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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Utopia Project: The Frayed Threads of Hope is a work of fiction in the science fiction and post-apocalyptic adventure subgenres. It is intended for the general reading audience and forms the second novel of the Utopia Project trilogy by author Billy Dering. The pace really picks in this second thrilling story, as we are reunited with survivor group leader Kid Carlson whilst he attempts a deadly rescue mission in the Vermont mountains. Meanwhile, a fellow survivor, Heidi Leer, finds herself engulfed by trauma, setting off a chain of dark reactions that will threaten the very core of the survivors’ current livelihoods.
Author Billy Dering was handed the tough task of the middle novel in a trilogy, and he doesn’t disappoint by amping up the action, tension, and excitement in this tale of cross-country chases, deception, survival, and ultimate betrayal. One feature of the work that I found particularly impressive was the pacing and scene-craft, shifting readers from one mood to another and delicately weaving the threads of deceit, tension, and the breakdown of relationships. Dering does this with a confident narration that knows when to hold back and when to deliver. The dialogue was also a highly useful tool for adding elements of mystery and dropping breadcrumbs for readers to follow. On top of this, the cinematic atmosphere of a world in ruins creates the perfect backdrop to complement the plot. Overall, Utopia Project: The Frayed Threads of Hope will be an exciting continuation for those who are already enjoying this series, and it leaves readers with a lot of suspense and promise for the final part.