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The Liberty Box #2

The Eden Conspiracy

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Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.

The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.

Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?

428 pages, Paperback

Published July 18, 2016

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About the author

C.A. Gray

23 books450 followers
C.A. Gray is the author of three YA Amazon bestselling trilogies: PIERCING THE VEIL (magic and quantum physics meet Arthurian legends), THE LIBERTY BOX (dystopian metaphysics and mind control technology), and UNCANNY VALLEY (dystopian coming-of-age with neuroscience and super intelligent A.I). She starts with some scientific concept that she’s interested in learning more about herself, and then creates lots of epic chaos and high-stakes action to go along with it. Her stories are free of gratuitous violence, language, and sexual content, and she abhors depressing endings… but they’re not all kittens and rainbows either! She also listens to and reviews audiobooks on her website, here on Goodreads, on Instagram, and on her podcast, Clean Audiobook Reviews, where she also occasionally interviews other authors. 

By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Dr. Lauren Deville). She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She’s kind of the queen of multitasking—so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds—and she saves the corks for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and studies the Bible—about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations.

She does sleep, too. Promise.

Join her newsletter for best-of-the-month reads, freebies and giveaway information, as well as new releases! http://eepurl.com/F3rof

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Caitlin.
218 reviews32 followers
July 23, 2016
OH. MY. WOW! That ending!!! THE EDEN CONSPIRACY by C.A. Gray picks up pretty much where we left off. Will has now rejoined the few who remain of the rebel community and there is definitely some serious discord, particularly between Kate/Jackson and the Crone! Now that they’re on the radar of the Potentate, they don’t have much time to act. Will they save themselves or will they help set the other citizens free?

This book was fantastic! The pacing was excellent and we finally got much of the character development I think was missing in THE LIBERTY BOX. Kate really came into her own. I love that she really struggled with who she is. She thought was a completely helpless, damsel-in-distress. But she quickly comes to realizes that was only a state of mind (brainwashing) and she is fully capable of taking control of her life. She becomes this feisty, smart, brave (albeit reckless) bad ass she’s always felt secretly stirring within.

Again, some of the love story felt slightly forced. I appreciated Kate’s internal struggle about her feelings for Jackson and Will. She definitely comes to the realization that they may not have been as well matched as she originally thought. Will is not exactly my favorite character in book 2, so it made it easy for me to jump on board the Kate-Jackson train. I think what would have helped this work is if we’d seen a bit more of who Kate & Will were as a couple before they ran away. That way we could truly judge whether these two were right for each other. I suspect their true selves are not well matched at all, so I definitely want to see that in the next book. He doesn’t have to be a jerk—but I definitely want to see that he’s just simply not the right match for Kate.

I was originally going to say Kate & Jackson need to earn their love. But based on that ending… WOO! They are most DEFINITELY going to have to earn it. I. Cannot. Wait.
Profile Image for Lelia Taylor.
872 reviews16 followers
July 20, 2018
No one will ever accuse this book of suffering from sophomore slump, that’s for sure. After a successful opening in the first book, the action really ratchets up in The Eden Conspiracy and certain characters become more vivid plus I learned a lot more about the two factions.

I already knew that the Potentate and his minions exercise a sort of mind control over the people, brainwashing really, but here I learned that they can direct it at a particular person. Kate has bought into the resistance fullbore but that propels her into doing something rash, bringing herself some very unwanted attention but she shows an unexpected strength when that happens even while she distrusts herself and Jackson immensely.

Things go from bad to worse for the band of refugees but a small group splinters off to find a new sanctuary while Kate heads back home to enlist her brother Charlie’s help with a project. Unfortunately, government agents are soon in hot pursuit and whether Kate can accomplish her mission is in real doubt.

Kate and Jackson come into sharp focus in this part of the trilogy and she especially shows a lot of growth emotionally and physically, no longer the simpering wuss that she used to be. In fact, Will’s behavior towards her becomes much more annoying because she realizes how condescending he’s always been, perhaps warranted before she grew a backbone. Jackson, on the other hand, is the perfect man, to the point of being irritating at times (but he always redeems himself). Many of the characters from the first book kind of fade into the background but Kate’s brother and parents are prominent with her mother being as aggravating as she can be. Last but most certainly not least, the Potentate’s point of view comes into play and, now that he is is much more evident, his bad guy persona comes to the fore with chilling effect.

