I’ve got to be honest. I’m a big fan of Black Romance. Its probably my number one favorite genre to read. But a super close number two is science fiction. I’m a big fan of alternative worlds, vampire/werewolf dramas, planet of the apes apocalyptic end of the world stuff. I don’t know what first drew me, but ever since I was a kid reading R.L. Stine books, I’ve been into this ish! As of late, I haven’t really been reading these types of books. The ladies of Black Romances have got me stuck on love and romance and I’ve been marinating in these stories. But I randomly ran across The Gender Game by Bella Forrest one day and I read the blurb. I was like, let me check this out. Man let me tell yall, this book got me!
Alright, if you all knew me in real life, you’d know that I’m a big proponent of Social Justice (Its basically about human rights; dignity; political, economical, social, and other equality). So when I read that this book was about two societies, one patriarchal and another matriarchal, I was like Yes, Lit! I love the idea of the two different societies, one lead by women and another by men. I mean, who wouldn’t be curious about what that would look like!?
This story starts out with the introduction of these two societies. Women rule the east and the men run the west. A river separates the two “kingdoms”, Matrus and Patrus. And the two kingdoms clearly represent who’s running things. Men’s rights are minimized in Matrus, and similarly Women’s rights are non-existent in Patrus. Both worlds are freakin crazy! Women aren’t allowed to go out in public without an “escort” in Patrus and men are tested at the age of 6 to see if they will be “aggressive” as adults! Only those who “pass” the test are allowed to stay in Matrus, the rest are sent to the freakin mines. Y’all, that’s crazy.
Our main character in this tale is Violet Bates. She’s from Matrus and has lived there her whole life. She currently living in a detention home. Let’s just say, she’s made some not so good choices. At a young age, she tried to sneak her baby brother to Patrus because he didn’t pass the test and would be sent to the mines. They got caught. Strike one. Then one day she was in school and she got into a fight with another girl. She picked up a knife (or was it a fork?! Eh!) and the other girl DIED! Strike two. Its illegal to fight against another woman in Matrus with a weapon. After this she was moved to a detention facility/factory. Once again, another girl attacked her. And while this time she didn’t produce a weapon, the other girl did. They fought and the took the weapon from the other girl, used it. ANOTHER DEAD GIRL! Talk about cray. This time they snactched her out ASAP. She just knew she was going to be put to death after this. But as luck would have it, her special propensity for fighting, actually made her stand out for a special project. Spy!
The Matrus government had something stolen from it by the Patrus government. So with Violet’s special skills and propensity for violence, she’s been selected for this special mission. In return, she gets her brother back from the mines, and her criminal record will be wiped out. Simple retrieve and return mission right? Wrong! Nothing is what it seems and nothing goes as planned. Its crazy yall and its book one of seven!! Argh!
When I started this book, I thought it was a standalone. I figured, let me check this crazy story out. Turns out there’s a lot to check out. If you’re into alternative society, a bit hunger games without the hunger games, planet of the apes, but with people, then this is for you!! I really love this story type. I’m already reading book two. Yes it started off a bit slow-ish, but still captivating. And the end will have you reaching for book two! Bella Forrest is one of those authors who will have you reading book after book. Years ago I read her vampire series and I had to stop after book 15 or so. It was too much! I think the series went on to 23!!! Too much!! So definitely check this series out! I’m not going to review each book cause, its too much, but if I finish all seven books, I’ll provide an update! 🙂 Also, I’d spoil the story if I say what’s happening, my personal motto is, “No spoilers from me!”
Author Bio: Bella Forrest is a lover of fantasy, romance, action, and mystery infused stories with twists you don’t see coming. She has sold over seven million books since her first novel was published in 2012.