Having favourably reviewed each of the first two books in the trilogy when they were published, Future Perfect (“A terrific novel”) and Forbidden Alliance (“Recommended for all lovers of books about future worlds”) it was no surprise that Terry should be the first to review the trilogy finale which she says was “fun to read”. She says it is a “terrific trilogy” that tells a lot about human nature and the “possible (and worrying) development” of some of humanity’s less likeable traits. Terry writes that she really appreciated Katrina’s “clever assessment of what technology would be like nearly 200 years from now” as too many other books set in the future have less convincing world building, adding that the “characterisation is great”. Concluding that Freedom’s Prisoners is “Very clever and well thought out” she recommends it to those who like “these sort of books, and to those who think they don’t, too!”
You can read Terry’s full review of Freedom’s Prisoners on her blog here. Her review of Future Perfect is here and her review of Forbidden Alliance is here
Terry Tyler read and reviewed the debut novel by Katrina Mountfort earlier this year. She awarded Future Perfect, the first book in the Blueprint Trilogy, 5 GOLD STARS and started her review by saying “I LOVED this book! Read it over a period of 24 hours, hated having to put it down.” She added that she was looking forward to reading the second book in the trilogy, Forbidden Alliance, which she recently read and reviewed, recommending it to “all lovers of books about future worlds”.
Terry has just listed her top 24 books of the year (check out her list here) and has placed Future Perfect at number 4. Thanks Terry, well done Katrina.
Dylan describes this book as “very much a coming-of-age tale” from the perspective of 16 year old Joy. Having read and enjoyed Future Perfect, the first book in the trilogy (which he described as a “great dystopian satire”) he says that Forbidden Alliance is a “really interesting step change” which allows Katrina to add “more depth to what was already an excellent story”, adding that it is “an excellent middle book to the trilogy”. He says that Katrina’s writing of the love triangle at the heart of Joy’s story “captures all the earnestness and heartache of young love to the full” and will appeal to a YA audience. He concludes by recommending it to every fan of YA dystopian novels.
You can read Dylan’s full review on Suffolk Scribblingshere.
On Risingshadow recently, Seregil of Rhiminee reviewed Forbidden Alliance, the second book in the Blueprint trilogy from Katrina Mountfort. He enjoyed Future Perfect, the first book in the trilogy, last year (“one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written”), so he was eager to read this one. He says it was “everything that I hoped it would be” and Katrina has done an impressive job of creating an “original vision of dystopian future”. He says it is “the kind of sequel that all sequels should be like” building on the story of the first book in an intriguing way that “is exceptionally immersive and addictive because of the well-created and three-dimensional characters”. Although it may seem to be a YA novel, Seregil says it is “passionately written”, will “charm its readers” and “please readers of all ages who are looking for an entertaining science fiction story to read”. He recommends it for young adults and adults alike, and says it is “something special for fans of good YA sci-fi stories”.
Seregil observes that the way the narrative shifts between the viewpoints of Joy and Cathy adds a lot of depth to the story because, although similar, they are different characters with different perspectives and feelings. He says that Katrina writes realistically about relationships, families and about life outside the citidomes, adding that “Descriptions of how the village is kept alive are wonderfully realistic and nuanced, because the author pays attention to many minor details.” Katrina knows, he says, how to include “romantic elements without alienating her readers”, and excels at writing about the characters’ feelings in a deep way. She “has a talent of making the story flow easily”, immersing her readers and making us care about the characters and their fates – which not many authors achieve in young adult novels!
He concludes by saying that Katrina brings a “breath of much-needed fresh air to young adult science fiction genre” with the Blueprint trilogy. The story is “strong and full of passion” and her “characters are so vivid that it feels like you’re reading about real people”. He says fans of Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth will surely enjoy this trilogy. He says he can “wholeheartedly recommend it to all readers” because Future Perfect and Forbidden Alliance are among the best YA science fiction novels ever written, because there’s “a strongly beating human heart at the core of both novels that will make you fall in love with the story and the characters”. He is looking forward to the final book of the trilogy, Freedom’s Prisoners.
She starts by saying how she was “enthralled” by Future Perfect, the first book of the trilogy, so she was “extremely excited” to read book two. She says it is “exciting and imaginative” and she found herself “genuinely caring about the characters and fully invested in their adventures”. In fact she says she enjoyed Forbiddem Alliance even more than Future Perfect. She concludes by saying it was “quite simply the best novel I have read in a long time”.
On her Book Reviews blog, Terry Tyler has written a review of Forbidden Alliance, the second book in the Blueprint trilogy by Katrina Mountfort. When she read Future Perfect, the first book of the trilogy earlier this year, Terry wrote a review in which she said she LOVED it and couldn’t wait for the next one. So it’s perhaps not surprising that she was one of the first people to buy Forbidden Alliance when it was published last friday and her review was posted today (monday). That seems like a great way to spend a weekend! She says that the story is “as well thought out, entertaining and thought provoking as the first in the series” and that she is now very much looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy. She adds that the way in which “the old ways of life emerge in the communities outside the Citidomes is absorbing” as is the “difference between the ‘normal’ people and the Citidome residents” after the escape plan.
She concludes by recommending it to “all lovers of books about future worlds” whether or not you’re a Young Adult. Thanks Terry 😉
You can read the whole of Terry’s review on her blog here, and her review of Future Perfect here.
Forbidden Alliance was published in a digital edition on 4th September 2015 and will be out in paperback in December. The final book in the trilogy will be published next year.
