State of Grace - Hilary Badger

This book was gloriously high concept and very well played out, living up to my expectations. The originality of the idea and the feel of the premise really sell this book.


The world Badger created felt truly utopian at first, which was quite impressive as I was seriously dubious about how such a place could be possible. However, simply reading about the place I could envision the world she had created and the way life might be. Everything felt very dreamlike, but real at the same time, yet there was an undercurrent of creepiness.


I loved the attention to detail, especially language. In this world, bad is "prenice" and dark is "prelight," etc. This disoriented me a little at first as I got rid of my notion of pre meaning "before" but really added so much. It really showed how the characters thought. Badger also threw in details that Wren noticed which would later play a part and constructed this very well.


I was desperate to figure out the context of this dystopian society from page one. Badger placed clues in a creepy fashion that had me reading almost too fast to figure out what happened. Her explanation was plausible and I really enjoyed how this feels like something that could be possible.


I didn't become too attached to our narrator, Wren--though she was a fine character to tell the story, I didn't think she was anything special and she could easily be replaced by another other character in fiction. Blaze, on the other hand, I really enjoyed. I didn't quite understand the motivations behind his interactions with Wren or how much he knew from which point, but he had some truly great lines and felt very sincere in his being lost.

Dennis was my favourite character, however. The world he came from was detailed just enough to have my curiosity piqued while giving me understanding, and he played a very symbolic role.


There was a subtle but interesting social commentary on hour perceptions of religion, drugs and medication, and depression and the ways we see the world that will have me thinking for a while. I also enjoy that it could stand on its own. I'll definitely read the sequel, but it would be okay if there wasn't one, too. I have some questions about the logic of the ending and the way things worked; however, overall I was immensely satisfied. There was nothing incredible about the writing of this book or the characters; however, as Badger wrote the concept well, I was pleased.


If you like dystopian literature, you'll adore this book.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.