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To be honest I’ve always wonder in another universe somewhere in the galaxy are my people doing to white people what they did to us? And still continue to do or even what if the roles were reversed from the beginning and this book answered that. Except this is based 1000 years from now and we have taken over.
This book shows no matter the race that seems to have the upper hand there are people within the race that actually have a heart. Then there are people that are cruel beyond with no reason at all but to be mean. Don’t care to seek justice as long as they get what they want and to get a high off that power.
The book told from two points of view. Avi the upper (black) and saige a worker (mixed). The uppers are Royal and have all control. People like saige are looked down upon because the they believe black and white should not mix. Well just like back in the day when white people would R word black people that same thing happens here. White people and mixed have to work on the field and be like assistants to the uppers.
Avi has a good heart but ol boy do i wish she had a damn back bone. The way she especially let her sister push her around. Like damn girl. Her heart was in the right place because like her we don’t have to be this way towards each other.
Saige was about that life. She’s tough but has a heart as well and just wants to be free. Towards the end she has a shocker which hell it shocked me too. I didn’t guess what this person would actually be to here.
Leah Vernon is a well-known author and body-positive activist along with being the first international plus-size Hijabi model. Her novel "The Union" was first released as a self-published titled under the title "Impure," though it's noted that it has experienced substantial editorial revisions on its way to release as "The Union" and as a featured title with Amazon's First Reads program.
With "The Union," Vernon creates a dystopian nation thousands of years in the future. There is a Black elite class that reigns and lower classes who toil in the farmlands and who struggle to survive in the cities. The story centers around eighteen-year-old Avi Jore, an Elite born to a powerful father who is destined to one day rule, and Saige, a mixed-race enslaved girl labeled as an Impure and longing only to escape the boundaries of this seemingly hopeless land. When Saige saves Avi from an assassination attempt, their paths become intertwined in ways that the two never imagined and in ways frightening to those around them. Saige plots her freedom. The increasingly aware Avi begins attempting change from within.
Will they succeed?
"The Union," which hints of being a sci-fi novel more than immerses itself in the genre, is as much a story about friendship as it is a story about the revolution that may very well occur should this friendship blossom.
The first of two planned books exploring this world, "The Union" takes a familiar narrative and brings it engagingly to life thanks largely to the vivid portrayal of its two central characters. This isn't a story we haven't read before and even seen in the cinema, though Vernon adds her own unique touches to it all and gives us characters we can connect with, characters we wonder about, characters we despise, and characters who leave us scratching our heads.
The narrative itself occasionally falters and I'll confess to having grown tired of the latest fiction trend of having each chapter a back-and-forth between the novel's main characters, however, I'll also confess that I enjoyed these two main characters enough that for the most part I was still able to surrender myself to the story.
"The Union" is most definitely visual storytelling. It would be interesting to see Amazon Studios pick up the story for a cinematic presentation, an approach that would allow for delving even more deeply into the story's subtly portrayed racial politics. While the ending is in some ways anti-climactic, knowing the intention for a second novel it all makes sense as you are left both waiting and wondering about certain characters.
In terms of rating, a 3.5 feels more accurate. However, a 3-star feels too low considering how much I enjoyed these characters and how well Vernon developed them. While "The Union" is not without its flaws, it's engaging and vital storytelling that leans into the culture-changing power of friendship and the absolute importance of even the smallest choices we make as human beings.
I can't really make heads nor tails of the authors political angle here. I feel there is one and I'm missing it completely. If that's on purpose then I suppose that is a good thing. I couldn't understand if she was aiming for forgiveness or revenge. Are we supposed to be rooting for the black elites who commit atrocities against the whites? Or hoping the whites & "impures" rise up against their oppressors? I guess what I've taken away from it is that power corrupts, no matter who is in charge.. male or female, black or white.
At times I felt parts were jumping a bit. Not in any serious way but it did sometimes cause me to go back and make sure I hadn't missed anything. I kinda ended up assuming all the workers were white and the elites were black but im not sure it was always very clear. I wasn't sure what colour the soldiers were and I ended up thinking more about colour of skin than I ever have.
It reminds me very much of The Hunger Games. The clothes, the attitudes, the drugs, more so when Saige went into the Cube, a survival of the fittest where Elites were watching and judging. I dont think Saige and Avi were characters that are easy to like. They are complete polar opposites. One being miserable, angry, selfish and the other naive & giggly. With both I wished they'd just give it a rest.
It wasn't really very "scientific" 1000 yrs into the future and you'd think they'd have more than hoverbikes and laser guns. I think that may have been a little lazy on the authors part.
This was offered on an amazon first reads by the way. Rather that it being labelled under Sci fi it may better belong in teen fiction?
Ok, so at first I found the story to be very racist, slow and boring; yet I couldn't stop reading. Reading and learning about the oppression, slavery and segregation of African Americans as kid, I always thought what it would be like if the roles were reversed... And here it is! The story is sad, triggering, hopeful and all around emotional. It's history reversed. I am hoping that there is a sequel to this. I need to know more! Will Liyo recover and return to fight? Will Avi stand up to her oppression and be the leader of equality? What will Saige do next? There is so much more I want to know!!!
I appreciate Leah Vernon's depiction of two woman who represent the polar opposite of their dystopian world. Both just as hurt, stubborn, and determined to survive in their respective birth roles. My emotions were all over the place due to the skillful story telling and character development. This truly was was a vetting of one's journey of self and the false societal norms that tear down a person's sense of self. Look forward to future novels.
From the first paragraph to the very last I could not put this book down. The characters are so real and took me on a dystopian journey like no other. There are twists and turns, sometimes gritty and not always comfortable, which only made me want to read on. The Union has left me with questions and thoughts of my own. Read the book and see what you think!
Not my normal read, but so glad I chose this. This should really be adapted into a movie, although we all know it would never be as good. At times it was hard to follow, but that may have been my lack of focus. Such a great read, can't wait for the next one, already preordered!