With the first book, I indicated that I thought the narrator was a bit lacking but I saw a lot of improvement in this second book. Ms. Williams really got into the story this time and there’s more life in her voice although I still think most characters’ voices are too much alike. That aside, I do enjoy listening to her.

All in all, this was a really good continuation of the story and I’m excited to now move on to the third, and last, book.
Profile Image for Literary Lioness.
99 reviews4 followers
October 27, 2021
Caught in a web of numerous truths and lies, Kate Brandeis is struggling to make sense of everything. Trying to understand how her whole world has been flipped upside down when she awakens from the mind control of the Potentate is just the beginning.

Consumed with the loss of over 700 refugees, she is shocked to find out her presumed dead fiancé is actually alive. Confused and wondering who she truly is, she becomes determined to find a way to release the citizens of The Republic from the brainwashing of the Potentate. Follow along as Kate battles to untangle it all.

Yet again, C.A. Gray creates an immersive story in The Eden Conspiracy. A perfect transition from the first book of the trilogy to a thrilling buildup towards the third. The intensity of not only the action-packed scenes, but the bonds between the characters keeps the pages turning.

A little slow to begin, it takes some time to get the storyline moving. However, the intricacies and details are needed for preparation of the full-on extreme ride the second half brings. Plus, with no profanity nor sexual content as well as no spelling and grammatical errors, a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars is the result.

Be forewarned, this book ends with a banger of a cliffhanger. So much so, the fact the third and final volume, The Phoenix Project, is already published was a huge relief as the anticipation of continuing was extinguished.

Thank you to #TheEdenConspiracy, #CAGray, and #WanderlustPublishing for the opportunity to read this book and give my honest review.

Original Post found at: https://www.literarylioness.net/post/...

Review of the first book in this series, The Liberty Box, can be found at: https://www.literarylioness.net/post/...
Profile Image for Guy Wheatley.
Author 8 books13 followers
November 8, 2018
This is the second book in “The Liberty Box” trilogy. It continues the story of Kate and Jackson as they fight, not only to stay alive but, to reveal the truth about the Potentate. While the story is action packed and entertaining, it also deals with real world concerns.
Author C. A. Gray explores deep concepts about self delusion and personal responsibility. She takes the human trait of allowing ourselves to believe what we wish were true to an exaggerated extreme. This book is as much about the internal struggle to face truth as it is the external fight for justice. This is a fascinating read and I can’t wait to get started on the third book in the series.
— — —
Escaping the destruction of the caves where they had taken refuge, the survivors turn on each other and split into two groups. Kate and Jackson’s group want to fight to save more people from the Potentate’s mind control. The other group just wants to leave the country and try to stay safe.
With their numbers dwindling, Kate’s group continues to try to rescue people even as they search for a place of safety. Their most effective weapon continues to be the truth.
Profile Image for Samantha.
231 reviews4 followers
July 16, 2016
Originally posted on: https://samanthascw.wordpress.com/201...

I got an ARC in exchange for a review. Special thanks to Royal Social Media for sending me a copy!

I have only one problem with this book. The romance aspect. As I’ve mentioned before in my review of the first book, I’m not a huge fan of the romance scenes. In this book, Kate had a confrontation scene with Will (Kate’s supposedly dead fiancé), and it was horrifying. It was so…fake. It seemed forced. Like the author was in a rush to paint Will in a bad light just so it justifies Kate leaving him for Jackson. I hate it when that happens in books. Especially when I was expecting Will and Kate to be good together because Will seemed so nice in the first book. Ugh. But at least the crappy love triangle did not take up the entire plot. Which was great for me.

This book is definitely way more action-packed than the first one, because everything is suddenly taking off, the revolution is happening, their covers are blown. I was hauled along on a nerve-wrecking journey as the refugees fought for their lives, escaping from one place to another, seeking shelter, and along the way, thinking of ways to infiltrate the evil system the Potentate has set up. I went crazy with worry when I knew of plans the refugees didn’t, wishing I could warn them about the dangers ahead. I bit my nails in anxiety as I watched Kate carry out her stupid plans, walking right into the lion’s den on her own. And I grieved along with the refugees when a huge chunk of them were killed by the Potentate. It was one hell of a ride, I assure you.

