The Gender Secret by Bella Forrest

The Gender Secret
by Bella Forrest
#2 in the Gender Game Series

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: 2016
Pages: 411
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Dystopian
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia

Gliding over the treacherous Green in a shaky aircraft that she has no idea how to land, Violet Bates is still in shock. The harrowing events of the previous night play over in her mind as she asks herself question after question.

Why did Lee Desmond Bertrand behave the way he did?

What is the truth about the mysterious silver egg stowed beneath her seat?

What happened to Viggo and where is her brother? Is either of them still alive?

When Violet manages to reach the toxic ground alive, she has landed in a world of unimaginable danger. She has barely time to catch her breath before she is sucked into a perilous journey at breakneck speed – to uncover secrets guarded for centuries and find the only two people that matter.

The Gender Secret follows the events that occured at the end of The Gender Game. We follow Viggo and Violet in the wake of the dramatic cliffhanger we were left on at the end of the first book as well as unravelling some epic betrayals.

The ideas that are examined throughout the the first two books explore gender diferentiation, stereotypes and how the world would look if we it were divided into two cities/countries run by each gender. It was interesting to see how the prejudice grow throughout the stories and how they are ingrained in each culture.

Violet and Viggo as characters are both morally questionable and as a reader I can say that it definitely made them more interesting to read about. They have already developed so much from the events in the first book that I felt more interested in where their stories we heading.

The Setting of The Green, Matrus and Patrus – which I take to be a post apocolyptic USA – allows the reader to really exeperience the dystopian nature. The Greens descriptions of toxicity and the creatures affected by it gives ‘The Wilder Girls’ and ‘Annihilation’ vibes that allows the reader to see the severity of being out there and experiencing that wilderness.

The developments in the plot of the Gender Secret develop the world exponentially from the Gender Game. We begin to see the implications of a world divided by gender.

There are many ethical questions that are raised throughout be beginning of this series that cause questions about what it would mean for our world if something became more evident. This gives readers an experience that fuels many feelings and thoughts as well as promoting discussion.

Plot: 6.5/10
Ease of reading: 5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 6.5/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10
Overall: 3.5/5

Review: “The Gender Game” By Bella Forrest

the gender game coverThe Gender Game
By Bella Forrest
Book #1 (of 7) in the Gender Game Series

Publisher: Nightlight Press
Publish Date: 2016
Series: The Gender Game Series (Book #1)
Pages: 411
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Book Type: Fiction
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Amazon Audible

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates’s world by gender. 
Women rule the East. Men rule the West. 
Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus. 
Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet’s life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes. 
But one decision could save her life. 
To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. 
Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive. 
But abiding by rules has never been Violet’s strong suit.
When she’s thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom … including forbidden love. 
In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive.

My Thoughts:

After reading ‘P.S. I Still Love you’ I’d come out of my reading slump and was ready to jump back into my favourite genre of book. Young Adult Fantasy. I love a good fantasy book, anything from a Faerie based world, to a distopian future to something set in outer space (I know technically a science fiction but I count it under the fantasy banner too) So when I read that ‘A Gender Game’ would be perfect for lovers of the ‘Divergent’ Series and the ‘Hunger Game’ series, I knew I’d found that book.

I was not disappointed. The premise of there being a patriarchy based city (Patrus) and a matriarchy (Matrus) was one that I hadn’t seen before but knew would be a great premise if written right. Lucky for me, it was.
Bella Forrest did an amazing job. I hadn’t heard of her before and really didn’t know what to expect. But I loved the way she created the cities as well as the people residing within each. I really enjoyed her writing style.

The story followed out may character Violet as she experiences Patrus from the inside. Violet is a very strong character who really had to work against her true nature to complete her task.

We also meet an slew of great characters. With some key characters written so well and having such a deep and rich back story that stories about these characters pasts would be just as interesting and engaging as the story we are in.

‘The Gender Game’ was such a fantastic dystopian story that I’ve already got the second one after the incredible ending of the first book. I cannot wait to see were the story takes Violet next.

My Rating: