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The City Centre

(The New Agenda #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Ava didn't want to be right. Not about her city. Not about their leader, Chief Morray. But when Joseph gives her a secret journal from the past, the truth is revealed. She escapes with Joseph to the Outside, sending Chief Morray on an obsessive pursuit to retrieve his property. Ava has to decide if she should keep running, or return to the city center to save her people. ...more
Paperback, first, 316 pages
Published October 9th 2013 by Ktown Waters Publishing (first published September 25th 2013)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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Nancy Steinle gummel
The City Center by Simone Pond was gifted to me by the author for my honest review. This book touched the fundamental freedom for humanity. Just who are prisoners and who is truly free. This book starts with Ava Rhodes, one of the candidates for the royal court. Ava is friends with Delilah. Delilah is a lower ranking citizec. Friendships are frowned upon. While talking with Delilah, Ava hears the intruder alert siren. Everyone is told to go to their rooms and lock themselves in. Delilah leaves b ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
The City Center!!!

First things first, I received the whole book series in ebook format from the author in exchange for a review.I finally finished the first book today.

I read this on my laptop and no matter how good the story is, reading on my laptop is always tricky for me, cause I always get distracted by all the shiny things on the internet. But I really enjoyed this book.
I love the writing, it's really easy to read and to understand. The world building is wonderful. The book is also really
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I seriously could not put this book down! I am really glad I read The New Agenda before picking up The City Center because it made me understand Morray and his motivation so much better. It crazy to say, but each book in this series can stand alone, but still leaves you aching for the next! Overall 4.5/5 stars; add this series to your To-Read list now!
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
*Won in a goodreads giveaway.

Ava is just reaching her 18th birthday and is set to become the next queen of City Center Los Angeles. Having competed all her life, she is the front runner to take over this valued position, a position she isn't sure she wants, until a chance encounter with an outsider leaves her questioning all she believes about her city and the life "outside." Think Logan's Run meets The Hunger Games but with some interesting social class stratification thrown in for flavor.

I re
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The City Center by Simone Pond is in the year 2310 where the elite have desecrated 90% of the population and have built this world of perfect people who live in the City Center of Los Angeles in an enclosed “city” away from the outsiders. Every 18 years the Royal Court is retired and replaced by a new group of young Successor Candidates, each of which competes in a series of competitions to determine which role they will play in the new Court. At age 36, retired citizens are sent to Ret-Hav (Ret ...more
Brian Krawczyk
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Let me first start by explaining that I read this book in a matter of a day and a half. Once you pick it up, clear your schedule for a day or so because you'll find yourself flying through it and not wanting to turn away.

I love dystopian books and movies, but many either fall flat or are too similar to other stories. This book is neither. When you think it may be beginning to head towards a place of familiarity, the author shocks you with the direction taken. I know a good book when I can see mo
Kathy Cunningham
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simone Pond’s CITY CENTER is a gripping Young Adult novel set three hundred years in the future. The world as we know it no longer exists – it has been replaced by the domed City Center in the Kingdom of Los Angeles, which is ruled by Chief Morray and the ten-member Royal Court. All residents of the City Center are bred artificially to fulfill specific roles – from “Info-tainers” to manual laborers to security forces to members of the Royal Court itself. Every eighteen years the Royal Court is r ...more

Check out my other reviews at Little Miss Bookmark!

I recently just started reading dystopian novels again. For quite a while it felt like every young adult novel that came out had some sort of dystopian angle to it. The young adult genre just felt saturated with them. I had read so many good ones that I just couldn't stop myself from picking up a new one every other day. But then I started to get a little burned by them. They were coming out so fast from so many authors that they just didn't hav
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm

Thanks to Simone Pond for giving me this book to review.

In the 21st century the Elites created a man-made apocalypse which killed almost everyone, and those who survived either live in the Los Angeles City Center or are rebels who live on the Outside. Centuries later Ava Rhones is one of the potential successors to the Queen but she has always felt different from almost everyone else. A week before it is decided who becomes the Queen, sh
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I quite enjoyed this book.

Pond creates an extraordinary world that is at once futuristic-cool and menacing. It is a forward thinking tale and sweeping epic that ignites the imagination from the get-go. She contrasts the inner world of the City Center with the outer brilliantly as her central character, Ava, traverses a new frontier. I was enthusiastically drawn in to the twists and turns of the story because of Ava, whose innate character evokes emotion and sympathy.

Pond’s descriptive writing s
Nancy Brady
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure:I received this book as a Shelf Awareness giveaway directly from the author. Thanks Simone.
This is a dystopian novel that leaves the reader thinking how possible it could be. Designer people? People without emotions or thoughts of their own? Controlling people in charge?
Yet Ava Rhodes doesn't quite fit into the mold she has been created for, and one Outsider may just open her eyes to what her utopian City Center really is.
Can she escape her destiny as the next Queen or will she
Peter Stier
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The beauty of this work of sci-fi is that it takes Plato's "allegory of the cave" and sets it in the future -- adding a dash of "love story" along with cautionary themes of transhumanism, elitist plans run amock, and the nature of freedom -- without a hint of pretension. Readers of various tastes can get into this yarn because it is good storytelling. My only problem with the book: it was hard to put down, so I lost a few hours of sleep on a few nights. ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The City Center is a great sci-fi novel along the lines of the Hunger Games and Total Recall. Ms. Pond draws a unique vision of the future with and populates it with real, compelling characters. The plot moves along swiftly and deftly, and the ending is excellent. One only hopes that this will become a series and we can get deeper into the worlds of Ava and Joseph in future installments.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a page-turner, and reminded me of Marge Piercy's "He, She and It".

My favorite part of this book is how much the author shines though. Rags, (who the whole time while reading I envisioned Simone's dog), the references to Ojai… I appreciated how much she allows her personality to seep into her fiction.

