So, I have been meaning to write a review of this entire series for awhile now. I have been crazy busy between working on finishing up the rough draft on my novel and other writing work that I kind of forgot and was stuck in the middle of a book (still stuck on the book, hopefully a review for that one will be coming in the next week). This book is so underrated and I am just in shock that it isn’t as widely known as say everyone’s favorite YA Dystopian series The Hunger Games. So, we’ll start with the first book.
The first book in The New Agenda series by Simone Pond is The City Center. This book follows our main character, eighteen-year-old Ava Rhodes in the year 2310. A majority of the population has been wiped out by the elite, and a world of “perfected people” inhabit the Los Angeles City Center. The Los Angeles City Center is reminiscent to domes in other YA dystopian books like Into the Never Sky. It was created to keep this select population away from outsiders. Ava is competing in competitions to see what role she will play in the new Court. With Graduation Day approaching, the Royal Court that is in place will retire and move to Ret-Hav, which is essentially a lavish retirement home on an island, and the new Court will replace them. When the City Center is threatened by an outsider, Ava ignores the warning to get in her home and encounters the outsider, Joseph. Joseph entrusts her with a secret journal that reveals the truth about the City Center and Chief Morray and her worldview is shattered. She escapes the City Center with Joseph, but has Chief Morray hot on her heels. I don’t want to give away too much more about the plot and what happens, but as a first novel in a series, this is extremely strong. I will admit, the beginning was a bit rocky at first, but once things began to progress, I couldn’t put it down! It’s filled with tons of great twists and turns and superb characterization. It didn’t take me long to pick up the second book, The New Agenda.
The New Agenda takes on a different perspective. Where the City Center leads off, you have some open ends on what happens to Chief Morray. This book gets directly into his mind, which in my opinion, is an insane place to be. Ava is able to access his life and memories through the Mainframe and she follows his path from his early teens into his young adulthood. Ava is in a desperate search to see where he has disappeared, as she doesn’t believe he has been completely eradicated. The chapters are clearly defined that the voice is Morray unless there’s a section where Ava is processing what she has been viewing. I have to admit though, The New Agenda gave me so much more background on Morray and the decisions he made and what shaped him into the psychopathic person he is. After finishing the first book, I would have never thought I’d be feeling sympathy for Morray in the second book. The writing is superb and terminology is even more well defined in this book. I was extremely thankful I did not have to wait to pick up the third book, The Mainframe.
The New Agenda series just gets even better with The Mainframe. It takes place seventeen years after the events in The New Agenda. It follows Ava and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Grace. The remnants of Morray have still been undiscovered and Ava is still relentlessly trying to track him down, which causes a great disconnect between her and her daughter. Grace discovers digital footprints that she thinks may be linked to Morray. This prompts Ava to continue her search, until she goes missing and is held in the mainframe at Morray’s demands. The two POVs are handled flawlessly as each of them navigate through the real and the mainframe. I did predict a little bit how this one was going to go – I blame my writer sense, plus Pond left some nice little foreshadowing bits to where an in-tuned reader would figure it out. Regardless, the story and plot line of The Mainframe is super strong. Some aspects about this book really freaked me out while I was reading it at night…and I had to read the majority of the book during daylight hours. So extra points for making me scared to read at night! Of course, the series has to wrap up and that brings me to the final book, The Torrent.
I have got to say, this final book, The Torrent may be the best book in the series. How Pond seamlessly writes her characters and the ebb and flow of the plot is simply astounding. You find redeeming qualities even among the villains of this book. There was tragedy, love, dystopia, and more. I seriously found myself crying at the end between the plot and the fact that the series was ending! Pond was able to integrate things and people from previous books flawlessly. Minor characters from the first book turned into major characters in this book. I am really astounded by how quickly the book progressed from one plot point to another. I liked that there were more perspectives aside from Ava and Grace. It was nice seeing through the eyes of Faraday – that bastard! – and Cari. I am going to be recommending this book series to everyone I know. I am flabbergasted that this book series isn’t more popular! This is right up there with The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent trilogy! I am anxious to read more by Pond, as she has a beautiful writing style that draws the readers in.
If you didn’t get your fill on these four books, Pond also has a short story collection, Voices of the Apocalypse: The Collection. It is a collection of ten short stories that follows different people and how they readjust to the Repatterining. I recommend reading this one after you have at least finished the second book. I read this once I finished the series and it filled the void that was left in my life. There was only one story that I felt the plot line lost its flow a little bit (I can’t remember which one though, I think it was either the fourth or the eighth one).
So if you’ve managed to make your way through my extremely lengthy review of The New Agenda series by Simone Pond, then that means you’re ready to pick up the first book, right? Right! Sorry that it’s a bit disjointed, I get excited about books I really enjoyed and I don’t want to give away the entire plot or it’ll spoil the entire series for you! This series gets an overall 5 star rating from me and I’ve been recommending it to all my friends and family who are YA Dystopian fans. Well worth the read, but be prepared to shed a few tears and love the villain just a little bit.