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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Reed King’s amazingly audacious novel is something of a cross between L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, Douglas Adams’s A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.

In Reed King’s wildly imaginative and possibly prescient debut, the United States has dissolved in the wake of environmental disasters and the catastrophic
ebook, 480 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Flatiron Books
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3.59  · 
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 ·  104 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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FKA stands for "Formerly Known As." Sort of like AKA is "also known as." This novel presents a post-dissolution view of North America after wars, famine, etc., split the country up into different entities ranging from the corporate entities like Crunch to the Free State of Texas. It's now in the 2070's a divided country with borders, different currencies, etc. Crunch is a corporate run country on former Arkansas land, producing artificial chemical foods by workers living in hopeless shantytowns ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m always up for a dystopia, but had I been aware of this one’s voluminous page count, not sure I would have read it. Conciseness…I’m a huge fan of conciseness, precision, succinctness, just a basic ability to tell a story in, say, 300 pages. 400 if you must. Going close to 500 is seldom justified (and often just self indulgent), unless you’re Tolstoy or similar. But this novel does have a lot to say for all its verbosity. In the near future (end of 2100s) the country Formerly Known As USA is n ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc
Had it not been for the free ARC I received from NetGalley, I would most likely not have finished this book. The overall story arc was a typical quest story. But the incessant use of lingo from the dystopian future was too much. And while the footnotes, which I generally like in a book, were so intrusive in the story, I found that I lost track of the plot while trying to figure out what the background info was. There were also many times where the end of one chapter didn't coincide enough with t ...more
Sydney Smith
Thank you to Flatiron Books for the ARC!

“How would you like to save the world, son?”

FKA USA is a wild ride.

If you’re tired of reading the same old formulaic dystopian novel, this is the book for you. There are some tropes, such as the evil government/corporations stuff, but it's done in a way that feels fresh. In my opinion, this is definitely a unique take on a dystopian sci-fi adventure story that involves some odd and fun characters and an odd and funny mission (which I'll summarize more
Tonstant Weader
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book reviews that I struggle with the most are for those books that I fall in love with. I want to say “Trust me, just read it.” FKA USA by Reed King is one of those books. Trust me, just read it.

The title FKA USA is for Formerly Known As, though every time I saw it on the cover or the spine, my mind saw Effing-A USA. Am I wrong? When you read this, as you must, you will see there are reasons why it should be that.

Imagine The Wizard of Oz in 2085 when the United States has fractured into war
Ayla van Hissenhoven
This book was honestly so poorly written I had to force myself to read it. The concept is good enough but the usage of foot notes and appendices on every single page is disruptive to the flow and is akin to reading a textbook. The constant use of “could of” is annoying, but “could have” is written at least once, suggesting Reed King either doesn’t know proper English or just doesn’t care enough to fix it. Either way it too disrupts the flow of reading. The book is also filled with numerous creep ...more
Claire Draper
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reed King is an amazing writer. And though I wonder who this bestselling author is writing under the pseudonym Reed King, I think they did an amazing job. This world is immersive and the writing is crazy good. Can't wait for more from this author. And who doesn't love a book with a talking goat that's kind of a weirdo? It's such a great read, and it's easy to see why booksellers are loving this book. Oh and the twists and turns are amazing! So unexpected.
Roger Bailey
There is no doubt Reed King went all out in this novel. He has an epic world with crazy characters. The writing is good, the humor is sly. For me however this book didn't work. Too many sci-fi cliches; dystopian world ran by corporation-government hybrids, a mission of travel that hits bumps along the way, etc.

King shows promise and I would read again, but this one felt like someone who wanted to show everything they got in their debut and ended up throwing in the kitchen sink.

I received an
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 2085, the United States is no longer. Instead it is quite divided for a variety of geographical, economic, and political reasons and not all of them are good ones. In a futuristic and tech heavy world, Truckee Wallace is as close to a nobody as you can get. Then, his whole world get turned upside down as he is "asked" by the President to trek cross continent in an effort to save humanity as he knows it.

So, since he basically has no other choice, Truckee begins his mission. He is joined by an
InBooksILive Reviews
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
I really don't know what more I can say about this book than to say that I absolutely loved it. Every single crazy, what the hell is going on right now chapter!

Truckee Wallace is my damn hero. He is a smart mouthed, completely dumb but smart at the same time kind of character and I adore him.

