Katrina Mountfort's Freedom's Prisoners was published by Elsewhen Press in September 2016 (digital edition) and November 2016 (paperback edition).
Information about Katrina Mountfort:
Katrina was born in Leeds. After a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Food Science, she started work as a scientist. Since then, she’s had a varied career. Her philosophy of life is that we only regret the things we don’t try, and she’s been a homeopath, performed forensic science research and currently works as a freelance medical writer. She now lives in Saffron Walden with her husband and two dogs. When she hit forty, she decided it was time to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a novel. Future Perfect was her debut novel and the first book in the Blueprint trilogy. Forbidden Alliance is the second of the trilogy.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Freedom's Prisoners:
Book 3 of the Blueprint trilogy
The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. In Book 3 of the trilogy, tensions have escalated since the breakout. Michael and his army of rebels may have won the first battle in their fight against the Citidome authorities, but can they win a war? The Citidomes are fighting back and no-one is safe any more as RotorFighters rain down fire on defenceless villages destroying them and their inhabitants.
For Suna, this is a time of difficult decisions as she struggles to adjust to life outside the Citidomes. Where do her loyalties lie? Is she capable of understanding human emotion? After an unexpected betrayal Michael and Cathy finds themselves back in Sigma-2, where Cathy must confront her worst fears. Can Joy and Harry recapture the magic of first love, or have the horrors they have witnessed scarred them forever? And do they have any chance of succeeding in the most ambitious mission the Alliance of Outside Communities has ever undertaken? Is there anyone in the world beyond the shores of State Eleven who cares enough to help? Even if there is, will they be able to do anything in time?
Freedom’s Prisoners explores betrayal, guilt, hope and endurance in an explosive conclusion to the Blueprint trilogy.
Freedom’s Prisoners is the third book of the Blueprint trilogy. The first book was Future Perfect and the second book was Forbidden Alliance.
A REVIEW OF KATRINA MOUNTFORT'S FREEDOM'S PRISONERS
Before I delve into analysing and reviewing Freedom's Prisoners, I'll mention that this review is in equal parts a review about this novel and the whole trilogy, because I can now take a look at the whole story.
Katrina Mountfort's Freedom's Prisoners is a stunning conclusion to The Blueprint Trilogy. I was eager to read this novel, because I enjoyed reading Future Perfect and Forbidden Alliance. I'm glad I had an opportunity read it, because I found it immensely satisfying and intriguing. I can honestly say that it's one of the best and most entertaining young adult science fiction novels I've ever read.
The Blueprint Trilogy is a rewarding reading experience, because the author has created a terrifying vision of dystopian future and doesn't underestimate the intelligence of her readership. Although there are many new young adult science fiction novels and series out there on the market nowadays, this trilogy stands out among them as a prime example of what can be achieved when an author pays attention to writing an emotionally challenging story, creates realistic characters and has courage to write thought-provoking prose.
In my opinion, Freedom's Prisoners deserves all the praise it gets. As much as I like a few other similar kind of novels and series, I have to be honest and say that this novel outshines many of them in terms of depth, prose and storytelling. Only a few other novels are as compelling and entertaining as this novel.
Just like the previous novels, Freedom's Prisoners can be recommended to adults and young adults alike, because it will appeal to both readerships. It's an evocatively written novel that will charm its readers with a good story and interesting characters who have to deal with real problems.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
- The village has a harvest festival and people are cheerful, but Suna is not content with her new life outside the Citidome. An unknown man approaches her and offers her an opportunity to return to the Citidome to work there, If she doesn't agree, she may end in a correction camp. The man is trying to find out information about Michael. Suna realises that the choice she is offered is simple: save herself, or Cathy and Michael...
- Cathy has noticed that the Citidome officials have recognised their involvement in the Outbreak and people have begun to disappear. She is pregnant again. Cathy notices that Suna is not herself and is not telling her everything (she thinks that Suna may try to return to the Citidome). When she goes to sleep and wakes up, she and Michael are captured and taken to the Citidome against their will...
- Joy looks forward to the trip towards Oxford with Harry. She and Harry think that some of the people who were freed in the Outbreak don't want to build a better society and don't think about those who are still trapped inside the Citidomes. When they hear about whas has happened to Cathy and Michael, they intend to get help from France...
This is the beginning of a thrilling and thought-provoking story that explores guilt, endurance, love, loss, fear and hope in a spellbinding way. It's a rich and rewarding story with plenty of depth.
