In the Fullness of Time

Young Adult - Thriller
85 Pages
Reviewed on 09/25/2021
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Author Biography

Carolyn R. Russell’s latest novel is “In the Fullness of Time,” a dystopian thriller published by Vine Leaves Press in 2020. Her poetry, essays and short stories have been featured or are forthcoming in numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, 3rd Wednesday, Litro Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, Club Plum Literary Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Orca: a Literary Journal, and Lowestoft Chronicle. Carolyn lives on and writes from Boston’s North Shore. More at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

In the Fullness of Time by Carolyn R. Russell takes us into a world ravaged by climate change, overpopulation, and by humanity eager to get rid of mankind’s most dangerous foe: mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the extinction of mosquitoes unbalances the ecosystem, and the world has been on a rapid decline ever since. A lot has changed in a fast-forward to the future: food is scarce, humans are overpopulated, and the air is toxic. People are barely getting by, and the government is scarcely helping. Somerset Whitman will not just idly sit by and watch everything crumble further. Despite being from a privileged background, Somerset allies herself with the underprivileged and is determined to make a change and expose the criminal acts done to the people. Along the way, she might discover secrets she never expected.

Carolyn R. Russell’s dystopian novel took me on a thrilling, dangerous ride through the portrayal of a futuristic world. With Somerset Whitman as my guide, I traversed through an apocalyptic-like setting, a result of humanity’s mistake and the world’s steady downfall through the years. Somerset Whitman is born into a privileged background, but she sees through the secular church that forms the government and is horrified by how the people are treated. I admire her courage to side with what she believes is right even though it could put her in danger. Somerset is headstrong and compassionate. Her retaliation against the government’s criminal acts and growth throughout the novel is an enticing read. The author skillfully imbues the story with unique concepts, like the government-sponsored spiritual death release, and well-balanced characters. It is heartbreaking to think of the reasons why people would joyfully arrange their death in this tormented world. Overall, I found In the Fullness of Time to be an absorbing and stimulating read. It has unexpected twists and turns that constantly kept me on my toes and thought-provoking situations that have left their mark on my heart. Truly excellent!

Pikasho Deka

In the Fullness of Time by Carolyn R. Russell is a young adult sci-fi thriller set in a futuristic dystopia where humans willingly sacrifice themselves to the Reverie to receive the Gift. After an ill-advised attempt to eradicate mosquitos, a devastating disaster hits the earth's ecosystem, resulting in a population explosion and a severe food shortage. Humanity recuperates by banding itself into Factions. Somerset Whitman belongs to a multi-generation family of Tempedral Clerics whose sole purpose is to brainwash people into seeking the Reverie. Tired of watching the tyrannical rule of States Director Grayson Taft, Somerset joins a rebel group that secretly fights against the establishment. But when her uncle discovers her ruse, a larger conspiracy emerges that will change everything.

If you're a fan of movies like The Hunger Games, you're going to love In the Fullness of Time. Author Carolyn R. Russell transports you to a futuristic dystopia filled with action, romance, and political intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot moves at a blistering pace, filled with unexpected twists and turns that you never see coming. Somerset is a likable protagonist that you can't help rooting for, and her gradual evolution as a strong-willed young woman taking on the establishment is one of the book's primary highlights. The premise is unique and authentic. I was particularly impressed by the concept of the Reverie. I would highly recommend this book to fans of sci-fi dystopian novels.

Vincent Dublado

It all starts with mosquitoes—vectors of a plague that has thrown humanity into disarray. What’s left is a bleak panorama that Carolyn R. Russell starkly illustrates in her book In the Fullness of Time. Most animals have become extinct, the air and water are polluted, food is scarce, and homelessness abounds. The United States is no longer united, and people find eternal solace in the government-sponsored Reverie. Somerset Whitman is among the few fortunate citizens who belong to a family of clerics, and the story unfolds from her point of view. Despite enjoying a privileged life, she becomes a champion of the oppressed upon discovering the sinister realities that the government conceals. She works with an underground resistance to topple the government while taking care of an orphaned little girl. Her world keeps getting smaller as the government relentlessly hunts down those who dare to oppose the system.

For all the intensity of its social and political commentaries, In the Fullness of Time is very outspoken. Carolyn R. Russell’s dystopian vision is effective as a cautionary tale. Somerset’s blossoming relationship with Jake, the resistance leader, provides some of the best moments in this novel. She learns so much from him as the cell leader, while she finds him annoying and comforting at the same time. But despite all their moments, the outcome of what they are fighting for is the true determinant of their happiness. At the end of this novel, you become conscious of larger themes and philosophical thoughts, of freedom and the chance to take care of this planet. Such things are worth contemplating, which makes this work a great reading choice.