Tiny Tim.. oh Tiny Tim.. I can't even say what I want about him cause I'd spoil the ending. He's special, let's say. I highly enjoyed him.

Barnaby the talking goat. Exactly how I would expect a talking goat
Feb 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
FKA USA is a dystopian fiction novel. In the formerly known as United States, government corporations are in charge. It's not difficult to imagine the scenario. We have a group of misfits embarking on a journey to save something. It's a formulaic story but still entertaining. The story is funny and sarcastic and witty instead of the usual bleak and dreary future I've read about. It's a good read overall but not the best I've ever read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest rev ...more
I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

Not great, not terrible. Lots of 'behind the corporate doors' intrigue and our hero running around trying to figure out what's going on and who's trying to kill him. The talking goat character is somewhat charming. The author did leave the door open for a sequel.
One thing did constantly annoy me throughout the book. Most of the characters say 'must of, would of could of' instead of 'must've, would've, could've'. Some characters do use t
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Note: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley)

The future "FKA USA," is a combination of mega-corporation, post-environmental catastrophes, cold wars running hot, Balkanized lands mixed with lawless (and barely inhabitable) flyover country, and a pervasive sense that what's left of humanity isn't too far away from the final curtain, to name just a few of the main ingredients in this gritty world. It's also a future that stings hard with its uncomfortable familiarity, but despite thi
Chelz Lor
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelz by: Net Galley
For this and more Dystopian horror reviews, please check out my website,

***Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a honest review***

There was a time that I was really into Dystopian Novels. They presented a “world after” that could be either horrifying, struggling, or uplifting in the face of change. (Most were horrifying). I can understand that and find the entertainment/learning value in novels that represent all that is bad about our world eventually destroying it. Wha
Laura Denton
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got an electronic version of this book through NetGalley. I was enticed by the publisher's blurb and do, generally, enjoy dystopian novels, sarcasm and intrigue, but I just could not tolerate the premise of the story or the writing. I managed to get through about 15 pages and gave up. Then, I felt like I should give it a second chance, but - sorry - no. It is rare that I have this kind of reaction. This was one of the few times that I've taken this advice from my mother (an English Lit major a ...more
TJ Byrnes
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one hell of a novel!

Truckee Wallace, a virgin out of the Crunch corporation territories, has to bring a wimpy talking goat named Barnaby to the famed city of San Francisco. On the way, he meets a bizarre cast of characters that include a Straw Man named Tiny Tim, a girl who's VR avatar is a purple cat, members of a religious sect that worship Elvis Presley, and Devil-worshipers who mistake Barnaby as their satanic messiah.

I really liked this novel, the author threw everything at the wal
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always maintained that when the apocalypse happens, I want to die in the first wave. Fast, relatively painlessly, clean. No drawn-out suffering. No huge moral dilemmas. No crazy Mad Max scenarios. Just, poof - gone. Game over.

FKA USA totally and completely reinforces that desire. If this is the future that's coming, thanks, but no thanks, I'm good. Just let me go quickly in one of the several nasty ways it Reed King kills off my fellow Oklahoma citizens - sinkhole, tornado, whatever. Just
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psrc
A big thank you to Goodreads and Flatiron for providing me with this giveaway win, out June 18!

This is really more of a 3.5 star read, but we all know Goodreads and the half-star conundrum.

Where my weird dystopian fans at? Have I got a book for you! This is for people who read Ready Player One and thought, "Huh. I wonder what the social politics outside of the OASIS are..."

This is a combination of some serious weird fanboy faves. I've already mentioned RPO, but it also reminded me a lot of Mel B
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FKA USA is a Wizard of Oz, Ready Player One, end of the world inspired road trip across the remains of the United States. Our main character, Truckee, is accompanied by a robot who is trying to prove their sentience, a man whose brain has been scarecrowed out, and a syncopic, talking goat whose survival is important to the future of the USA. You follow these characters as they navigate the complex social, political, and environmental changes of the United States all the whole learning what it me ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A young man strikes out across the fractured countries Formerly Known As USA with a straw man, a tin girl, and a cowardly (talking ) go to find a wizard that can put things right. It's not your father's Wizard of Oz. It's not your father's Wizard of Oz.

Truckee Wallace is happy enough with his life in a small company city/state after the USA has melted down and fractures twelve ways from Sunday, but destiny has bigger plans for him. When he tries to stop an industrial accident, sabotage, or poss
Sue Gill
Thank you to Goodreads for this ARC. It is much appreciated.

