Escaping a Cult-Like World: Hive and Rogue #LoveOzYA Reviews

September 27, 2019 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Escaping a Cult-Like World: Hive and Rogue #LoveOzYA Reviews

Escaping a Cult-Like World: Hive and Rogue #LoveOzYA ReviewsHive by A.J. Betts
Series: Hive #1
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on June 26, 2018
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher | Booktopia
Add to Goodreads

All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.

Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn't make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.

Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast, and too many awful questions.

What an unexpected surprise! I was completely hooked from beginning to end with Hive, as we find out about the cult-like world that Hayley lives in.

It starts with a bee going where it shouldn’t, a drip from the ceiling and secrets that shouldn’t be told, and from there, Hayley’s life is thrown into turmoil. Hayley discovers something unusual about her orderly world via a drip in the ceiling which unravels a chain of events that sets everything into motion.

There’s an immediacy about the writing that just wraps you into the mystery and pulls you into Hayley’s story. Although everything we know about the world is told through Hayley, the reader can put the pieces together from the way she perceives the world. It’s structured, everyone has a role, there’s a certain power figure and nothing is as it seems, which makes it all the more fascinating.

It does talk about religion a lot, with many overwhelming references to God at times. However, it does illustrate the character’s fanaticism which shapes her way of thinking.

While the overall concept of Hive is reminiscent of other cult-like, dystopian reads, it’s definitely the execution of it that offered a unique, atmospheric experience. It’s a read that keeps you guessing from beginning to end, and I had fun putting the pieces together.

Trigger warnings: unexpected gore, brain washing

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Escaping a Cult-Like World: Hive and Rogue #LoveOzYA ReviewsRogue by A.J. Betts
Series: Hive #2
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on June 25, 2019
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher | Booktopia
Add to Goodreads

There was no going back; there was no choice, anymore. I'd chosen out and this was it: hot-cold, dry-wet, bright-dark and lonely.

Hayley has gone rogue.

She's left everything she's ever known - her friends, her bees, her whole world - all because her curiosity was too big to fit within the walls of the underwater home she was forced to flee.

But what is this new world she's come to? Has Hayley finally found somewhere she can belong?

Or will she have to keep running?

'A striking dystopian world: Hive carves out a niche through intriguing and original world-building [with] enough imaginative vitamin to tease readers into anticipating the second and final volume in the series.' Sydney Morning Herald

Rogue starts off from where Hive left off, which was a welcome relief due to the cliffhanger ending. It answers all the questions that you’re left hanging with, like what has become of the world outside the vault and why it was established in the first place.

As Hayley starts to encounter new situations and people upon the foreign world outside of the vault, things settle into a comfortable rhythm. She will get to know new people as they answer the questions that she has about this new and exciting world, with new threats and barriers to survival at every turn. Her thoughts are constantly on the people that she has left behind and whether these people know of the world that she lives in, and thankfully we’re not left guessing for long. However, the start of the book feels rather slow as they’re mostly introspective.

The tone of the book shifts rather abruptly as Hayley begins to progress through several different encounters – offering several unexpected twists and turns along the way. I found the pacing to be a little difficult to adjust to, as these twists were huge, completely changing the course of the book. I struggled a bit with one character who was a creep at the start but this changes later on with no explanation. Things definitely felt a little bit inconsistent throughout the series.

Rogue is unexpected, surprising and bleak along the way, threaded with a layer of hope. It’s a book that will constantly keep you guessing, with many unexpected twists and turns. I found it to be a satisfying conclusion to a unique dystopian series, with an Aussie flavour to it. While I liked the experience offered in Hive better, it’s definitely a unique and satisfying duology for those who love dystopians.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me review copies!

Hive and Rogue are available from Australian bookstores for RRP$16.99 each.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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