With recent research showing that English girls are unhappy with their body and appearance, the next book in the Blueprint trilogy returns to a future where such concerns are manipulated to exert social control
DARTFORD, KENT – 04 September 2015 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Forbidden Alliance, the second book in the Blueprint trilogy by scientist and medical writer Katrina Mountfort. The popular first book of the trilogy, Future Perfect published by Elsewhen Press last year, introduced an uncomfortable vision of a future world, in which Britain is now known as State 11. As a result of bio-terrorist attacks the population live in Citidomes for protection and are kept under control by a combination of government manipulation and social pressure that is fed and maintained by reality TV shows. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment, ensuring the elimination of personal relationships. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall, thin, androgynous appearance, and peer pressure reinforces a shallow culture in which looks are everything.
Researchers for the recently published Children’s Society Good Childhood 2015 report surveyed the well-being of children in England and compared the results with data from 14 other countries as part of the Children’s Worlds project. One of the worrying findings was that girls in England ranked second lowest for happiness with their body, lowest for self-confidence and third lowest for happiness with their appearance. Even more worrying was a much more marked gender imbalance in England than in most other countries, with the mean ‘satisfaction with aspects of self’ score for boys about 15% higher than for girls. “It’s upsetting to see young people become obsessed with body image from an early age”, says Katrina Mountfort. While researchers and public policy-makers need to understand the implications of these results for society as whole, it falls to speculative fiction authors like Katrina to consider what would happen if this gets out of hand or, worse, is deliberately manipulated by a ruthless state.
In Future Perfect, Caia and Mac fled their oppressive lives and discovered that life is possible outside in the surviving villages. Sixteen years on, they now call themselves Cathy and Michael, have three children and Citidome life is a distant memory. But for Cathy, village life is no longer idyllic. While Michael is famed as the leader of the Alliance of Outside Communities, she is left literally holding the baby. While Michael unveils his most audacious plan yet to liberate rebels from the Citidomes, will his devotion to the cause cost him the love of his wife and daughter? And will his plan endanger his life, as well as those of his allies?
Forbidden Alliance is also the story of their sixteen year-old daughter Joy. Fiercely intelligent but with limited career options, she fights against the future her father has planned for her: marriage to village boy Matt. Forbidden from seeing the nomadic canal-dwelling boy she has loved since childhood, she finds friendship from an unexpected source: BodyPerfect ex-citizen Ryan. In addition to the issues explored in Future Perfect, Forbidden Alliance poses additional questions of leadership, family loyalties and whether it is possible to justify the sacrifice of human lives for the greater good.
Forbidden Alliance is available from today on all popular eBook platforms. It will be out in paperback in November 2015.
Notes for Editors
About Katrina Mountfort
Katrina Mountfort 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, the first book in the Blueprint trilogy, was her debut novel.
Once again, Tanya Reimer is peeking into the life of a fellow Elsewhen Press author on her blog Life’s Like That – this time her interviewee is Katrina Mountfort author of the Blueprint trilogy which started with Future Perfect last year and continues with the second book, Forbidden Alliance, currently available for pre-order prior to publication on Friday of this week. Tanya, author of Ghosts on the Prairies, a Sacred Land Story and the upcoming Can’t Dream Without You, talks to Katrina about her motivation for writing the Blueprint trilogy; the real audience for YA fiction: ages 13 to 88 and Katrina’s husband (who I’m pretty sure is well within that age range anyway); how Katrina’s best ideas come to her while walking her dogs; and what she has left to do on her bucket list.
After setting the scene and introducing the characters of Caia and Mac, Cathy starts her review by saying that “Future Perfect is a terrific and well written debut novel”. She goes on to say that following the story from Caia’s perspective is “fascinating” as she comes to realise the superficiality of Citidome life and “struggles with the feelings she doesn’t initially understand for Mac”. Cathy says she loves “the descriptions of Caia’s discoveries in the real world, from snowflakes to bluebells, the whole concept of being ‘outside’ and able to think and speak for herself without reprisal”.
Cathy commends Katrina for “very cleverly and subtly” developing the shallowness of a society devoted to “celebrity perfection and reality TV”. She concludes that, together with “the oppression practised on the populace it’s a frightening yet, at the same time, believable concept of a dystopian future”.
You can read Cathy’s full review on her blog here.
Future Perfect is the first book in the Blueprint trilogy and is available in both eBook and paperback. The second book in the trilogy, Forbidden Alliance, is available for pre-order as an eBook in advance of its publication on the 4th September, and will be out in paperback in December.
In Katrina Mountfort’s vision of the future, as portrayed in her Blueprint trilogy, citizens living inside Citidomes are kept safe, but highly controlled. Discouraged from ‘subversive thinking’ they can’t even imagine the world beyond the dome. We, on the other hand, can think outside the box (see what I did there?). To help us imagine what’s out there, we not only have Katrina’s words but the evocative covers of the books, the second of which, Forbidden Alliance, will be published in September. Now we can have a sneak peek at the cover by artist Alex Storer.
Forbidden Alliance continues the story of Caia and Mac from Future Perfect. Now, sixteen years later, they are known as Cathy and Michael and living a village life. Michael is also leader of the Alliance of Outside Communities and preoccupied with his most audacious plan yet to liberate rebels from inside the Citidomes, a plan that not only endangers him but his family and many of their allies. Their daughter Joy, a rebel too of sorts, is fighting against the village future planned for her by Michael and forbidden from seeing her true love Harry who lives on the canals; but her illusions about life in the Citidomes are about to be shattered with shocking consequences.