Although not my usual genre (dystopian), I was looking forward to reading this, intrigued by the description and wanting to branch out a bit as far as subject matter. Unfortunately I could not get much past the first chapter. I found the layout and story line (as little as I covered) confusing and odd. I was constantly going back and forth between the voluminous footnotes and the text. Which in a book of 100-200 pages would have been ok
Karen M
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The USA is no more. Big Business has split up the land into individual countries with all the hostilities you would expect. The salvation of the former USA depends, or so he is told, on one teenager, Truckee Wallace. It is 2085 and perhaps the beginning of the end.

This was one of those books that at the beginning I wondered if I had made a mistake. I mean, I enjoy post-apocalyptic novels but this one was a bit different. I gradually became captivated by the story and by Truckee’s adventures in s
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
In the land Formerly Known As USA, to say the world has gone to crap could be seen as an understatement. Set in a future which doesn't seem to be too far off, FKA USA is a wild, cross country ride that left me confused but also completely absorbed.

I won't pretend I understood every single thing (I wasn't a fan of the footnotes while reading, but I did like the extra info), but while I spent most of my reading time scratching my head, I also began to really feel for our main cast of characters. T
David Morgan
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FKA (formerly known as) USA is one hell of a dystopian ride complete with Androids, surgically altered Straw Men, and of course a talking goat. Although I found it hard to acclimate to this new world with unfamiliar slang, which there are numerous footnotes and appendices (sometimes too many) I eventually got into the the story and enjoyed it. I will say I don't think this is a book for everybody but if you can get into a long quirky book with sly humor and very interesting characters you just m ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a land formerly known as the USA a drudge of a factory worker, a talking goat, an android who wants to be a real boy and a criminal who has had part of his brain removed set off on a quest at the direction of their current disaster of a President. This take on the dystopian novel's does bring up comparisons to The Wizard of Oz and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but it is a much denser and surreal read. The use of footnotes can seem like useless digressions and slow the book down but if you ...more
Ashley Taglieri
Absolutely bloody brilliant!!!

A must read of 2019 and in my very humble opinion an instant classic.

The world building, the story, the characters, the dark humor reminiscent of American Psycho are all top notch. All done in the style of a historical memoir, which feels refreshing all the while giving the author room to build out the world and history of the USA post dissolution.

I see this as being this generation's 1984. A dark satire of the worst possible outcome of our current political, econ
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reed King's debut is a madcap romp across a fractured America. It's a post-apocalyptic/modern blend of the Wizard of Oz, updated by both cyberpunk and the contemporary obsession with social media, and with a tip of the hat to Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide. It's a lot of fun, includes a likable cast you'll recognize from Oz, though no flying monkies this time. It's not a short book, and I found I wanted to read it in short bites rather than binge the entire thing, which I liked. I liked the wh ...more
Kim McGee
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenage Truckee is an unsuspecting pawn in a powerful, chaotic race to deliver a goat with a human brain safely across a fractured futuristic USA. Not only will you barely recognize the landscape but this new world is filled with robots who long to be human, humans who act like robots as well as food and slang that sounds like Saturday cartoon commercials. It is Oz, Narnia, Planet of the Apes and Star Wars but on Earth. The appendix in the back and footnotes throughout help once you get used to ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I will like this novel more. But still I think it deserves 4 stars.
It started interesting but than I lost interest. Than it picked up, than again it started to bore me. It was rollercoaster of liking and disliking.
At the end I think it is a good dystopian novel. It has futuristic elements, that sound rather scary. ( How would you like to eat only synthetic food and never even try real, grown food? How would you like to live in the world, that you only would know from stories. Bird? Wha
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The United States has fallen apart into chaos and it is divided into conglomerates and colonies where electronic spying, computer virus and manipulation of humans to be more robotics than flesh and blood. Smart bands and visors take the place or education and memorization. Turkee and Barnaby, an intelligent talking goat, are chosen to made a trek across county to save the world from death. This is a tale of how far they will travel to save the human race from artificial intelligence. The undercu ...more
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“The tortures mankind devises for its amusement will surely render the devil redundant.” 1 likes
“I’m a firm believer in the right of every man, woman, and animal to end his or her life by choice, with dignity. We don’t choose the moment of our birth, and we certainly don’t choose the form our lives take on this pitiful planet. But we may choose the manner of our passing into the Great Pasture.” 0 likes
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