This is now the second book of the fantastic Juche series, which has been reorganized. The original Books 1 and 2 (previously reviewed here) were consolidated into Book 1, The Demon of Yodok. This new book, The Weeping Masses, is now Book 2. As the book opens, something terrible has happened to Areum’s sister Nari, and Areum is reeling, trying to take care of her family but also burning with the desire for revenge.
The terror at the camp continues, and Areum does what she can to survive. When she and Nari are assigned to a work group, more challenges arise. Areum struggles to protect her family and herself as the terrors of a concentration camp rain around her. She begins to make difficult choices and uses her skills as a gymnast and martial artist to survive, but takes risks for which there must be consequences. She also makes alliances which she knows may fall through at any moment. Will Areum and her family survive, and what new horrors lay in wait for them?
This excellent dystopian series continues to shock and provide a realistic look at an evil military dictatorship. The first 20 percent of this book is very dark and bleak, but you have to expect that from a concentration camp. Then the story picks up steam and the author throws in little glimmers of hope in the midst of all the darkness. This is a realistic read and makes you wonder what you would do to protect yourself in a situation like this. Areum is thrust into many ethical battles by her cruel overlords. Areum’s struggles with evil captors, difficult choices, and her own rage are well written by the author. Surprises abound in this novel, and the reader will be on the edge of their seat. I would recommend this to anyone interested in dystopian fiction or historical fiction, as you will recognize the Kingdom of Chosun as a country that exists today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adria Carmichael is a writer of dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or bingeing a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.