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The Apollo Illusion

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Nothing is ever what it seems in this riveting science fiction dystopia about a future society's frightening overdependence on technology. A mind-bending, powerful debut from award-winning journalist Shari Lopatin.


The year is 2150, and bullied nineteen-year-old Flora can no longer ignore the burning curiosity to learn what's behind the
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Published May 19th 2018 by BookBooks Publishing
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Dear Shari,

Thank you for sending me your book. When I picked it up and glanced at the back cover, I had a weird moment, because you look quite a lot like our Russian friend Genia. And then when I read it, I had another weird moment at the point where one of the characters discovers, completely out of the blue, that they have terminal cancer. That's just what happened to Genia, and a month later she was dead. We miss her very much.

One of Genia's best qualities was that she was always totally hone
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, ya, sci-fi
Sometimes the hardest part of reviewing a book is telling the prospective reader that their impressions of the first quarter of a book should not be the expectation they should have by the end.

For me, and with little more to go on other than the feeling like I was reading another The Giver mixed with an impression that this was another 1984 in spirit, my expectations led me to believe that scales would fall from eyes. And they do. But also because this is a YA dystopia with a lot of the feel of
Elinor Stone
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Apollo Illusion is the realistic evolution of the dystopian genre; a must-read for the book lover who is stirred by storytelling that is directly influenced by the current state of the world. Because of this, you cannot help but find yourself immersed in the story while reflecting on our present cultural trends. You can feel the change of landscapes the author creates, as well as connecting with the main characters. I found that joining them on their journey was exciting and suspenseful. Sha ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The romance side of things is a big part of the story. It doesn’t feel forced or overly cheesy. I didn’t feel like it added much to the story but then again I am not a romance kind of person. I liked how the story is hinting at a possible future that could happen to us in this day and age. Just the right push in a specific way could end up like this world the Author built. Where one side information is controlled so specifically. Or the other side where technology tells you when to brush your te ...more
Zoe's Human
There were many things about this novel I enjoyed, and as a freshman effort, it was good. However, there were some glaring issues as well as some things I disliked as an individual and a feminist.

The writing, in terms of the actual prose, was good. It was paced nicely, it flowed well, and the dialogue, which is a tough thing to write, felt like actual conversation. I loved the universe. It's a great dystopian society with some nuance to it that asks the reader to examine some complex questions a
Jessa Julian
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Normally, I think dystopian novels are OK. I think they have an interesting premise, but I find that most authors overdo the concept. This makes it excessively difficult for me to buy into the world that they're selling. Then comes Shari Lopatin with one of the best books I've been asked to review in my last two years of blogging. I'm so flipping in love with this book that I was begging it not to end. When it did end, as all good things must sadly do, I stared at my Kindle with an absolutely bl ...more
John Coon
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for compelling sci-fi stories and the premise of this book hooked me.

It is set in 2150 in a state named Apollo that has formed out of a portion of the former United States. Flora, a 19-year old college student, is driven by a thirst to find out what lies behind the wall that surrounds Apollo. On the surface, her home state appears to be a utopia of reading and learning. In reality, a sinister Orwellian undercurrent exists that threatens to envelop anyone who dares to question what l
The author, Shari Lopatin, of The Apollo Illusion contacted me a few months ago about sending me a Kindle version of her book that will be released on May 19th for me to write up a review about the book! I've been asked in the past by authors to do this and am really picky about what I read (many times I decline, but this is the third time I accepted). I don't want to be bored out of my mind or feel forced to read a book in general. Thankfully, this book actually captivated me quickly.

This is pr
Cyana Scriptora
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to a world that is frightening and yet, oh so hauntingly familiar. This book will make you wonder about our society and the type of future our children could inherit…

Flora has always loved her life in Apollo, especially the clean, pleasant community of three person families, she calls trilogies. In Apollo, education is free to all and artistic expressions are encouraged. Life is good with her best friend Andrew, so why can’t she just put her curiosity aside? Despite Andrew’s warnings, sh
Becca Braunstein
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Apollo Illusion The Apollo Illusion by Shari Lopatin

I am a sucker for a good dystopian novel-and The Apollo Illusion did not disappoint!
The characters are well thought out and realistic for their too good to be true lives that they lead. Flora provides the reader with a heroine worth rooting for throughout the entire novel.

