Legend meets Leviathan in this gritty dystopian fiction by debut author Sophia Elaine Hanson. All citizens within the soaring black walls of Revinia have metal Singers grafted into their skulls at birth. The parasitic machines issue a form of auditory hypnosis called The Music, which keeps their minds malleable and emotions flat. All artistic expression—especially real music—is strictly prohibited.
On the edge of the city, nineteen year old Ronja struggles to support her cousins and disabled mother. A chance meeting leads to her kidnapping by an underground resistance striving to preserve the human spirit. Violently severed from her Singer by the brash young agent Roark, Ronja revels in her newfound freedom until the consequences of her disappearance begin to unfold.
The first in a trilogy, Vinyl is a story of loyalty, passion, trauma, human connection, and the extraordinary power of real music.
A power-hungry government controls the populace through music, and one young woman accepts the formidable task of saving her family and helping to kick-start a revolution in this dystopian YA adventure. Hanson’s debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy, takes place in the walled-off, steampunk city of Revinia, where all the inhabitants have devices called Singers implanted in their ears at birth. The machines ensure obedience to Revinia’s ruler, The Conductor, by transmitting a form of mental and emotional control called The Music. The heroine, Ronja, has been branded a Mutt, the lowest rung on the social ladder. She works as a driver on the underground train system, struggling to keep her ailing mother and two young cousins afloat. Destiny comes calling when she accepts a courier’s job, delivering a mysterious package to a member of an underground enclave of freedom fighters known as The Anthem. Among them, she learns, “Everything you have ever felt besides strict loyalty—love of a partner, hate of an enemy, terror, excitement, anxiety—all are muted by The Music. Every time your passions spike, they are beat down. You have lived your life shackled to a weightless iron ball.” Freed from her Singer, Ronja joins forces with Roark, one of the leaders of the Resistance, to convince her family to join the group and thwart The Conductor’s plan to unleash an even more crippling form of The Music upon the citizens of Revinia. The central premise of music as a mechanism of control works well here, and the plot moves at a snappy pace, introducing distinctive new characters nimbly throughout while adding shades of detail to more familiar ones. Ronja’s journey to adapt to a life as a rebel fighter while negotiating the repressed memories that emerge following the removal of her Singer is captivating and memorable. Although the protagonist’s evolution from guttersnipe to superhero in the novel’s last quarter feels like quite a sudden leap, it makes for supremely fun reading.While it fails to reinvent the genre, this action-packed ride through a grim but fascinating world should delight fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent and leave many waiting impatiently for the sequel.
"I don't even know how to start writing a review for a book this good. I guess I'll start it with that: this book is Good. With a capital G. I've been a voracious reader my entire life, and have rarely come across a book written with such emotion and skill. Vinyl breathes fresh life into the YA dystopia genre, it takes all the expected tropes and turns them on their heads. The characters are colorful, well rounded, and filled with life. The world is incredibly immersive and detailed, seeming at once familiar and completely alien. I devoured the entire book in less than two days, and had to literally force myself to put it down to go to work or sleep. Its a life-ruiner in the best way possible, and left me satisfied but desperate for more at the end. I'm eagerly awaiting book two in the series and everything else Hanson decides to grace us with". ~ Amazon Review