on May 20, 2016 :
'Dreams of Kratocracy' is a deeply saddening and beautiful book. The author has set the tale in Europian. Europian is a dystopian fictional future world that is worse yet likely eerily similar in some ways to the world that the human race is headed toward (a world where the gap between the haves and have-nots widens as power including money trumps our own humanity). In Europian, oppressive societal control exists under the illusion of a perfect society created by the powers that be. In the tradition of stark, dark future societies, this dark futuristic literary science-fiction novel is reminiscent yet not at all derivative of George Orwell's '1984.' In the future super-state of Europian, a police inspector, Inspector Beech, stumbles into evidence of the secret dark, controlled Kratocracy--the Government controlled reality created by those who seized power--during a routine accident investigation. The society is largely numb, humorless, poor, and so down-trodden that they accept their domination by the well-to-do who are in power politically and otherwise. I found the numb naïvitee of Inspector Beech, the main character, and the highly-structured dark and forbidding, yet curiously banal, setting and story line to be very realistic, plausible, and appropriate for the story. The themes of power-mongering, apathy, and flawed politics and values, are highly intelligent. The prose style is spare and clipped and the pace of the plot is fast. The plot is an exploration of the dark side of politics and political agendas and the unraveling of one man's life. The book will quite likely make you think a great deal more about the shadowy machinations of politicians around the world. Beech's life-changing investigation reveals the current Europian regime's conspiracy to wipe out Jow... a passionate grass-roots political opponent who is successfully campaigning to become president of the Europian parliament. In the course of his life's unraveling, Beech feels a passion and intense love, for reporter Fiona, likely for the first time in his life. The reviews for this book are polarized, quite likely because the author avoids the trite Hollywood ending that most readers, perhaps largely American readers, seem to prefer. Certain readers who do not enjoy the literature of bygone era, books by authors such as H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, or George Orwell and the like, may not enjoy or entirely get this work of literary fiction. If you do like or love the aforementioned authors then, as I did, you will likely very much enjoy this book. 'Dreams in Kratocracy' is scarily reflective of what modern society may become. Happy reading~*
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 7, 2015 :
"Wilde Sky has written a futuristic short story set in Europian, a totalitarian society some twenty years in the future. The story centres around an unassuming character named Beech who becomes entwined in a high-level conspiracy to wipe out a political opponent to the current regime.
Beech, haunted by strange dreams, at first fulfils his role as a law enforcement agent and investigates the crime only to realise there is more going on than meets the eye. As the story proceeds, Beech calls into question his own allegiances, not only to his employment but his relationship to his father and even the structure of Europian society itself. Beech is anodyne, plain, almost robotic and the reader never knows how human anyone can be in Europian.
Widle's language is simple and straightforward. The prose is not flowery or complicated and somehow shifts the pace along. At times I thought the prose could
be more vivid although that said, there are bursts of rich description which become satisfying. There's plenty of action sequences which could lend themselves to a
screenplay or movie. I also think the story could be well marketed to a younger age group e.g. teenage reader. Wilde has cleverly mixed in cues from well known futuristic movies/novels - there are hints of Matrix, Total recall, 1984, even quotations from Pink Floyd. Overall quite entertaining."
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 12, 2015 :
Kratocracy - Government by those who are strong enough to seize power, just in case you didn’t know. Amazingly, a word I never heard before. A word none of my friends have heard of either. It’s dangerous to put obscure words in titles unless they’re meant to be discovered in the story. It makes the author look insecure and could possibly insult his audience.
“Dreams in Kratocracy,” has a simple storyline. A naïve character wakes ignorance to the reality of the harsh world around him. The plot progresses logically carried forward in a story-long chase to its conclusion. The novella’s basic structure is solid, albeit unchallenging. I’ll be frank. The story could use some work.
Designed as a paranoia-play in a Big Brother’esk world, the story fails to deliver the required menace. The hero is unbelievably naïve. It sometimes seems that the author himself has difficulty connecting with him, referring to him by his last name, “Beech,” throughout the book. He starts out as a faceless, ineffectual bureaucrat and fails to convincingly progress to action hero. It’s the characters nativity to the obvious around them that holds them back.
People know what’s going on around them. In this brutal world Sky has created, everyone exhibits a complete lack of cynicism, or even a sense of humor. The story constantly looks for proof of nature of their world before acceptance of belief. It’s been my experience that real human beings are exactly the opposite. On one hand there seems to be semi-organized resistance, little better than a Saturday hobbyist club, and on the other hand you have people in opposition parties that stand around waiting to be killed like all their predecessors. In this world, having a device that shuts down all the cameras within a mile would instigate a brutal house to house search the first time it was successfully turned on.
Characters are presented rather than discovered. “The Chief,” for instance, an antagonist, is presented as a simple nonstop sadist. Everyone calls him “The Chief.” No one would be called “The Chief” in the real world. Behind his back, coworkers would call him “Chiefie” or “The Bastard.” He would have a last name. Council members might use his first name familiar. There’s no depth here, or in any of the characters. It’s a case of “telling,” as opposed to describing.
I do not like writing bad reviews. Normally I would, in situations like this, deliver a critique through email, but the forum I found this story through requires a public review. I apologize to the author.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)