Monday, 22 December 2014


Title: Firefly
Author: Jen Minkman
Release Date: 9th December 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
As decreed by the State, the Citizens of Ebrus are not allowed to:

Visit the ocean surrounding the Walled City. 
Ignore curfew and stay out after seven.
Call in sick more than three times a year.

As I made it a bit of a mission to read more Christmassey titles this year and the fact I do enjoy Jen Minkman's writing style this novella was an easy and natural choice to add to my Want-To-Read List. I was also told that this was a dystopian novella which most people now know is one of my favourite genres to read.

I heard about this novella in Jen Minkman's newsletter and I purchased it from Amazon UK.
The cover pictures a woman dancing in a gown that is on fire, which reminded me a little of the "girl on fire"  scene in the Hunger Games! I like the bright orange colour which makes the cover stand out. The byline in the cover "Follow The Star" is intriguing enough for you want to know the relevance of it. The phrase is a major part within the book.
Would the cover of this book make me pick this one up in a book store? Yes, I would certainly feel drawn to this cover and want to learn more about the book.
So the society is dystopian. The State governs everyone and gives the rules that have to be adhered to and lived by. You are not allowed outside of the walls that protect the city from the ocean. You have to stick to the curfew that the State insists upon and work regularly. It is extremely frowned upon to call in sick to your job,. Everyone must do their duty and work for the greater good. No one is permitted to sing either, as it is thought that doing so is a waste and would lead to rebellion. All the rules make for quite a dreary and monotonous life.
The main character is trudging home from her work when she hears a beautiful sound that she has never heard before, as it's close to curfew, she cannot investigate the sound as she rushes home. She cannot break the curfew as her father has an important job for the State, so she has to "behave" even more. It is the girls grandfather who reveals the sound she heard is called singing but swears her to secrecy as she could get into serious trouble if she were ever caught singing. The girl has now had a taste of something new, a type of freedom so she goes ahead and does the unthinkable and heavily frowned upon, she rings her job and tells them she is sick. They believe her as she has worked a whole year without a day sick. The girl retraces her steps to the alley that she heard the music and see's a sign. . . . . and I really cannot reveal anymore.
In my opinion this novella could have gone on and been a full dystopian novel. In fact the only real criticism's are that it ended too soon and I would have loved the singing to be something other than the specific Christmas Carols, but then I guess the novella wouldn't have been catorgorised as a Christmassey Novella.
So did I enjoy the novella? Yes it was a quick Christmas themed read, though I would have loved more content too. Would I recommend the novella? For a quick read yes. Would I want to read more about these characters? Yes I think this could be an introduction to the dystopic society. I would want to read more about this society. Would I read other titles by Jen Minkman? I already have!

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