The characterisation is excellent and impressive, because the author has created believable characters who have real feelings and serious problems. One of the strengths of this novel and the whole trilogy is that Katrina Mountfort excels at writing about what her characters feel and what kind of choices they make. She writes captivatingly about the characters' lives and continues to develop them as persons.
The author gives distinct and strong voices to Cathy, Suna and Joy, because they're all three-dimensional characters. Cathy is the village leader who is good with people. She escaped from the Citidome when she was pregnant with Joy. Her life has not been easy, but she has had an opportunity to enjoy normal life without Citidome limitations and rules. Suna has lived all her life in the Citidome and doesn't know much about life in the countryside. She doesn't get along with people, because she doesn't fit in and has difficulty reading facial expressions. Joy has experienced how rough life can be, because she has lost Ryan. Now she is dating with Harry and thinks about what the future may hold for them.
In my opinion, Suna has an exceptionally strong voice in this novel, because she has to deal with her betrayal and how she feels about many things, including the brutalities committed by the Citidome residents. She gets to witness how people behave inside the Citidome and in the countryside, and she has to decide whether she can do the Citidome's evil work or not.
In this novel, the Citidome residents have become even more brutal and ruthless than before. For example, the inmates in correction camps and correction centres are being controlled by slow-release toxins that make them more docile and less able to react in a hurry. They're nothing more than human guinea pigs.
Freedom's Prisoners contains many exciting and thrilling scenes which will impress readers and fans of the series.
What happens to Cathy after she has been captured is terrifyingly brutal. She is treated in a ruthless manner and she has to tolerate all kinds of inhuman treatment at the hands of her captors. She has no way to clean herself properly and she can't even sleep well. She also has to deal with dehydration. She is humiliated in many nasty ways.
Joy and Harry's experiences are also handled well. The author paints a vivid picture of their joys, hopes and fears. I enjoyed reading about how they felt about the different places they saw during their journey to France and how they felt about each other.
I won't reveal what Suna does in this novel, because I want to avoid writing spoilers, but I can mention that I enjoyed reading about her life. The author's way of writing about what she goes through and what she has to do will impress readers.
I like the way the author writes about love, sex and sexual situations. There's something natural about her way of exploring these matters. She fluently describes how some of the characters are attracted to each other and how they express their love.
The author's vision of dystopian future is evocative and terrifying, because humankind and society has changed a lot and people have almost forgotten what it means to be human. The Citidomes are filled with people who appreciate beauty and are willing to do almost anything to look beautiful.
There's something deeply grotesque about how Citidome residents feel about beauty and how they worship it, because normal human bodies are considered ugly and undesirable. Ugly people and those who have been captured outside the Citidomes may end up in a media freak show called Vile Bodies. In this show, pregnant women are forced to give birth live without medical assistance and people have to show off their bodies in front of others who laugh and stare at them.
The author writes well about life outside the Citidomes, because those who live in the countryside have more complex and dangerous, but fuller and richer lives. Living outside the Citidomes means that people may catch diseases and their lives may be threatened by things that wouldn't normally affect them, but no one tells them what to do and how to behave (for example, childbirth can be deadly and people may injure themselves while doing work out on the fields etc). Inbreeding may also happen unless people move from one village to another.
One of the best and most impressive things about this novel and the whole trilogy is that Katrina Mountfort has written a story that reveals a lot about human nature and what humans are capable of doing to each other. There's quite a lot of underlying wisdom in this story and also plenty of sharp commentary about our way of life and what may happen to mankind.
The story has a strong emotional impact on readers due to the author's way of writing about what kind of choices the characters make and what happens to them. This is another reason why I love this trilogy, because it's captivating to read about the characters and their complex lives.
I sincerely hope that Katrina Mountfort will continue to write more speculative fiction, because she has a voice of her own and she writes skillfully about various characters and many happenings. She has a talent for creating complex stories.
Freedom's Prisoners and its predecessors will most likely be of special interest to readers who are familiar with the young adult science fiction novels written by Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth. If you've enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies and find them fascinating, you'll enjoy these novels, because they're similar kind of entertainment and feature an original vision of dystopian future. These novels will also appeal to readers who love emotionally challenging and thought-provoking stories.
If you're looking for a good YA sci-fi novel to read, you don't need to look further, because Katrina Mountfort's Freedom's Prisoners is an excellent novel. Please, do yourself a big favour and invest a bit of time into reading Future Perfect, Forbidden Alliance and Freedom's Prisoners, because you'll most likely find them intriguing. There's a strongly beating human heart at the core of each of these novels that will make you fall in love with the story and the characters. They're something special for readers who love dystopian stories.
Excellent YA science fiction!