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Kings of a Dead World

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The Earth’s resources are dwindling. The solution is the Sleep.
Inside a hibernating city, Ben struggles with his limited waking time and the disease stealing his wife from him. Watching over the sleepers, lonely Peruzzi craves the family he never knew.

Everywhere, dissatisfaction is growing. The city is about to wake.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published June 10, 2021

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About the author

Jamie Mollart

3 books40 followers
I’m a writer based in the Leicestershire countryside. My first novel, The Zoo, was published to critical acclaim in 2015 by Sandstone Press. Amazon made me one of their rising stars that year.

My short story, Home Game, was featured in the Lost and Found anthology
published by Dahlia Press.

My second novel, Kings of a Dead World is due to be released on June 10th 2021.

My third is being worked on as we speak.

I’ve been a long running guest on Litopia, the web’s biggest writing podcast, interviewed by BBC Ulster, BBC Radio Leicester, BBC Radio Nottingham, featured at The Isle of Man Book Festival, Lowdham Festival, Writing East Midlands’ Writing Conference and have taught novel writing for Writing School Leicester.

I’m a member of Nottingham Writers Studio and The Society of Authors.

I love words and all they can do. I hope you like mine.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 89 reviews
Profile Image for Paperback Mo.
231 reviews80 followers
July 18, 2021
4.5 stars

Author Interview TODAY with Jamie Mollart in the chat so you can ask your own questions!


We discuss;
-greek mythology 🏛
-psychopathic characters 🔪
-cover art 🎨
-and writing in a pandemic 🦠

This is a dystopian sci-fi and it also fits into the climate-fiction genre too

Three narratives and two timelines - Jamie Mollart has done an exceptional job of fusing these together to create an awesome reading experience.

Included in my May Wrap Up video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xNv-...

We’re in a world where all the resources on earth are running out and the powers that be have decided that the solution is something called “the sleep”, everyone sleeps for three months straight and then wakes for a month so essentially you’re only awake for 3 months in the entire year.

This was an interesting read, thought provoking, and some good twists as well.
Id love to see this on the big screen, This has got massive potential for a movie or a tv series.
Profile Image for Brian Clegg.
Author 166 books2,470 followers
June 10, 2021
Jamie Mollart's Kings of a Dead World is a challenging read, but is a great demonstration of why science fiction is much more than just space operas (fun though they can be) - the genre gives a unique opportunity to explore the worlds of 'What if?' I'm not quite sure why, but dystopias - which this very dark book is with a vengeance - seem to be back in fashion. To be honest, in difficult times likes these I prefer to read enjoyable escapism, but if someone insists on publishing a dystopian novel during a pandemic, Jamie Mollart has discovered a way to make the concept fresh and interesting.

The book has three interlaced storylines. One is from before the collapse of society as we know it, pretty much around the present, which is 50 years in the past of the other two storylines. In that future world, most of the population is put to sleep for months at a time, emerging for a month of life before being put back to sleep again. We see this occurring from the viewpoint of an elderly citizen and his dementia-suffering wife, and from the worldview of a janitor, a member of an elite who stay awake all the time to look after their sector of the country and to somewhat magically generate money ('credits') for the sleepers to live on when they wake. The setup is hugely imaginative - a fascinating thought experiment in world building.

For me, by far the best segments were those featuring the janitor - to an extent, I wish the whole thing had been told from this viewpoint which would have both removed the mildly irritating interlacing of storylines and would have made the gradual reveal of what had happened more dramatic. As it was, I rushed through the other segments to get back to the janitor. There's real depth in his gradual realisation of the false nature of his picture of the world, and an excellent portrayal of his stranger-in-a-strange-land experiences in the zone that he nominally controls as his world falls apart.

I did have a couple of problems with the book. We discover that Ben, one of the two main characters, was a bomb-making terrorist in the past-set segments, which makes it difficult to identify with him. He is also in his eighties in the late-set segments, yet despite this and a poor diet, he sometimes acts physically as if he were Bruce Willis in Diehard. The bigger issue was the credibility of the scenario. The changes to the UK don't bear any resemblance to current climate change predictions. For no obvious reason, countries seem to have abandoned all efforts to produce renewable energy or mitigate climate change. The country can't support the basics of life, but is able to maintain an extremely high tech computerised system controlling citizens' sleep. Similarly, it's not possible to maintain simple technology like wind generators, but somehow this extremely advanced technology is kept going. Perhaps worst of all, in the 50 years or so between the 'our world' and 'their world' segments, all existing culture and religion has been replaced by one dreamed up from scratch - it's far too short a timescale for such a fundamental culture change.

The result is a mixed bag. Mollart leaves a lot hanging at the end - I don't know if the intention is to have a sequel, but there is a lot that is never tied up. For a modern title, there are surprisingly few female central characters - the strongest drawn is an AI. Despite the flaws, though, the action sequences are engaging and there is considerable depth to the world that Mollart has created. It's not the sort of book that I can really say that I enjoyed - but I'm very glad that I read it.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,385 reviews977 followers
April 14, 2021
Kings Of A Dead World had a highly imaginative and powerful premise, immediately involving and beautifully done.