Also, the ending. Holy. Shit. I know that it was mentioned earlier in the book, but I still did not see it coming! I never expected it to happen so soon, and at the perfect moment as well! It was such a great cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to read the third book when it comes out, so hey, C.A. Gray, hit me up with an ARC of the last book when it’s available, will ya? I’ll be more than willing to read and review it ;)

The Eden Conspiracy will be out on the 18th of July 2016 so definitely keep an eye out for it!
Profile Image for Tara (Spinatale Reviews).
555 reviews50 followers
July 19, 2016
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

This book was a lot better than the first one in my opinion. The background was established and the plot well on its way. This book absolutely does not suffer from middle book syndrome. Rather than serve as a bridge between the first and third, this one could stand on its own. From here on down, there will be some spoilers from the first book so consider this your warning.

Will is back! And he’s pretty much a horrible person. I get that’s he is a computer genius and has done a lot of incredible/helpful things but that seriously is no way to treat a woman. I wanted to punch him in the face for some of the things he said to Kate (which really is a testament to the writing because I very rarely detest characters). The love triangle between Kate, Jackson, and Will had some similarities to the one found in ACOMAF. Jackson started to show that he was truly human (about time!) even though he does remain semi-superpowered. Of all the characters in this book, I liked Kate and her family the most. Kate’s development was truly fun to watch as she started to find herself. Seeing her with her family and how they all interacted with each other was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Despite the fast-pace and high tension, C.A. Grey created distinct characters and allowed them to interact with each other differently.

Regarding the plot - holy guacamole did a lot happen in this book. I essentially marathoned the first and second book in this series and it was definitely worth it. I can’t wait to read the third book and find out what happens to everyone. The world is starting to become very complex and I love that all the groups have different motives. And that everyone within the groups has their own motives for being there. I’m repeating myself but if this was a movie/tv show, I would absolutely watch it.

Overall, the writing was much better in this one and I found myself tearing through the pages, desperate to figure out what happens next. I’m excited for the third book to come out.
Profile Image for Michelle.
262 reviews10 followers
July 19, 2016
This was a strong second book in the series. In this book, we see just how far the potentate is willing to go to keep control of society. We also see Kate getting back to who she was before the brainwashing.

Gripping plot and fantastic characters. I can't wait to read the conclusion.

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Kristen.
231 reviews13 followers
October 28, 2016
AWESOME!!!! Full review to be posted shortly - but I will just say that it was wonderful and I can't wait until book #3!
Profile Image for Joseph Spuckler.
1,507 reviews18 followers
October 8, 2020
The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray is the second book in the Liberty Box series. Gray is the author of the YA Fantasy Piercing the Veil trilogy, as well as the NA Dystopian series, The Liberty Box. By day, she is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, Arizona. Additionally, she writes medical books under her real name. She holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing. She also teaches college chemistry and writes a weekly column in the Tucson Citizen called “Natural Medicine Tips”

I usually do not read much contemporary fiction, especially Young or New Adult, but Gray seems to add an extra level to her writing . In the first book, I noted the historical play on the idea of a republic and democratic people's republics. The thought of being safe and secure is actually more important than actual safety or security is also played through this series. Gray continues on this deeper level with the problems of revolution. What does one do when the rebel leadership seems as totalitarian as the regime being fought? The promised land of freedom in The Eden Conspiracy is called New Estonia. I wondered why the choice was Estonia. It is a rather small country with little bearing on world affairs. But, being old enough to remember the maps from the cold war, the former Soviet Baltic states border had a note: "The United States does not recognize the incorporation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the USSR." Whether or not Estonians knew it they were a symbol of the struggle for freedom at least in the eyes of the US government.

On the surface level, the story reads well and moves at a good pace without anything to throw off the reader's suspension of disbelief. Granted it is science fiction but Gray's fiction is remarkable in creating a believable story. The dynamics of the rebel group are realistic and add to the drama. Kate moves to center stage in this edition. The reader will see her grow from the spoiled, upper-middle-class news darling to a real person. Her days of simply being a talking head are over. She faces challenges as a rebel and as someone who wants to contribute. Her personal life is also in turmoil as her perfect husband in the old world does not seem to be the perfect man when out of his element. She works closely with Jackson whose element is the new reality. She finds herself emotionally torn.

