Severed Roots

A dystopian tale

Christian - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
310 Pages
Reviewed on 02/08/2023
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Author Biography

Nego Huzcotoq is an award-winning author living in Toronto, Canada with his high-powered wife and their five visionary children. He is always looking to learn, try new things and grow as a person. He likes to read everything under the sun, both fiction and non-fiction, as long as it's well written. Among his favourite novelists are Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, George Orwell, Cormac McCarthy, Suzanne Collins, Chaim Potok, Jerzy Kosinski and Jeanne DuPrau. His favourite genre is dystopian.

Many people think of dystopian fiction as taking place in a totalitarian society, or in a post-apocalyptic one. But a dystopian story can also be set in a democracy -–highliting the moral depravity, inequalities, existential loneliness, etc, that a FREE and DEMOCRATIC society has drifted towards. Nego likes to write dystopian fiction that is thought-provoking as it puts a lens to current societal controversies like marriage, patriarchy, gender and the continued relevance of the nuclear family. One of the key themes in Severed Roots is: Who are you if you have no roots, no real connections?

Nego is currently writing the sequel to Severed Roots. In the process, he is fascinated by the question of how and to what extent dystopian fiction can be used not just to provoke reflection on social problems but also point to solutions. What are the techniques and approaches to achieving that?

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Severed Roots by Nego Huzcotoq is a timely dystopian novel that touches on a contemporary social issue regarding sex and gender equality and makes a bold prediction as to where a matriarchal society could lead. Picture a world run and managed by women where the rates of violence have been greatly reduced as the result of men becoming sidelined. It all sounds so promising. Nick Wong is part of the male populace and is a product of an education system that prohibits any form of patriarchy. On the other hand, Beatrice Tender has been conditioned by feminist philosophies that would never give back power to men who they refer to as 'mankeys.' Nick finds Beatrice to be different, as she respects his ideas, and he then discovers that he can truly care for another person. But society will not allow their mutual feelings to bloom.

I make a bold prediction that Severed Roots may well become a classic in the tradition of 1984 and Brave New World. As the story revolves around the notion of feminist totalitarianism, Nego Huzcotoq powerfully explores the unseen disease of an ostensibly utopian world in which violence is almost eradicated and the citizenry appears content, but sacrificing freedom in its wider sense makes the system deplorable. This novel is highly interesting as it illustrates the dangers of radicalism and fanaticism. Huzcotoq sends the message that no single ideology has the power to save us successfully, and this theme is what makes the story so thought-provoking. It could even stir drastic reactions because it will likely strike a nerve. This is not a complex read and it is sure to leave a lasting impression. It’s a tale that I will not forget, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever contemplated the concepts of gender, sex, and equality.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Severed Roots by Nego Huzcotoq is a dystopian novel about a futuristic society ruled by women. In this world, women are groomed for leadership while men are taught subservience. Family, considered a patriarchal construct, is a criminal offense. Women become “manufacturers” of children who are conditioned to the idea of individuality, while men are conveniently termed “mankeys” and considered second-class citizens. They are made to believe that gender reassignment is the only way to have a better life. In the middle of all this is Nick Wong, a gig magician who is a product of the Children’s Centre. These are government-run schools designed to cultivate girls to live in the new society and to condition boys into thinking that they are the by-product of a long history of patriarchal corruption and abuse and that they must follow the New World Order rules. Nick is different. He begins to see the world around him in a new light. His increasing curiosity and desire to seek the truth escalate into a quest for human connection. With the help of Beatrice, a good friend and confidant, they both embark on a journey that will change their lives forever.

Severed Roots by Nego Huzcotoq examines the matriarchal society where men are stripped of their power and are considered second-class citizens and where the concept of family is rejected in favor of individualistic principles. Huzcotoq puts into perspective the far-reaching consequences of this New World Order that is strictly feminist in design. Through its magnificently constructed narrative, Huzcotoq interweaves ideas and conversations about gender inequality and the concept of family, conveniently creating a distinction between matriarchal and patriarchal ideals. It explores the harm of human individuality and disconnection through the eyes of the characters that we meet in the story. The overarching theme of Huzcotoq’s novel is the importance of building genuine human connections regardless of your gender identity or what you believe in. The world is more complex and more chaotic than we think. In an unforgiving fictional world such as this, finding solace and comfort in other people is a luxury not everyone can afford.

Pikasho Deka

Severed Roots is a dystopian thriller by Nego Huzcotoq. The story is set in an alternate world where the patriarchy has been successfully removed. It has been replaced by a female-dominated society in which men are the subservient gender, and whose population and birth rates are closely controlled and monitored by the government. Nick Wong is a magician who grew up in the dreaded Children's Centers. Like the rest of his fellow men, Nick is seemingly willing to do his part to right the wrongs of the past. However, when his best friend Beatrice plunges into a spiral of despair over her desire to start a family, it sets off a chain of events leading Nick to a place that may provide the two with a bright future. Will he succeed?

Nego Huzcotoq capitalizes on an intriguing premise and weaves an engaging plot to keep readers invested until the end. What if men were subservient to women in society? Will it end wars and bring peace? What is the true role of the traditional family structure? These are some of the questions examined in Severed Roots. Huzcotoq wastes little time in getting the reader into the scheme of things, doing a stellar job of creating a world that feels like a genuine totalitarian dystopia. Nick has a likable personality that you find easy to identify with, which makes him a compelling protagonist. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to readers who love dystopian tales.