Recommended Reads: Forbidden Alliance by Katrina Mountfort

Forbidden Alliance

Disclaimer: I’ve got to know Katrina Mountfort through social media and she has written some very lovely reviews of my books. This has had no influence on my review but as a reader you I feel this is something of which you need to be aware.

The Description

The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. In Forbidden Alliance, the second book of the trilogy, more than sixteen years have passed since Caia and Mac, now renamed Cathy and Michael, fled their oppressive lives, although the plight of those who remain in the Citidomes is never far from their minds.
Cathy and Michael now 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 holding the baby. When a chance arises for her to fulfil her potential, will she make the right choices? Michael, however, is too preoccupied to notice Cathy’s personal struggles. Heightened security in the Citidomes has resulted in fewer escapees, a shortage of young farmers and a depleted gene pool in the village. 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 Cathy and Michael’s 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 Harry, the nomadic canal-dwelling boy she has loved since childhood, she finds friendship from an unexpected source: BodyPerfect ex-citizen Ryan, whose perfect Citidome looks are less than perfect in the outside world. And her illusions about life in the Citidomes are about to be shattered.
In addition to the issues explored in Future Perfect, the first book of the trilogy, Forbidden Alliance poses additional questions, including those of leadership, family loyalties and whether it is possible to justify the sacrifice of human lives for the greater good.

 

The Review

Forbidden Alliance is the second book of the blueprint trilogy and takes place sixteen years after the events of Future Perfect (you can read my review of Future Perfect here). In it we find out what has happened to Cathy and Michael since they escaped the dystopian paradise of the Citidome into what has turned out to be a far tougher life outside.

While the storyline from Future Perfect is continued, this is very much a coming-of-age tale, predominantly from the perspective of Joy. Through her eyes we see the strain her parents have lived under, trying to balance the survival of the outside communities when faced with an ageing population and low birth rates, alongside the desire to rescue more people from the Citidomes. At the same time, Joy is encountering the turbulent world of love and relationships for the first time, and when that love is at odds with the needs of her family and community, it sets off a chain of events that will change them all forever.

Forbidden Alliance is a really interesting step change from the more straight-forward escape story of Future Perfect. Setting the book sixteen years in the future has allowed Mountfort to introduce more depth to what was already an excellent story. Her handling of the impact external pressure have had on Cathy and Michael’s relationship, and the claustrophobic pressure of living in quite an insular community, is excellently done.

I found myself personally less involved in the love triangle at the heart of Joy’s story but this is more to do with what interests me rather than any fault with the writing, which captures all the earnestness and heartache of young love to the full. I’m sure the target demographic of this YA novel will lap this storyline up.

Overall this is an excellent middle book to the trilogy, bringing in new storylines, adding depth and setting things up nicely for the third and final part. If you are a fan of YA dystopian novels, you really should give this series a try. Recommended.

To buy Forbidden Alliance from Amazon.co.uk click here

To buy Forbidden Alliance from Amazon.com click here

Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.

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9 thoughts on “Recommended Reads: Forbidden Alliance by Katrina Mountfort

    • Thank you for a great story. I thought your idea of setting the story 16 years after the first worked really well and allows the book to stand well on its own. Also, living in a small village, the tensions of lives living in each other’s pockets rang very true!

  1. Interesting – I literally just finished a book called Breathe – which sounds a bit similar. It’s a YA dystopian – the first book is set in a world where all the oxygen has gone (or has it?) and everyone lives in domes its an escape story… I am about to read the second in which relationships get more complex in a bid to take down the powers that be. I should think I would quite like this story too given I am a MASSIVE YA fan. Yep. It’s going on the TBR pile

    • I definitely recommend you give this one a go. On a separate note, what is it about YA fiction you love so much (or alternately, what do you dislike about other forms of fiction)?

      • Now that is a good question. But I’m literally OBSESSED with YA fiction. Especially fantasy and dystopian.

        I’m not sure – I’m going to have to waffle to see if I can figure it out.

        I have this theory, I talked about it in a blog post a while ago I forget which though. Anyway it says that at some point everyone stops ageing. For me I was 16. I still feel (although older physically and wiser) like a 16 year old. So I relate to the characters. I love love, I life their chase and the ‘does he/she doesn’t he/she’ the fact they are always torn apart only to have a happy ending (or maybe bittersweet).

        I love the pace, they are always fast, and SO visual I love the detail and intricacies of post apocalyptic fiction and the crazy worlds people dream up.

        It’s like that film that u can just watch over and over – let’s be honest most books in that genre have strikingly similar plots. But I don’t care! I lap it up time and time again.

        It’s not that I don’t like other fiction mind. I do and have read other stuff. I had an obsession with Patricia Cornwell for a while and have read a lot of her stuff.
        I just don’t like slow books that are all about the language construction. Ie lit fiction. Give me pace and plot and characters I make my own visuals – u know?

        The passage by Justin cronin is a classic example of that. Amazing book but my god was it long and waffley and so slow but still good book haven’t read the second though.

        Why don’t you like YA as much as other genres? And also didn’t you write YA? Yours is like 3rd in my TBR pile by the way! It won’t be long!

      • I do like YA, as proven by my reviews of this series. There’s also another author I’ve reviewed called Therin Knite who writes great YA novels. I also loved Hunger Games (but found the Catching Fire and Mockingjay to be just OK). I find YA novels that are heavily laden with teenage angst a little too much for my tastes but that’s probably more to do with me being an old fart. 🙂 However, some of the best books I’ve read this year are YA, the Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie.
        The reason I didn’t write my books as YA is because that’s how the story turned out. It would have made more commercial sense for them to appeal to YA readers as it broadens the potential for sales, but my books ended up a lot darker than that.

      • Yes I saw your Therin Knite review that’s actually on my TBR pile too because of your review. In fact most of your recommended reads end up on my pile!

        Ah for some reason I thought that your books were YA, but maybe it’s that you had said about it making commercial sense for them to have been but they weren’t. My brains so full I barely remember what I did in the morning!

        I’ll check out Abercrombie too. I trust your recommendations implicitly.

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