Gray continues her streak of great writing. This is not my usual reading material, but I can definitely see the worth of this series. The Liberty Box series as well as Piercing the Veil are quality literature for the Young Adult crowd. It is also written smartly enough to hold an adult’s interest and pick up on things that a younger reader might miss. The Liberty Box series has action, the good fight, a strong female lead character, and a timely message on the perception of reality. Extremely well done.

Profile Image for Lilly.
373 reviews18 followers
July 29, 2018
Yes!!!! I know the second book would be way better than the first one (review can be found here)! It completely blew my mind, I listened to the audiobook in one day. I was so eager to find out what will happen with… everything and everyone. We follow Kate’s love life, we follow the (now) two groups of rebels, with accent on the one our main characters are in, obviously, and we see all characters evolve. I absolutely loved it!

Kate is the one more in focus right now as she has a lot to deal with. She wants to be independent, she wants to prove herself to the group of rebels, she wants to fight side by side with them. Being reunited with her fiancée, she has to deal with her feelings as well. She not only sees the world differently, she sees herself and her relationship with Will with different eyes. Her evolution in this second part of the story really amazed me and what made me like it even better was how the author managed to put it into words, by following her personality from book one and growing it into something stronger.

Jackson proves to be (again) an honest man. His integrity is visible in all his decisions, including his feelings for Kate. His abilities are better taken advantage of and his choices are explained with maturity. Having his perspective, as well as Kate’s gives us an overview of their entire relationship and how he is able to help her grow even when they are not near. I loved it!

Oh, since we speak about perspectives, with the Potentate’s thoughts we have the complete picture of the story. His need to rule and his obsession for control are so well described. He is smart, he is trying to be one step ahead of the rebels and sometimes even manages. He is a fantastic character as well.

The narration was ok as well. As I was mentioning in my review for book 1, I would have wanted a better voice acting, but the narrator managed to transmit the emotions and the determination in each affirmation, so that’s ok with me.

All in all, I absolutely cannot give “The Eden Conspiracy” less than 5 stars. If “The Liberty Box” (book 1 in the series) did not convince you, please pick up book #2! It is great, simple as that! Enjoy J

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.A. Gray. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
22 reviews9 followers
June 30, 2017

I LOVED the LIBERTY BOX so much, and I enjoyed that book so much that I had to find out what happened immediately! So I read book two as soon as school finished. I've had this stereotype that the second book may not be as good as the first one. But oh my gosh, was I wrong,  if the first book was good, this second book is even better like WOAH. You'll literally be so immersed in this dystopian world that you wouldn't be able to put the book down. It's a good thing I read this after the semester then, I won't be able to concentrate since this book gave me major book hangover. And the feels was everywhere. 

The writing, the plot, the characters are impeccable. It was perfect! I felt like I actually live in Kate and Jackson's world. I've grown so attached with these two, it was so hard to let them go. My heart's broken for Will though, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about him. 

Whilst reading, I would need to stop for a while and contemplate and be like, did that just happen? I swear, my heart was racing the entire time. 

And that ENDING..MINDBLOWN to pieces. Some things are just inevitable. I was kinda expecting it, but I'm still in the whole denial stage which odd. But still, I like the kind of ending that make you think and question everything. 

So, if you are a fan of dystopian books. this is definitely a MUST READ for you. This book has everything you are probably looking for. Amazing writing, believable fiction and the dynamics of the plot is so good.  THIS SHOULD BE ON THE NYT Bests! Like this book should seriously be on that list! 

*Thank you ROYAL SOCIAL MEDIA for giving me an e-copy of this series in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Ely.
246 reviews2 followers
June 20, 2019
The truth is: I AM COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH JACKSON MCNAMARA!!! He is sweet, knight in shinning armor and he is an asshole in a good way too. I do not like him that much in the first book but I do now in the second one. He also teach me about compelling between the truth or a lie in every thing in your life.

But, I want to give the author advice about this: What is the point of giving the summary of the first book in the beginning of the second book? If u already written the summary, the reader won’t bother to read it. Why not do this instead: read the third book only because u already get the summary of the first and the second book in the beginning.

However, this book gets me emotional well. I read it at my train when I was starting and ends my trip. I laugh a lot in some scenes, I almost screaming ‘WHAT’ in the middle of the book, and I get tingly things when I read scenes between Jackson and Kate.

To be honest, I hate Will. I do not know why but I hate him. It feels like he tried to control Kate and he cannot accept the new Kate after she did not brain washed anymore. Well, Jackson just love the way Kate is and what Jackson more like prince charming we cannot find in real life? It was when Kate kissed him after she found out about Will and Jackson said that it was not the right things to do.