Moving between past and present, from a group of revolutionaries (or terrorists depending on how you look at it) to a world that sleeps to protect resources, this novel proposes a truly terrifyingly possible end to life as we know it.

Jamie Mollart immerses us into two lives, one old, one young, both with their own particular demons, living in a dead world. As we learn what lead them here, a darkly observant narrative unfolds as both realise that the status quo might not be exactly as it appears.

This is an intelligent, thought provoking tale which is also highly addictive and full of character twists and turns that really engage the reader with the world created here. It is melancholy and oft beautiful with an underlying sense of unease that stays with you.

Really excellent. I have no problem at all with highly recommending it.
Profile Image for imyril.
436 reviews59 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
January 26, 2022
DNF at 113 pages

This is a puzzle box book, playing its cards close to its chest. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the characters / plot sufficiently engaging to stay with this. I found the world building full of logic gaps (which maybe get explained later? But they were distracting) and the male gaze / sexualisation tiresome. Oh, and one of the main characters is a violent extremist. Stir in a dementia subplot and I’m out - way too many personal red flags.

I received a free review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cailean McBride.
Author 5 books2 followers
April 17, 2021
I think it was Clive James in one of his collected TV reviews who made the observation that science fiction (and especially the speculative variety, I’d add) tells you almost nothing about the future it represents and everything about the time in which it is written. Thus even the likes of the old Republic Flash Gordon serials say more about the twin fears of xenophobia and organised crime that permeated the Depression-hit 1930s. And Blade Runner says more about 1980’s fear of the effects of global corporatisation on the self and the then nascent concern over environmentalism than it does about 2019 (either the fictional version or the real one we’ve recently lived through).

And this is also certainly true of Jamie Mollart’s Kings of a Dead World. It’s core concept — that dwindling resources and overpopulation leave the human race seeking drastic, and bleak, measures to ensure survival is an impactful premise because you know that it’s a real one and that whatever real answers we come up with aren’t going to be pretty, if we even come up with any at all.

It’s this disquiet that keeps us reading. It’s an issue in which every one of us invested, every one of us has a stake. The problem for me is that Mollart’s conception of our future world never quite fully lifts itself off the page. The best analogy I can think of is to take the two big hitters of this genre — Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World — and use them as something of a case study. Both are great books that have pertinent points to make even today but I always feel that Orwell’s world attains a solid and believable reality that Huxley’s never does. The reason is the same as I ultimately found the world of Kings unconvincing. The world-building, while skilful, is too comprehensive, too complete. For a world set a mere 60 years from now, the entire social hierarchy, from the Bacchus-worshipping Janitors to the Rip Van-controlled Sleepers seems just that bit too divorced from the world that precedes it. Times move on, often dramatically, but echoes of the old orders persist. For instance, we are very much in the digital age now but distinct aspects of Elizabethan feudalism still persist, and perhaps always will. (Although it should be mentioned that there is a pretty credible in-world reason why this might be the case but one that spoilers prevent me from making any more explicit).

For me, where Kings really works is as political allegory. In representing a world where a sophisticatedly manipulated populace are controlled by an elite who attempt to prop up a failing and increasingly ineffective systems of stock markets, the book really works. And as a Ballardian parable of a society falling into violent collapse it’s an effective and thrilling read. The atmosphere of rising dread in the Awake sections of the novel is palpable and credible and these are definitely the strongest portions of the novel. The desperation as the ageing Ben struggles to provide for his dementia-ridden wife Rose amidst a backdrop of fraying tempers and dwindling resources provide some of the most emotionally affecting moments in the book.

Less effective are the Asleep sections which focus on Peruzzi, the city’s Janitor. You can see why they’re there — to give us an insight into the wider organisation of the city than we could get merely from Ben’s POV. But they are less involving perhaps because Peruzzi and his fellow Janitors are isolated, solitary figures, hard to empathise with, even before we start to see their truly amoral, even murderous, sides emerge. And their Paganistic worship of Bacchus gives these sections an almost 70s Logan’s Run-esque vibe.

Ultimately, the Peruzzi and Ben storylines are married together but not in a way that I find wholly convincing, relying as it does just a bit too much on massive coincidence. We’re asked to make an emotional leap in the last pages of the book but I’m not sure sufficient groundwork was put in to make it stick. Mollart is incredibly adept at the action sequences which are gripping and zing along nicely but he does tend to elide over the emotional a little.

By contrast, I would liked to have seen a little more in the Before section, of the events that led up to the introduction of the Sleepers. This section is well-realised and the sequence of events of the ‘end of the world as we know it’ feels all too credible and realistic. But there feels as if there was scope here for more character work in the relationships between the younger versions of Ben and Rose and both their relationships with charismatic cult leader Andreas. There’s also an interesting relationship with the disturbingly violent police officer Quinn, who pursues them and who later plays a pivotal role in the story. Putting the conflict between these two more directly into the story could, I think, have been interesting.

