Book review: The Disappeared

By Amy Lord
Published by Unbound Digital 

Synopsis: What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father. 

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

How did this book end up in my hands? I read this book ahead of its publication date thanks to a serialisation via The Pigeonhole app.

Was it a page-turner? Yes, no sooner did I have a new instalment of the book to read that I was already at the end of it, wanting more.

Did the book meet my expectations? I thoroughly enjoyed the different narrators and plot twists but I didn’t expect it to be quite so graphic in the description of violent scenes. Everything else was spot on. I do like dystopian fiction and the social commentary was so actual that it made me shudder. Plus, the themes of the novel reminded me of George Orwell’s 1984, which I was pleased made an appearance in the narrative.

Three words to describe it. Dystopian. Violent. Political.

Favourite quote: Why do we read? Why do we write? It’s not simply for entertainment. We want to be able to understand something profound about ourselves, about the human condition. We want to connect emotionally with people and situations we will never be able to encounter in our own lives.

Do I like the cover? I don’t love it but it’s very effective. It immediately grabbed my attention. It definitely stands out on a bookshelf.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, this is Amy Lord’s debut novel but I’m looking forward to her second one.


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