Overall, this book is better than the first one. When I finished it I was craving for more. Although when I read the first book I do not get this feeling. Well done Mrs. Gray. It was an improvement.
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,240 reviews93 followers
April 25, 2019
Kate is reunited with her fiancé Will whom she thought was dead. Will tries to control Kate much like the Potentate but maybe in a little different. Will tries to control by using manipulation in order to make her believe that is she is incapable of doing things for herself that she needs him to take care of her. While the Potentate uses a kind of brain washing or hypnotism to control her and everyone else.

After the explosion at the caves the surviving rebels regroup only to be split up soon after. Kate, Jackson, Will and someone the others want to try and stop the Potentate from controlling the people. They want to wake them up and show them the truth. But not all of the group feel the same way or want to fight they just want to find a safe place to live out their lives in peace by trying to stay under the radar and off the grid. This is where the rebels become two or they go their separate ways.

Can Kate, Jackson and Will stay off the Potentate’s radar long enough to find a way to stop him or set their plans in motion? Can they save everyone from the Potentate and give them back their lives and freedom to live it the way they want? Or will they fall back under the Potentate’s mind control once again? To find the answer you will just have to read The Eden Conspiracy but I do suggest that you start with The Liberty Box first cause you don’t want to miss out on any of Kate’s story.

After reading the first book The Liberty Box Trilogy and loving it I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Eden Conspiracy. I love the world that has been created in The Liberty Box Trilogy. I love the context of the story about brain washing people to control them like subliminal messages. It is probably not too far off from what is going on today with commercials to try and make people want to buy something or used as a suggestion that you need this real bad or even some things that are reported on in the news. Or even ball games or other games to help in keeping people occupied and not knowing or seeing the truth.

I really love stories like The Eden Conspiracy that has a little bit of the truth packed away inside them on some level. Books like The Eden Conspiracy pull me in from the beginning and will hold my attention right up until the end and leave me wanting more. I loved all the technology in the book and how it was used. I loved the training exercises when Jackson was teaching Kate how to properly use a pistol and how to hunt so she could take care of herself if she ever found herself to be alone.

The Eden Conspiracy is one book that I highly recommend to anyone who loves dystopia. I can’t wait to dive into the next book The Phoenix Project.
Profile Image for Ruth B.
676 reviews39 followers
November 11, 2017
The Eden Conspiracy picks up where we left. At first, I didn't remember much about book one but once I started reading it all came back to me, the government deception and how they control mind waves and the dystopic and horrific world. It's easy to imagine a world like that and also quite scary because when you think about it idea behind the story, it doesn't sound so crazy.

Now that Kate knows that Will is not dead, she is torn between the love she once felt for Will and how she feels for Jackson. Her former self and who she truly thinks she is are in constant conflict. And on top of that rebels have to decide how to continue their fight. Freedom is the ultimate goal but how to reach it without dying in the process? and when the evil guy is the ruler of a nation and the people is under a complex brainwash process, it's hard to try to awake everyone.

The book is really well written, the rhythm is perfect and the action is non-stop. You have tension, suspense, drama, love and all the emotions involve when you are fighting for freedom. I like the changing of POV in order to get deeper into the story and know what each character is thinking.

And after the ending... I CANNOT wait to read book three.

*** I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. ***
Profile Image for Kristen.
72 reviews
October 11, 2018
Another great one!

Wow! I just love these books by C.A. Gray. Every one that is have read so far had been so captivating. This one was no different. I read it in less than a day as usual. This story is so compelling and I love the characters! Also, even though the author stays away from gory violence, she definitely does not let that stop terrible things from happening. There were so many parts to this book that made me so sad but I loved the reality of it. With such a corrupt government leader, bad things are bound to happen. I can’t wait to read the next book to see how it ends!
Author 13 books52 followers
December 27, 2018
I got book one as a freebie on Amazon and I liked it so much I purchased the other two in the series. These need to be read all together and in order. They don't really work as stand alone books. Great read. Characters are teens. Dystopian society where everyone is under the control of a greedy tyrant. I can recommend for teens and up. No swearing or sexual content. There is violence. I give it five stars and really enjoyed the book. I actually liked book two even better that the first.
Profile Image for Alex Norton.
18 reviews1 follower
April 18, 2019
See the full review here: https://likelystory.blog/2019/04/17/r...