Roger Durán
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
An amazing book, Simone can really take you to the place and time the book is set on, a super addictive read, you better be comfortable because it is really hard to put down, the way she narrates and the way she writes is just amazing, good job Simone, I hope to see more of you on the future!:)
Lindsay Sklar
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome, intelligent, fast-paced read. Incredibly imaginative yet relatable. I loved every second. Can't wait for the next novel in the series! ...more
J.M. Johnson
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great story. I love every tiny detail that makes up Pond's creative world. ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
ABR's original The City Center audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Several hundred years in the future, an elite group of humans live in a sheltered and controlled society. Protected by a dome from the outside poisonous air and toxic radiation from the sun, the inhabitants live out their 36 years in the rolls they were engineered for. At the end of this brief period of labor, they retire to “Red Haven” a paradise of leisure.

Ava, along with a handful of others, hav
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This review can originally be found at Olivia's Catastrophe:

This was a good dystopian with an interesting story and a pretty nice plot as well. It was something I enjoyed reading even though I couldn’t quite love it as much as I wanted to. I believe that it was because this was somewhat a ‘typical’ dystopian of sorts, and I have read a lot of those. Nonetheless it was still a quick and enjoyable read.

Ava is the main character of novel and someone I really
Andrea Murray
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Take a splash of Hunger Games and a pinch of Elizabethan England and mix it in a technologically-advanced society, and you’ll have an interesting recipe for a YA/NA dystopian. The societal set up was complex but intriguing. Set three hundred years in the future, this novel shows some very real, very frightening possibilities for America’s future. It truly isn’t difficult it to imagine DNA modifications, mood modifiers pumped into
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book for review is “The City Center” by Simone Pond. The book falls in the genre of Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction.

The book is set in the 21st century in City Center which is located in Los Angeles. Our world is no longer as we know it. Humans have destroyed our world and way of life. A group of elites saves the day. But at what cost? Ninety percent of the population have been killed off. It is now between the haves and have-nots. City Center houses the privilege while those outside the wa
The City Center is an interesting futuristic dystopia with sci-fi elements that I found very interesting. The people living in the City Center are genetically engineered to be a certain way, and only later do we realize the true sinister purpose for this. I thought the overall premise was great, the main character Ava is pretty dang awesome, and the villain is kind of a mad genius. I liked how Ava was already different and after reading the journal given to her by the Outsider and using her wit, ...more
Samantha LaFantasie
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
At first I was worried that this story would be too much like the Hunger Games. I even read through a few of the reviews with all of them saying the same thing. It concerned me even more and I considered putting the book down and not reviewing it. I'm okay with similar concepts as long as the story itself is different and for the first few chapters, there was no hint at an original idea. Then it picked up pace unexpectedly and I found myself getting deeper into the story. Then the story became p ...more
Dixie Conley
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I have to say, this book is very nearly perfect. Perfect in that it has all the elements that make me love a book. Namely competition or testing and royalty. It's also part of a larger series, which means more of a good thing.

This is a post-apocalypse story wherein civilization exists in a walled off community where every 18 years its rulers retire and a new crop takes their place. The heroine is 18, nearly ready to take place in the succession where her place in the royal court will be determin
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi

I was fortunate to be offered a copy of Simone’s novel and I am happy to say that it was a very pleasant surprise!
I grew up in Los Angeles and it was the perfect setting for the story!
The characters were very well developed and evoked either an emotional attachment or likely a very tangible aversion from the reader.
The Creator of this Utopian Dysfunctional Society, Morray, is quite easy to dislike. What he has created is sort of an orderly chaos that is fueled by misinformation spewed randomly
Caroline Vaught
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, owned, 4-stars
I received this book as an ecopy via the YA Spring Fling along with a few others, however I decided to pick this one first because it seemed short and interesting. I was hooked from the beginning. The main character, Ava, lives in a world where everything is controlled by a Royal Court, where she is training for. Every 18 years, a new group of people take the place of the old Royal Court and those at the age of 36 go to a secluded paradise for their retirement. Ava always knew she was different, ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf-100
about the author:
Award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Pond's current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.
Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Be sure to join the mailing list for updates on new book releases.

book synopsis
A dystopian book series about love and the fight for freedom -- Book 1.
Ava didn't want to be right. Not a
Mike Zinn
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all - I received this book for free.
Now, on to the review. I receive a lot of books for free. Some of them I like, some of them I respect, some of them I find it hard to read at all. This one I liked a lot (obviously, since I gave it 5 stars). This is not great literature, and it's not cutting edge science fiction. What it is, is a great read that takes me back to why I began reading science fiction. I read all the greats when many of them were still fresh. My parents gave me a subscri
Nicholas Adams
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book review: The City Center

Simone Pond brings the reader into a world of corruption, entitlement and power-hungry elitists. The city center seems to be a perfect utopia, protecting its inhabitants from the danger beyond the walls. But the ruling class, as they have always done, have kept a secret to themselves while controlling the populace with chemical and technological distractions.

If a secret group ever planned the demise of the the world for their benefit, I can't imagine how "The New Agen
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book and I look forward to reading the second part when it comes out next year. Take a dystopian society, add some genetic manipulation and throw in some good old fashioned morals.

You have a group of people living in what they think is paradise worshiping "the creator" who provides for their every need with no real worries. Even though some of those people have an idea that all is not what it seems, they follow along blindly until a visit from an outsider.

Young Ana soon finds out
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Author of hard-to-put-down, action-packed dystopian and fantasy. Visit for more information.

Other books in the series

The New Agenda (4 books)
  • The New Agenda (The New Agenda, #2)
  • The Mainframe (The New Agenda, #3)
  • The Torrent (The New Agenda, #4)

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