New America Awakenings

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
384 Pages
Reviewed on 12/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Tyler lives in Oregon with his husband, dog, and dogcat. Tyler has been writing for over 35 years. He has had several short screenplays produced and an internet television series. His debut novel, New America: Awakenings, is a story of coming of age in a world that is neither friendly or accepting. What if the America we knew didn't exist with our freedoms and democracy? What if the government controlled everything and wanted you dead? What would you be willing to give up in order to survive?

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Have you ever read a book that had you so riveted you were shocked to realize you had reached the end of the story? That's what happened to me as I raced through the pages of New America Awakenings by Tyler Davis. Davis had me on the edge of my seat as I read about a world in the not so distant, or not even improbable future. In this future world, America has broken down into civil war and the primary issues are now race and religion with religion trumping everything. Those not in power survive on protein bars and live in run-down or bombed apartment projects. They live in constant fear of saying or doing anything that could be considered blasphemy, and punishments are horrifically cruel. Picture heads, not one but many, dropping into troughs after being guillotined en masse, or a young teen receiving ten skin-shredding lashes for speaking out to save a parent. Worse yet? Imagine sick people, both seniors and infants, being treated with poison during a pandemic. What a hell of a world! It’s a world that conjures up the Inquisition or bloodied bodies in the Colosseum, a world in which it is mandated that citizens watch the cruel purging of society.

This is the world in which teenager Colt Jenkins and his family try to survive under constant fear of being reported by their neighbor across the street, Katherine Shay, the narcissistic and self-appointed messenger from God. Katherine is ever-watchful and ready to pounce on Colt or anyone who displeases her on her way to the top of not just religious, but political power. Despite Katherine, Colt is determined to save himself, his family, and his friends from Katherine’s machinations. Does he do it? This is the point where you turn the last page hoping to find out. But what you find, as has been the case throughout the book, is there’s so much more going on behind the scenes in this novel and it’s going to take the next book to see the full picture. Frustrating? For sure. But so clever you won’t mind waiting to read what happens next. New America Awakenings is based on a unique concept, with a thoroughly engaging plot, lots of dialogue, realistic and relatable characters, and the universal theme of love of family and friends standing in sharp contrast to self-importance and man's inhumanity to man…gripping in every way. Read it!

Pikasho Deka

New America Awakenings is a dystopian political thriller by author Tyler Davis. Colton Jenkins is a teenager living in New Bethlehem, a Christian town in New America ravaged by post-election civil war and segregated along the lines of race, religion, and sexual orientation. Ruled by the cruel and ruthless government stooge, Ms. Katherine Shay, the population of New Bethlehem is controlled by a combination of disinformation, fear-mongering, and medieval corporal punishment. Already whipped for a misdemeanor on the orders of Katherine, Colton, along with his friends and family, live in a constant state of fear and subjugation. But when children start getting separated from parents, Colton must choose between following an oppressive dictatorship or letting his inner rebellious nature take over and fight.

New America Awakenings is a well-written introspective study and exploration of segregation on top of being a highly compelling coming of age story. Tyler Davis's novel deftly taps into the growing divide of the American populace in the name of race, religion, and political affiliations and perfectly encapsulates the ramifications and consequences of such an environment in a highly imaginative futuristic dystopia. Fans of books such as The Hunger Games should find this very entertaining as it bears some striking resemblances with its premise and dystopian ambiance. But the similarities end there as New America Awakenings has a refreshing and original story with distinct and unique characters. I was mesmerized by the characters and thoroughly engrossed in the plot. I am eagerly awaiting the sequels as it's only the first installment of the series.

Romuald Dzemo

New America Awakenings by Tyler Davis is a meld of dystopian and coming of age; a powerful commentary on contemporary American political reality. The political underpinnings are strong. A polarized election has left America splintered by civil war and a failed invasion. What emerges from the rubble is a New America, divided into projects based on race and religion, a nation in which the president has full control of the press and rules by decrees broadcasted through television. There are those who turn protesters or lawbreakers like Katherine Shay, the keeper of law in the New Bethlehem Project. Against this hostile backdrop, Colt Jenkins, a resident of New Bethlehem Project understands that the government is not what it seems after being humiliated by Katherine. Now, he must fight to protect his family and friends. Can he succeed against a repressive government and its ruthless agents?

This is a good story with a protagonist that I adored; a sixteen-year-old boy who is still filled with innocence, struggling to survive an oppressive rule. The story revolves around him and it is interesting how quickly he transforms from an innocent young man to a responsible fighter who will stay the course to protect those he loves. The writing features strong social commentaries, depicting what happens when hard-core conservatives strip everyone of their fundamental rights and control citizens and information. As I read this story, I found myself mulling over the reality of the 2020 elections and what it could mean for the American people. In a sense, this cleverly plotted and intelligently written novel can be read as a powerful warning of what American can be if the electoral institutions are breached — a threat that is so real today! New America Awakenings by Tyler Davis is a page-turner; an action-packed, hard-to-put-down dystopian story.