Overall, I enjoyed the book and how it was straightforward but still enjoyable to read. I look forward to reading the last one in the series and I hope that Gray can carry us through to the end and tie it all up nicely (I’m sure she will).
Profile Image for Melinda.
1,848 reviews18 followers
June 27, 2017
Another solid book in this series. The reason for the lower rating - well to be honest, our heroine, Kate, annoyed me - alot. I just wanted her to be better and stronger and less unsure of herself....and then the end - cliffhanger much. OMG. Bring on book 3.
Profile Image for Emmyjo.
392 reviews8 followers
July 29, 2018
The second book is so well written. I really enjoyed getting to know these rebels. Some of the rebels broke away from where they were, because they realized their leader was starting to be like the Potentate. Their leader didn't want to go help others. I could see her point, however the way she ruled was not the right way either.
Now in this book we see Kate struggle a little bit to become her own person while on the run. For so long she was just the pretty face who told the news.
But in this second book she really wants to learn how to do more things to help out. Kate learns to fish among other things. And with Will being back after she thought he was dead, that changes things. Just when I thought Kate and Jackson were finding themselves we learn they still need to. With the government looking for the remaining rebels and especially Jackson time is what they don't have.
Jackson must teach everyone that everything isn't what it seems.
Because everyone has been brainwashed either their whole life or most of it. I can not wait to start book 3. If it's anything like the first two books I'm sure I will enjoy it just as much.
Profile Image for Maryam.
125 reviews57 followers
October 7, 2016
*3.5*

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

Would you rather be aware that you are living in a dystopia, or be brainwashed into believing you are living in a utopia?

The Eden Conspiracy picks up where The Liberty Box ended. In this book, the refugees become divided into two groups; one group wants to follow the Crone and escape to New Estonia, and the second group wants to remain in the Republic and save the rest of the brainwashed citizens. Kate and Jackson are part of that second group, and we follow them on their journey in attempting to wake up the rest of the citizens from the brainwashing, and letting them see their beloved Republic for what it really is, a dystopia.

The plot progresses in a much more exciting way than the first book. The pace was faster, and the action scenes are tenser and longer. In the first book, I didn’t really feel the fear of living in this dystopian society as a refugee, but this time around the dangers where much more apparent since they were no longer living in their safe community. Moreover, we get more chapters from the perspective of the Potentate, who happens to be the villain, which again adds to the tension. You would sometimes get to know things from him that the rest of the characters are unaware of, for instance what they would be up against, and I like the suspense that created.

Moreover, I like how vividly I could picture the world, and see things from the perspective of being brainwashed and not being brainwashed. Sometimes when I was reading the book, before the character would say anything about the state of their disastrous surroundings, I would imagine it as the utopia it was supposed to be, even though I knew it’s not. Then the character would remember, or be reminded, that what they are seeing isn’t real, and just like that I would go back to seeing their world as a crumbling mess. I thought that was really cool, because it was as if I myself am being brainwashed into believing the utopia!

Kate’s character development over the first and second books was really visible. She went from this weak, unentertaining character, to someone willing to fight and stand up for what she believes in. It took her time, and she didn’t pretend to be able to do everything, which is something I admire about her. Then we have Jackson, who’s perfectionism started to get on my nerves. He’s this superhuman, super perfect guy, who has everything under control, and it made him slightly unlikable to me. One of the characters told him “you know you come off totally preachy and annoying”. And then he goes on and tells him “people might be more willing to listen to you if you’d show a little weakness occasionally”. Those two quotes completely describe my stance towards him. It was good to see the characters aware of that, so I knew it was something they noticed to and it wasn’t just me.

Now to discuss some of the negative factors, I wish we got to know more about the world outside the Republic. Furthermore, I thought the relationship between Kate and Jackson was somewhat forced. It was as if, to like the two together, we must dislike her with her former fiancé, and to dislike him, he must be a total ass towards her. Plus, it seemed like the relationship between the two escalated quickly towards the end. The good thing though is that the whole relationship aspect wasn’t the main focus of the book. Additionally, there were two scenes I had real trouble with. The first one is when Kate manages to nap on the train, without any concern of being caught by the guards. And the second one was when Jackson, who is considered a terrorist and is wanted by the State, walks into the crowded streets of the Republic without any disguise on. Seriously, like that wouldn’t cause any trouble?

