The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski

The Annihilation of Foreverland
written by Tony Bertauski          
published by Tony Bertauski via Smashwords

Why did I pick this book: I received a review request from the author, Tony Bertauski, and I happily accepted the request. (The author provided me with a free digital copy of his book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: It was a good story that kept me interested. I read it every free chance I had because I wanted – no, I had to see how the story ended. Let it be noted that I do not read science fiction that often but I thought this book was pretty good.

It was fairly fast-paced…only a few slow parts. I liked that the reader does not have to have a background in computers to understand the underlying story and the plot. The premise was quite interesting. Imagine a remote island with a bunch of old, dying men and young, teenage boys. At first glance, you may think this is going to be very sick and twisted but the real reason behind it – while twisted – is not the way your initial thoughts may have been. These boys are given free reign of most of an island where they get to play video/virtual reality games, go to class but not have homework, hang out on the beach. They just have to have a needle inserted into their frontal lobe every few weeks and go into an alternate reality…Foreverland.

I definitely had my favorite characters and characters that I wanted to disappear into Nowhere. My favorites were Danny Boy, Zin, and Reed. I even liked Mr. Jones to a degree. I know, Mr. Jones was a “bad” guy so to speak, but he seemed to genuinely care about Danny Boy and not just for the reason he sponsored him. Zin ended up being a great friend to Danny Boy. Reed was a tragic character that you wanted to see succeed in his resistance. And Danny Boy was such a smart kid…a wrong choice for this island, that’s for sure!

However, there were some things that I did not enjoy about this book. 

In Chapter 7, the description of the boys going into the Haystack – it being Danny Boy’s first time there – disturbed me a bit. I didn’t think the author had to use so much detail. It was borderline obscene, inappropriate, and unnecessary to the story as a whole. I understand the author’s purpose – to get the readers to feel as uncomfortable as the boys – but I really felt that it parts of this description unnecessary and just disturbing.

There were quite a few typos that detracted from the flow of the book…misspellings as well as some incorrect and omitted words – mistakes that are easily overlooked, but mistakes that should not have happened. A majority of these mistakes happened at the end of the book making me think the author wrote as fast as he could to finish and didn’t think about proofreading. However, these typos and mistakes did not deter me from wanting to finish this book. They were a blip that was easily overlooked because of the action and intensity and my drive to find out how it ended.

Would I recommend it: If you are a science fiction fan, yes, I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great read with enough excitement and mystery to hook you in and not let you go until you finish.

Will I read it again: I will not. While the story was good and kept me reading, it was not a story that I would re-read. (As I said, I am not a huge sci-fi fan…I enjoy reading this genre, just not over and over.)

About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: Danny Boy woke up to find himself on an island, in a hospital bed, with a strange old man hovering over him and without his memory. He could not remember how he got to the island or what happened to him. He does not know his “investor”, Mr. Jones. All he knows is that he is at this resort with a bunch of other teenage guys  who had the same thing happen to them. Except they each had their own investor.

Danny Boy, along with all of the other boys on this island, are told that there is something wrong with their minds and that they are on the island to be fixed. They are part of a program that utilizes an alternate reality that boys dubbed “Foreverland.” The boys – with the exception of Reed – cannot wait to take the needle and enter Foreverland. They believe that their minds are being fixed…even reprogrammed to cure them. Cure them of what, they do not know.

Reed refuses to take the needle each time he enters the Haystack. Why? Because a girl in his dreams tells him to refuse to enter Foreverland. Reed knows he knows this redheaded girl from somewhere and that he loves her deeply. But Reed cannot remember how he knows her or even her name. 

But what really happens when they go to Foreverland? What is going to happen to the boys? Will the boys make it off the island? What will become of Foreverland?

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

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