Publication Date: August 14, 2015
It’s 2250 and an apocalyptic event has destroyed civilization which is now divided into three categories and life is a perilous proposition. Romy is 20 years old and aspires to the highest level of society. She’s worked hard and yet seems to come up short. How will she handle the truth of her situation?
Romy is the first book in the 2250 series.
Apex is a carefully constructed dystopian world. Society is divided into three subsets; the Prospero is the elite of society and live in luxury high-rise accommodations that spare no expense on security, citizens live underground and are the serving class and Sorens are a considered a terrorist class by the elite Prosperos. Romy is the first book in a series and the attention to detail in world-building seems to come at the expense of the story. Apex is a very dark place but quite a real place that seems to have been inspired by where the U.S. is a nation now and where it has the potential of going. The best alternative worlds are the ones that could happen and the world of Romy could certainly happen.
As great and interesting as the dystopian world was, the characters and plot of Romy were not as interesting. In a way, Romy is a woman stuck in her world. She tries to guarantee her future with advanced education but when the story opens, the best she can hope for is to work for a Prospero. Romy is a promising character, at first, she’s ambitious and excelling in her quest for a vocation not normally favored by women. What is highlighted early on is that it sucks to be a woman in Apex. Early on, Romy is on the auction block and there’s some organizational interference in the reproductive rights of women. There moments where this reader was hoping that the story doesn’t give certain people ideas. The way people were fooled and the plausibility in the way its told is frightening in its ring of truth.
Usually in fiction, one can assume anything goes, so there are people certain plot points wouldn’t bother. This reader is normally able to gloss over a lot. In the case of Romy, there are certain elements that I simply could not get beyond. In the wake of the #metoo movement to read the sort of relationship that Romy details is unsettling. She is pressured, she’s intrigued and she certainly seems to be attracted to a certain master/sub sort of arrangement. Nothing wrong with that. Whatever floats your boat. To read it framed as a romantic relationship is a bit offputting.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve said little about Romy herself. She is perhaps the weakest element of the work and comes off as deep as a puddle. One could argue that she’s a product of her environment, but does that make for compelling reading? If not, great Romy is a fast read and gives promise to future books in the series. Stone clearly has talent, but her focus has been making an interesting world. The characters are, none of them, very deep.
Was Romy a good book? It was okay. I might read another as first books in series do tend to be weak, but I’m not sure I’ll remember to do so because there’s not a lot that will stick with me. It’s interesting as a mirror of the society in which we exist. If you pick it up, let me know what you think.
Read an excerpt and buy Romy: Book I of the 2250 Saga by Nirina Stone on