Dystopia, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review: The Gender Lie | The Gender Game Series by Bella Forrest


“I’d want you to help me win a war…”

After discovering the shocking secret buried deep within The Green, Violet has a grave decision to make. 
Trust the woman who saved her, or not?

So far, everything about the woman has taken Violet by surprise. Her behavior has been honest and upfront – a refreshing change for Violet. Besides, with one of her loved ones hanging on life support, and the other close to falling completely out of reach, Violet doesn’t exactly have a lot of choice.  

Her only way forward is to embark on a dicey excursion. For this, she knows she needs the Liberators’ help – and must be prepared to take whatever risks that comes with. 

But what neither she, nor any of her new Liberator comrades can prepare for, is just how deep the lies of their homelands run…

Continue Violet and Viggo’s journey in the EXPLOSIVE third book of the bestselling The Gender Game series.

3 Stars

Young Adult | Fantasy | Dystopian | Science Fiction

Well we are back – what can I say I am a glutton for punishment but I cannot seem to look away from this series, I just can’t! But I know what you are thinking, Suey, again with the three out of five stars, if you aren’t the hugest fan why give a mediocre rating? Honestly, despite several things, which I will get to shortly, The Gender Game Series has gripped me in a choke-hold to keep truckin’ on because for starters, I am committed now. I need to see where and how this ends. But more importantly, there are good things about this series thus so far, moments that are decently paced, edge of your seat pining for some semblance of interest peeking. Granted there are moment of pure torture of boredom on a multitude of level to get to these moments, but what can I say, again – glutton for punishment.

So what is it about this series? Was The Gender Lie any better? No and yes.

After finding out about the multiple experiments that are done on both male boys in Matrus (mentioned as a cover up with boys being sent to the ‘mines’) and the enhancements done on Matrus off spring in The Gender Secret, I felt that there was a bit more intriguing matters that captivated me enough to continue the series. Honestly, I love a good diabolical mad-scientist twist with all the underlings of political corruption. And surprisingly Forrest did not stutter along on that build for the plot. This really did aid majority of The Gender Lie on a massive level. This is mostly in part to two important factors; New Supporting Characters and the bigger picture towards more webs of deceit, aka: Plot Development. 

Power—there it was again. It baffled me how much people were willing to do and sacrifice in order to gain and keep it. There was a depraved lunacy in the pursuit of it that spoke to the darker side of humanity.

With that though I have to give my first point of disappoint, the plot development was very poorly driven, yet again. There are so many great qualities that would make this series such a phenomenally plot driven page turner and yet, it is very lack luster. On top of this, there are two very irk-like things I have about the writing style that gives the plot development such a bad degree of awful. For starters my mind is in a tizzy. I liked the overall web between web of plot twists, character deceit, the turns of dynamic as we get closer to the end. With this however I either felt that I was being spoon fed the plot that made it very un-enjoyable or it was such a jumbled hot mess that I had to re-listen and even listen again to make sure I was actually comprehending the actual headway of the plot. It was a whirlwind of things clashing together. Between the characters and the world building, I don’t know what was actually relevant to the series if I am being honest.

And before I get to the web of characters that continue to pile on, I will be the first to admit that wow, Violet actually surprised me, though it took about fifty percent of the novel to get to the point of actually appreciating her character. Finally my furry friends, there was some semblance of growth! Halla-flipping-yay. At the start, no surprise here, Violet is incredibly immature still and closed minded. I personally, up to this point haven’t felt her character grow at all. There was a point however, near that ever so fetal sixty percent mark where I finally felt Violet thinking for herself. It took a bit, but I think honestly Violet is seeing everything for what it is, her flaws and faults that up to this point have really put her entire group at risk, but she really matured. She became a powerful foe to the unveiled true villain(s) and she is actually worthy of this title. I admitted it, yep, and I stand by it because up until now she has been this wild, uneven personality who makes reckless and laughable heroine, I want her to grow – I need her to grow.

Though I will be the first to admit, there are no surprises when you realize that Viggo and Violet’s inner monologues are definitely still clouded by their blossoming love for each other, sexual desires oh and, everyone is trying to kill them. But nonetheless there was a part of Viggo that I felt I finally got what I wanted from his character. An actual multi-dimensional thinker. That’s right, when he wasn’t thinking about his primal need for Violet he was actually thinking about the bigger picture, though flawed at times, it was still more than what I was previously given in The Gender Secret. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance just as much as the next reader, but I need characters to be themselves, grow and thrive without being overshadowed by the looming romance. So here’s hoping I get more Viggo, I want a brooding hero and I chose him damnit. 

Honestly a lot of what I enjoyed most was the supporting cast. Not only did we see the tortured boys in action, we also see what actually slapped Violet off her high horse of immature, Doctor Desmond. Dun dun dun – Lee’s mother, and to whom the interesting letter was addressed for; whoa – spoilers, should have read book one. But really, I loved how she really kicked Violet down several notches. I enjoyed her manipulation and conniving personality, it made complete sense. She was Lee’s mother after all, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Again though, seeing a trend, Forrest loves her sociopath personas and Desmond is one of the better enticements of the series thus so far. I know something is lurking around the corner though with her and I am really hoping it is an enticing lurk

Once again, Desmond’s argument served to suck the fire out of me, leaving the remnants of a sputtering coal of embarrassment that lodged in my throat.

Something that does constantly irk me though with Bella Forrest’s writing style, which to be fair I haven’t mentioned until now, but it really is starting to get on my nerves.. her over usage of the abverbs. I mean honestly, I understand there is a thesaurus, there is a dictionary right next to you, but man you can shimmer down on the extra additive words, it doesn’t aid the writing, honestly it hinders it. At many points I feel like I can’t even wrap my brain around the conversations because I am trying to figure out why! 

Nonetheless, I have finished The Gender Lie and I am off to The Gender War. Can you really blame me? Again, there are a ton of pros and cons of this series thus so far and yet I cannot stop listening to the audiobooks. Mostly in part because I really enjoy the actual voices reading to me, because otherwise I probably would have never picked this series up. Surprisingly I do somewhat enjoy the plots with their twists and turns. There is still a decent level of predictability too with the scenarios that play out – over the course of the plot development as a reader, you honestly pick up on most of the foreshadowing, you can actually see what is about to happen before you even get to the next page. On the plus side, at least the execution is entertaining enough to keep wanting to find out how it truly unravels. 

So off we go, back to The Gender War…

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