Shari gives us a frightening glimpse into what society would be like if the government controlled all of our information while isolating us from the rest of the world. I was captivated by the mystery of
Jerry Lopatin
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found the book to be absolutely fascinating, capturing my imagination from the very start. All of the characters are brought to life in a very realistic fashion. The author was capable of creating a futuristic world that the reader could easily understand and buy into, with technology that really gets your own imagination going. I have often walked away from books that did not have the ability to grab my interest from the onset and maintain it. This book does that…. keeps your interest the ent ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before anyone begins to read too far into my review, I feel I should be transparent and offer the disclaimer that the author, Shari, is my sister. Anyone who feels this lessens the credibility of my review, feel free to read on to the next review (no hard feelings, I get it). Placing aside my personal connection to the author, I truly was intrigued and captivated by the world I was brought into upon first reading The Apollo Illusion. A world is created which makes us question, which is better, b ...more
Karen E
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In a world of turmoil created by a Virtual Revolution in 2075, Ms. Lopatin spins a story of suspense where Flora, a curious college student and her friends, Andrew and Don, seek answers to what is beyond the wall that surrounds their idealistic home near Flagstaff, Arizona, called Apollo. Ms. Lopatin’s writing style is fast paced and I found myself reading the book in a day! I was always excited to return to find out what lay beyond. The frightening realization of what lies beyond does not seem ...more
Kristin Eveld
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Apollo Illusion is a futuristic novel that follows Flora, Andrew and Don as they look for answers about the world outside of Apollo. The Apollo Illusion is set in Northern Arizona, and is very well written in an easy to read format. Shari does a wonderful job of painting a picture of a society that appears idealistic, however you quickly realize that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface than the citizens of Apollo are aware. Throughout the book the looming question of “What is be ...more
Raschelle Mullette
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Apollo Illusion is an enthralling dystopian story. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. The story is compelling and holds your attention to the very end. In a George Orwell-type of way, this story makes you think about the future of society, especially given today’s climate about truth, privacy, and privilege.

The story is well-written and captivating. You are immediately sucked into the lives of the characters. Shari weaves together mystery, political commentary, and ordinary lif
Mandy Parmenter
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flora is 19 and lives in the State of Apollo. She is being bullied daily and just dying with curiosity on what is behind the wall surrounding the State, after all everyone can read, send text messages, discuss motivations and philosophies, but questioning what is on The Other Side is not allowed. However she reveals a dark secret and finds herself in a complicated web of both truth and lies. She leaves a clue for her childhood best friend Andrew and hangs all her hopes on that bond coming throug ...more
Paul DiBara
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review: Apollo Mission

Utilitarianism, a political philosophy based on the greatest good for the greatest number, seems like a laudable civic goal. But, like any political system, it’s all in the implementation. What do you do about those who don’t agree with the majority judgment about what is good or bad? How tolerant should a society be of dissenters?

Apollo is a sealed society, entirely walled off from the outside but based on the notion that education and knowledge are paramount. It is also a
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(First I must put a disclaimer that I am the mother of this author. However, with that said, the author herself would be the first to say that this fact would have no bearing on the review! I am probably more critical because she IS my daughter. :)

What is to become of our world and our societies well into the future? How is technology and class structure going to mold the societies of the future? The Apollo Illusion, by Shari Lopatin, gives us a rather harrowing view of what we may see well int
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
I really enjoyed this book.

The story is interesting and it moves along at a good clip for most of the novel. The world is very well-developed, and given the direction our world is going, it seems like a very plausible future. The characters were also vividly rendered, and they were imperfect enough to seem real.

There are a couple of areas that I think could have been improved:
- The alternating viewpoint (Flora/Andrew) was done very effectively, but it did sacrifice opportunities for suspense to
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Ward
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicky Quenault
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid novel with a good premise, quite topical to the current times.
Spelling and grammar etc were excellent, which is always a huge plus!
Characters were mostly believable, but a little under developed. There were no real instances where you could empathise with them. I believe this is because they didn’t really emote genuinely, and this leaves them coming across as stilted and one dimensional. They definitely go through challenges that would normally elicit strong emotions from a reader. There
Calleen Petersen
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A tiny bit reminiscent of the Divergent series but this story stands on it’s own and is not a retelling of those stories. This is fresh and new and explores a host of ideas and commentary on current society through the lens of a dystopian novel.
One of my favorite phrases from the book is when Andrew, a young man in the book, reflects on losing his father and how others in their community helped them- “Their help was genuine, but shallow.” It’s phrases like these that make the book come to life b
Fredrick Danysh
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A coming of age novel set in the future in which social media has played a role in creating a divided society. Isolated and walled off, Apollo supported education and the arts while the Other Side has two classes with the majority struggling to survive. The story has Flora and Andrew exploring their feelings and curiosity about the other side of the enclosing wall. The book is well written and thought provoking. This was a free review copy offered to me by the author through
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toni Donston
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flora is 19 and lives in Apollo - a place which has a motto of 'light, truth and knowledge'. However, Flora begins to question her world and so begins a journey in to the unknown.
Dystopian future books are my favourite genre and I really enjoyed this one - I would highly recommend this book.
Thanks to Voracious Readers Only and the author for my free copy 🙂
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received my complimentary copy via voracious readers only and I'm so glad I did! A very detailed, gripping dystopian adventure. I really enjoyed reading this book. It's lengthy but every chapter keeps you interested. The twists and turns kept me guessing the whole time. Highly recommend! ...more
Barbara Bush
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is AMAZING !

Hard to believe that this is a first novel. Excellent! The storyline, characters, background details are all perfectly developed. All I can say is READ this! It is also amazingly relevant to today's world.
Jess Scott
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a riveting story! From the get go it draws you right in. I was always wanting to know what was next. Definitely a good read.

*received free copy from author via Voracious Readers Only*
Booker Bookman
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic dystopian sci-fi novel! Love every minute of it. Strong, realistic characters. A compelling mystery. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Shari Lopatin tells stories that matter. An award-winning journalist in her earlier years, she now writes complex and stimulating suspense novels that tie into modern-day social issues. Shari has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, public relations professional, social media manager, and earned the title of “Cat Mom of the Year.” Learn more at ...more

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