Utopia 58

A decent read that features controlling leaders, mind control, and a society forced into poverty and pain.


  • Are in the mood for a dystopian
  • Want an action-packed read

TitleUtopia 58 | Author: Daniel Arenson | Rating: 2.5/5

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked this up, but it ended up being better than I thought it would be. Certainly no Hunger Games, but Utopia 58 has its own spin on ruthless dictators who poison the populace and use electric shock and training camps to get the proletariat masses in line.

In Utopia 58, everyone is equal. Everyone must be equal.

Too beautiful? A mask will hide that pretty face. Too tall? We'll saw your legs down to size. Too male or female? The surgeon's knife will fix that. Too smart? A buzzer in your skull will drown out all that pesky thinking. You will be equal. Like it or not. A society with no race, gender, or age. Pure equality. KB209 was born into this utopia. He has no true name. He is one among millions. The same.

I thought the pacing was good and it drew me in enough that I continued reading, just to find out what KB209’s backstory was. The setting was dismal, a gray world that sits next to “enemy land,” filled with the “Zionists” who live like animals. Really, though, the Zionists are the ones who live the way our world does, and have love and color and the arts and everything in between.

One day, at a propaganda rally, KB209 glimpses an act of startling defiance. A citizen with painted toenails. A woman in a genderless society. Color in a black and white world. When KB209 confronts her, he is drawn into an underground rebellion. A movement that dares to dream. That dares to say: "We are unique. We are individuals. We will be free!"

The book seems to be a mashup of The Giver, 1984, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games, and it blends everything deftly. KB209’s life, like everyone else’s, is to wake up, go to work, enjoy some fresh human milk at a milk bar, and get home before curfew. There’s no time to read, enjoy a good walk, visit with friends much, or anything else worth doing in this life. It’s a dismal, colorless, soulless life.

But KB209 is awoken and his eyes are opened to the truth of his life, and everyone else’s in his community. The leaders are selfish and greedy, the proletariat work only for the leaders’ benefit, and they live in an oppressive society.

Overall, the book had promise that it didn’t live up to, and yet, delivered a story I kept wanting to continue. I did find portions of the storyline forced, especially towards the end. Religion was thrown in, but not in a way that fit the storyline, and other aspects, like the pirates or the body parts falling out of bodies, felt thrown in as afterthoughts. The beginning of the book drew me in, but the last third ruined it for me.

However, it was still a decent dystopian that will get you thinking. I especially loved KB209 remembering flashes of his life before he became equal like everyone else. It’s a glimpse into a Socialistic world that is worse than anything in human history.

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