New Worlds & Violence, Oh My! by J.A. Belfield

Yes, I’m talking about all the titles that have been slowly flooding the book markets over the past few years.

To be honest, I’d seen all the hype for zombie fiction & dystopia/post-apocalyptic novels. To begin I viewed them with scorn.

Yes, I did.

And I apologise profusely.

Because I was ignorant.

I wondered how something like zombies could possibly make a decent novel when it’s often the horrific visuals of a zombie film that grab us the most.

I wondered how on earth anyone could be enamoured by a story with a cover that depicts the world as broken and dreary as heck, and nowhere anyone in their right mind would want to live—again, I guess, something that would have great impact in a film.

Then I listened—to other readers—instead of being so opinionated.

Before I knew it, I’d let them sway me into picking up these books I’d struggled to figure out (without having read them …. Yeah, I know, I know, don’t say it).


I pretty much can’t get enough of them.

Granted, I’m not so keen on the zombie novels—unless you count Amy Plum’s romanticised version of zombies in Die For Me.

But I picked up Hunger Games convinced I would hate it.


So happens, I went out and bought Catching Fire as soon as I could and even had someone send me Mockingjay so I didn’t have to wait to read on to the end.

Yeah, I pretty much began devouring books from this genre I’d not even given a chance.

Since then, I’ve read Divergent, too—as well as finished up with Insurgent mere hours before writing this post.

Then there are the ones that combine genres: vampire dystopias seem to be the latest craze. Andrew Fukuda’s The Hunt or Julie Kagawa’s Immortal Rules, for example. I’ve read both of those. Admittedly, they haven’t wowed me quite as much as straight dystopia has, but they were still decent reads, neither of them alike, and both had highly intriguing concepts.

So what is it about these genres that seem to be spreading like wildfire? The characters, their conflicts, the action which often horrifies due to the violence involving youths, the love story (because there almost always seems to be at least the potential for one) … or the fact that we just don’t know what the future holds for our earth and to get even a fictional glimpse of that is simply too fascinating to pass up?

How about you? Have you tried these types of novels? What do you think it is about them that’s setting the reading population on fire?


Novels/Stories by J.A. Belfield