Overall, The Eden Conspiracy was an entertaining read, and it ended with a bang. I am definitely interested in what would happen next, and how things would ultimately end.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
180 reviews30 followers
July 17, 2016
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Full review can be found at my blog.

I loved The Liberty Box, and I was so excited to get my hands on an ARC of The Eden Conspiracy! The sequel to a favorite book can sometimes be a little lackluster, but that is definitely not the case with The Eden Conspiracy. I may have loved it even more than The Liberty Box.

The writing is smart and drew me in right from the very beginning. I love the characters – especially Kate and Jackson. They aren’t perfect (though at times I wonder if Jackson actually is perfect), but they grow throughout the series, and even the characters that are unlikable are characters that we love to hate. Kate, in particular, really grows, and I loved her progression from a weak damsel-in-distress to a strong woman who would risk her life to help others.

I’m not sure how much I can say about the ending without spoiling anything, so I’ll try to keep things general. I was pretty sure that what happens would happen, even though I kept hoping it wouldn’t. However, I wasn’t expecting it to happen exactly as it did. I don’t know if I can wait for the release of the final book in the trilogy to find out what happens next! I had the same reaction to the ending of The Eden Conspiracy as I had for The Liberty Box. THAT ENDING! The unexpected cliffhangers get me every time. I re-read The Liberty Box in preparation for The Eden Conspiracy, and I was still surprised by the ending of The Liberty Box, even though it’s only been a few months since I read it last.

There is so much edge-of-your-seat action in this series, and it’s just fantastic. One of the worst things for a book lover is reading a book that is supposed to be exciting, yet feeling absolutely nothing while reading. That is definitely not a problem here.

It’s well-written; so well-written, in fact, that I had to stop reading at one point and consider whether I was actually living in the story’s world. “Am I being brainwashed? Do my surroundings really look like I believe they do, or is it all an illusion? Is this actually what’s going on in the world today?” I’m still not sure, which just shows how good the author is at pulling you into this world.

If you’re looking for a smart, well-written, and entertaining dystopian fiction, then you should definitely give this series a try. The Eden Conspiracy is a strong sequel to The Liberty Box, and I have incredibly high hopes for the final book in the trilogy.
Profile Image for zoë ❅ (fallxnrobin).
93 reviews19 followers
July 24, 2016
This review is long overdue. But in the time that I have been procrastinating this review, I have been thinking, and I have realised that I don't really care much for the characters, only what will happen to them and how the storyline pans out. It is a good story, but it's just one that I would read to burn time... it's not one that would stay with me forever.

4 stars

The Eden Conspiracy starts off a bit slow. Continuing where The Liberty Box left off, it starts with the surviving refugees walking through the woods, trying to find a place to settle down for the time being and discuss their next course of action. And there we have our first conflict: rebel against the Potentate or flee the country?

I enjoyed Kate's character development in this book. Kate isn't your typical damsel-in-distress-turned-badass character. She doesn't pretend to know everything or wants to do everything, she knows that she has limits but tries to do what she can to help out. Though that can lead to her making some reckless decisions...

We also got to see some new faces in this new installment, and honestly, the introduction of these new characters were my favourite part of the book. Not saying that the book is boring, but these newly introduced characters show us how different people might react to the same situation .

However, as I was reading, I still can't help but compare The Eden Conspiracy to Mockingjay . Maybe "Truth or a lie" will be their "Real or not real". And then there's the whole "I am her fiance and I've known her for years so she should choose me over that guy whom she's known for only a few weeks" thing going on with Will which just annoys me to no end.

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5 reviews
August 2, 2016
The Eden Conspiracy is the 2nd installment in Gray’s Liberty Box Trilogy. This dystopian series takes us to a country in which war and a failed economy have left society with too few resources to adequately sustain its citizens. As rioting and discontent break out, Voltolini, a billionaire despot steps up with a technology that brings peace. The masses are subjected to brainwaves that convince them the government is kind and they are well cared for and prosperous, despite widespread starvation and disease. When Book 1 concludes, Kate Brandeis, Jackson MacNamara and a group of refugees have escaped to the wilderness where the mind control broadcasts cannot reach. But as Voltolin discovers their location, he launches a massive strike killing the majority of the refugees.

