I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Released: March 29 2022
Genre: Young Adult
When a Black man is murdered, Jamal Lawson heads to Baltimore to participate in a rally protesting police brutality. But before the rally gets underway the city implements The Dome—a “safety protocol” where everyone within it is subject to a militarized shut down where no one can get in or out. Jamal meets Marco, a hacker, and Catherine, a basic-training grad whose parents helped build The Dome. Together, they must fight institutional corruption in order to survive The Dome.
I’m not a huge dystopian reader, but this one stood out to me because of how close to home it hits. While there are definitely futuristic elements at play, the overall concept feels very real as I won’t soon forget the summer of 2020 watching cities across the US protest police brutality and the morals of their cities. There are some dystopian books that are so futuristic they take me out of the story and the point of it (i.e., the commentary on the darker side of society) is overshadowed and the book becomes more sci-fi. But this is not what happened here. The author strikes a good balance between these elements and the futuristic aspects serve to highlight how close our society could actually come to something as scary as this. Of course the futuristic elements also make this a very fast paced and thrilling story.
In addition to providing us a pro-Black Lives Matter story, Jackson also includes queer representation. While this wasn’t the main focus of the story, I appreciate that Jackson included this element.
There isn’t a ton of character evolution, complexity, or depth within the story itself but as a dystopian/thriller book I didn’t go in expecting those elements. That being said, if that’s something you’re looking for in a book, you may have to adjust expectations. What you can expect from Survive the Dome is great characters (impossible not to root for them!), action, honest critiques on society and relevant social movements.
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