Dystopia Masterpost #1: A guide to the dystopian genre

Come avevo annunciato tempo fa, avevo intenzione di fare una bella lista dei romanzi distopici. La mia idea iniziale era di farne una rubrica, poi ho pensato di fare una semplice lista, ma alla fine ho cambiato di nuovo idea. Questo “masterpost”, che pubblicherò diviso in più parti, racchiuderà non solo l’elenco (e le cover) dei libri di una determinata serie, ma anche la trama del primo libro e qualche curiosità (= un mio commento).

In questo primo appuntamento parlerò di dieci serie molto famose. L’elenco e le serie di cui parlerò sono state scelte un po’ a caso, senza un reale criterio, e così sarà per i prossimi post. Ovviamente non parlerò solo di serie, ci sarà infatti ampio spazio anche per gli standalone e le short stories.

Anncleire mi ha inoltre suggerito di inserire anche la data di pubblicazione italiana. Se il libro è già stato tradotto in italiano mi limiterò ad inserire un asterisco (*) con il titolo in italiano. In caso di uscita prossima inserirò la data possibile e sempre l’asterisco, mentre se non ci sono informazioni due sbarrette (//). In alcuni casi indico anche una uscita prevista, se non indicato, intendo la versione americana. Per quanto riguarda le trame, sono citate in inglese, ma inserirò un link per leggerle in italiano (dove possibile).

As I had announced long ago, I was going to make a big list of dystopian novels. My initial idea was to make a meme, then I thought I’d make a simple list, but in the end I changed my mind again. This “masterpost”, which I will publish divided into several parts, will contain not only the list (and covers) of the books, but also the plot of the first book (in case of series) and some curiosity (= my comment).

In this first post I’m going to talk about ten popular series. The list, and the series of which I will discuss, have been chosen randomly, without a real criteria, and so it will be for the next post. Obviously I will not speak only about dystopian series, but there will in fact be ample space for standalone and short stories.

Anncleire also suggested me to include the publication date in Italy. If the book has already been translated into Italian, I will just enter an asterisk (*) with the title in Italian. If there’s a near release I will insert the possible date and always an asterisk, while if there is no information two slash (//). In some cases I also indicate an expected release, if it is not indicated, I mean the American version. Regarding the plots, I often cited them in English, but I will insert a link to read them in Italian (where possible).


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

You can consider the series that kicked off, in the modern era, this new interest in the dystopian genre. The first book in the series was released in 2008 in the original language and now there is the second movie inspired by the saga in theaters.
Synopsis of “The Hunger Games”:

Winning will make you famous.

Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


The Hunger Games (#1) – Hunger Games*

Catching Fire (#2) – La ragazza di fuoco. Hunger Games*

Mockingjay (#3) – Il canto della rivolta. Hunger Games*

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The film will be released next year, but this year it came out the last book of the trilogy. I read the first two books and enjoyed them very much, unfortunately I have not yet had time to read the third.
Synopsis of “Divergent”:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves … or it might destroy her.


Four: A Divergent Story Collection (#0.1 – 0.4), short stories told from the point of view of Four (no information on the publication in Italy):

– The Transfer (#0.1);

– The Initiate (#0.2);

– The Son (#0.3);

– The Traitor (#0.4).

Divergent (#1) Divergent*

Free Four (#1.5), a scene of Divergent told from the point of view of Four.

Insurgent (#2) – Insurgent*

The World of Divergent: The Path to Allegiant (#2.5), 50 bonus pages that contain the posters of the factions, quizzes, an interview and even teasers from Allegiant.

Allegiant (#3) – Allegiant*

Matched by Ally Condie

Synopsis of “Matched”:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.


Matched (#1)Matched. La scelta*

Crossed (#2) – Crossed. La fuga*

Reached (#3) – Reached. L’arrivo*

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Also of this series was scheduled a broadcast (on the small screen), but the pilot was not approved by the TV channel. The last novel, The One, will be released next year.
Synopsis of “The Selection”:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


The Prince (#0.5), a novella told from the point of view of Maxon with teaser of The Elite. – The Prince

The Selection (#1)The Selection*

The Elite (#2) – The Elite

The Guard (#2.5), a novella told from the point of view of Aspen. – //

The One (#3 – expected release: May 6th 2014) – //

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis of “Delirium”:

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.


Annabel (#0.5), a short story about Lena’s mother. – //

Delirium (#1)Delirium*

Hana (#1.5), a short story told from the point of view of Hana. – Il veleno sulle labbra*, ed è disponibile solo in formato ebook.

Pandemonium (#2) – Chaos*

Raven (#2.5), short story su Raven. – //

Requiem (#3) – Requiem [28 Gennaio 2014]*

Alex (#3.5), another short story. – //

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This series, such as The Selection, has covers breathtaking (at least in the original American version). Unfortunately I’ve never read it, but I’m going to fix it soon.
Synopsis of “Shatter Me”:

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.


Shatter Me (#1) Schegge di me*

Destroy Me (#1.5), a novella that bridges the gap between the first and second book and it is told from the point of view of Warner. – //

Unravel Me (#2) – //

Fracture Me (#2.5), a novella that recounts the last moments of Unravel Me from the point of view of Adam. – //

Ignite Me (#3) – //

Legend by Marie Lu

Synopsis of “Legend”:

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…

Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.


Life Before Legend (#0.5), two short stories about June and Day.

Legend (#1)Legend*

Prodigy (#2) – Prodigy [Marzo 2014]*

Champion (#3) – //

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Synopsis of “Under the Never Sky”:

Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered.

This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


Roar and Liv (#0.5), a prequel novella about Roar. – //

Under the Never Sky (#1)Never Sky: Sotto un cielo selvaggio. Le origini*

Through the Ever Night (#2) – //

Brooke (#2.5), another novella about Brooke. – //

Into the Still Blue (#3 – expected release: 28 Gennaio 2014) – //

UnWind by Neal Shusterman

A series that I knew thanks to Anncleire and that was published before “The Hunger Games” in 2007.
Synopsis of “UnWind”:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.


UnWind (#1) Unwind. La divisione*

UnStrung (#1.5), short story that connects the first novel with the second. – //

UnWholly (#2) – //

UnSouled (#3) – //

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

A dystopian series that dates back to 2005 and I’ve read a long time ago, maybe even before I read “The Hunger Games”. I liked it very much, but maybe to give a full review I should read it again. Born as a trilogy, is transformed into a series of four books, although in reality the last is almost a spin-off (at least for me).
Synopsis of “Uglies”:

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? 

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever…


Uglies (#1)Brutti*

Pretties (#2) – Perfetti*

Specials (#3) – Speciali* (incluso nel volume unico “Beauty. La trilogia”)

Extras (#4) – //

As always, I’m curious to know what you think and if you have any suggestions on little-known series or on this post. So do not be shy and let me know.




Leave a reply