The Eden Conspiracy (book 2) finds the remaining refugees fleeing for their lives while disagreements within the small band threaten to further destroy them. Many want to let society continue in their deception. Kate Brandeis, Jackson MacNamara and several of the others believe that disrupting the mind control broadcasts will free people for better lives. As the refugees disrupt the control broadcasts, they discover their enemies include not only Voltolini’s forces, but also those angry citizens who prefer happy lies. Gray poses the question, “Can the truth set you free?”

Gray successfully steps up the pace in this second installment. The Liberty Box was something of a stunner as Will shows up, virtually from the grave in the closing pages. Without revealing too much, I will say that Gray manages yet-another cliff-hanger ending in The Eden Conspiracy.

As with her previous series (Piercing the Veil: Intangible/Invincible/Impossible) Gray incorporates some interesting twists with science and theory. And in the Eden Conspiracy Gray adds some insightful psychology. I enjoyed the transformation of Kate’s brother, Charlie when he no longer receives the mind control broadcasts. As he sees broken buildings where beautiful structures stood only moments before, he grows in courage (and sense of humor!). In contrast, Kate’s mother continues to believe the lies even when the broadcasts stop. This is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking read and one for all ages of adults. Bring on Book 3!!
Profile Image for Jim Strawn.
8 reviews
October 26, 2016
Truth or Lie?

One of the premises behind The Eden Conspiracy is that even when we are removed from the Republic's mind control we continue to lie to ourselves. When the Refugees find a way to negate the government's signals, only about twenty five percent of the indoctrinated population become aware of the change. In The Big Chill, Michael Gold, Jeff Goldblum's character, challenges his friends to "...get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations." So we do it even without a government mind control mechanism.

In the second installment of C. A. Gray's The Liberty Box trilogy, Kate Brandeis is challenged by Jackson to constantly test herself if what she is feeling is truth or a lie. This isn't just to overcome the Utopean images the Republic projects. She is also torn between her feeling for Will Anderson, her former fiance who wants Kate to still be the needy individual reliant on him for protection and provision, and Jackson McNamara, the charismatic hunter with amazing powers of self-control (at a number of levels) who supports her personal growth.

Gray expands our knowledge of the world and the characters. We learn about the characters' pasts and families. We see what happens behind the ivory walls of The Potentate's palace and how the Tribunal is merely a rubber stamp for his wishes. There is tons of action.. against the Republic, against the Refugees. There is more personal conflict between the main characters as views shift and loyalties change. And again, Gray gives us a cliffhanger ending.

Gray's writing and pacing contnues to improve and I eagerly await the third book in this series.

Truth.
Profile Image for C.A. Gray.
Author 23 books450 followers
July 21, 2018
The audiobook tour for #TheLibertyBox trilogy continues this week with The Eden Conspiracy! https://audiobookwormpromotions.com/t... (There's an Amazon gift card giveaway, if you want to go check it out.) :)

What I enjoyed most about writing this book was Kate's growth as a character. She transforms from being weak and decorative, unsure of who she is, to a capable, bold and determined woman. She wasn't Jackson's match in The Liberty Box, but in The Eden Conspiracy, she becomes --as her brother Charlie puts it -- "a badass herself. So maybe you don't need either of them!" (referring to Jackson or her fiancé, Will.)

I kind of love writing 'middle' books in trilogies in general, because while the action continues and builds, that's where there's the most time for character development. Book 1 sets up the conflict and introduces the world; Book 2 deepens characters and relationships, and raises the stakes; and Book 3 is the end game: big, explosive, and satisfying.

Can't wait for the tour to finish next week with #ThePhoenixProject!
Profile Image for Lisa Eiff.
966 reviews23 followers
October 3, 2017
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved seeing how the characters in this series have grown and changed from where they started out in first book of this series by now. The writing is excellent, and this book ends in a cruel twist of fate...for at least a few characters. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book in this series.

Mind control is the devil. I would recommend this book for fans of dystopian style writing, and anyone that just happens across this review...if you're interested in starting The Liberty Box trilogy...start with book 1 of the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author and wanted to share my honest opinion here.
Profile Image for Janeen Abdo.
Author 12 books18 followers
October 7, 2016
This keeps the story going

When I first started the series I was not sold on the first book but this one really brings it on . I love CA Grays Piercing the Veil series and this one is starting to prove it is as good.
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