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Science Fiction

Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth
Published by titan Books on February 21, 2023
ISBN: 9781803363646
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Exploration
Pages: 128
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
four stars - Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

A brand-new novella from the New York Times bestseller of Divergent.
A thrilling, profoundly moving science fiction retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone filled with inevitable doom, heart-break and one final act of courage.
Outside the last city on Earth, the planet is a wasteland. Without the Archive, where the genes of the dead are stored, humanity will end.
Antigone's parents – Oedipus and Jocasta – are dead. Passing into the Archive should be cause for celebration, but with her militant uncle Kreon rising to claim her father's vacant throne, all Antigone feels is rage.
When he welcomes her and her siblings into his mansion, Antigone sees it for what it really is: a gilded cage, where she is a captive as well as a guest.
But her uncle will soon learn that no cage is unbreakable. And neither is he.

Arch-Conspirator was a quick and enjoyable read. Veronica Roth was a new author for me, but I found myself really enjoying her writing style – the storytelling and dialogue felt refreshing and with purpose, not a word was wasted. An Antigone retelling in a sci-fi dystopian world – the pages flew by as I was entranced by the worldbuilding.

If you’ve enjoyed the original tale of Antigone, then I think you’re going to enjoy Roth’s reimagining. There’s the same feminist, control and conquer themes but with a sci-fi twist.  The character development is well researched and imagined, it was really outstanding considering the low page count. The dystopian world was a nice touch to the original story.

Sometimes you pick a book, and it ends up being more than reading a book – its an experience. I travelled to far flung lands and a different time and it was glorious.

The earth is a barren landscape, nothing survives, and nothing grows. Funny – I could imagine this coming to be in a few decades/generations, climate change is already in full force, is this what we have to look forward to – ground unfit for purpose and the women used for nothing but vessels? Sounds absolutely bleak if you ask me.

When your time comes and you die, your ichor (soul and gene material) is extracted and stored in the archives. The prospective parents can wander the halls of the Archive and made a choice -be that looking for something like their parents or grandparents. It’s the closest thing to a designer baby that could be imaginable.

The story is doomed from the start – this isn’t the kind of book to pick up if you are looking for a happy ending. It’s a testament of grief and deep-seated longing. There’s heartbreak on every page from enforced pregnancies to unwanted betrothals, its typical of the Greek way of storytelling.


image 1 - Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

VERONICA ROTH is the New York Times best-selling author of Poster GirlChosen OnesArch-Conspirator, the Divergent series, and the Carve the Mark duology. She is also the guest editor of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2021. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Veronica Roth

four stars - Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

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