But despite its minor flaws, it’s a compelling, well-written thriller and certainly does force the reader to engage with world issues that really should be more on our minds than they currently are.
Profile Image for Ceris.
87 reviews6 followers
December 12, 2020
Someone turn this into a film! It'd be absolutely fantastic on screen, too.
Profile Image for Snoakes.
817 reviews28 followers
July 6, 2021
The dead world is a futuristic version of earth, where climate change has left much of Britain flooded and what remains is parched and arid. No amount of solar panels or wind turbines has been enough to satiate the world's greed for power. Therefore the United World Congress has come up with an extreme solution - if the demand for resources cannot be curbed, then the time that people can use those resources will be. The result is The Sleep - three months of induced sleep followed by a month of real life.
Peruzzi is one of the kings of this dead world. Raised from birth to be a janitor, he leads a privileged if lonely life, monitoring his patch of the city, maintaining his sleepers and trading to earn the creds they will use to buy supplies when they wake.
82 year old Ben is one of those sleepers. His wife Rose has dementia and his struggle to make the most of their short time together is deeply affecting. But when they were younger, Ben and Rose were activists in an organisation called the NSF - fighting the authorities for people's right to control their own lives. And so the story unfurls from three points of view: Peruzzi, Ben and Ben's account of his life before the Sleep in the NSF.
It's a dark dystopian thriller with complex and not always likeable characters. Initially, Ben's devotion to Rose tugs the heartstrings and yet as you learn more of the NSF, you wonder how much of your pity he deserves. But too late - you are already invested. Peruzzi too appears a benevolent figure at the start, selflessly caring for his flock, but he is naive, quick to anger and easily led astray.
I particularly liked the fact that some elements of this world were left unexplained. Where do all the luxuries Peruzzi enjoys come from? Likewise who supplies the resources to keep the sleepers alive? What exactly were the NSF fighting for? Not filling in all the details cleverly keeps you mulling it over long after you've finished reading. Gripping and thought-provoking, I couldn't put it down. Without doubt, one of my books of the year.
Profile Image for Shona.
82 reviews
June 18, 2022
This book is a dystopian panic attack on paper.
Profile Image for John Derek.
459 reviews22 followers
June 10, 2021
Kings of a Dead World by Jamie Mollart
General Fiction (Adult) | Literary Fiction | Sci Fi & Fantasy

The Earth’s limited resources are dwindling. The solution is The Sleep: periods of hibernation imposed on those who remain with only a Janitor to watch over the sleepers.
In the sleeping city, elderly Ben struggles with his limited waking time and the disease that is stealing his wife from him. Outside, lonely Janitor Peruzzi craves the family he never knew. Around them both, dissatisfaction is growing. The city is about to wake.

My Review.
This is an awe-inspiring novel, a real page-turner. It is a dystopian story designed to pull at your very heartstrings.
Reading this, I am thinking J.G Ballard, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
High Rise, Brave New World and 1984 all rolled into one.
This is brilliant because they are three of my all-time favourite books.
Kings of a Dead World is definitely an incredible read. Jamie Mollart presents us with a future that is not beyond the realms of possibility.
All the growing of food and production of other goods are done away from towns and cities. These tasks are performed by robots but, it is up to the Janitor's to trade goods on a stock market and gain credits for the populace.
There is a lot to like about the character of Ben. He loves his wife Rose but, he knows the futility of the future. He feels such pain, not for himself but for her and the many like her.
Peruzzi is a flawed Janitor, built like a brick toilet (too much spare time on his hands), who is quickly, getting disillusioned with life.
There is a lot of passion and empathy within the characters involved. Ben especially, despite his ageing frailties, shows the reader how as human beings, we can still find strength when needed.
We have glimpses of how and why Ben and Rose got together and who the cult leader Andreas was, and how they got involved with him. It also goes on to explain the anarchy that the cult caused that preceded events. But no spoilers.
The dialogues are very realistic, as you would expect, so prepare for imaginative language and content.
As each chapter progresses, it ramps up the excitement. And the pace was relentless throughout. I hope that does not sound like a contradiction on my part.
Kings of a Dead World is also quite thought-provoking. There is a passage in the book where Ben says, "The meeting of the United World Congress was to be held the following month. The leaders were to be flown in over a period of three days, and decisions were to be made that would end the shortages and over-population and the rising waters and wars and starvation. The solutions presented ranged from extreme to unimaginable, and there was a feeling, certainly amongst the people that I associated with, that this was the final solution, no one, ever expects they will see Armageddon in their lifetime. no-one expected the world wars, the middle-east wars, the Korean holocaust, the oil wars, and yet, somehow there was always an end to them, and the human race marched on."
And I thought how poignant, very apt and who knows maybe very prophetic.
I think this may be a controversial book for some, then so were most of Ballards, he didn't do too bad as an author, did he?
Maybe that is the best compliment I personally can pay the Kings of the Dead, if it had been written by J G Ballard, I would not have been the least bit surprised.
I am sure we will be hearing a great deal more from Jamie Mollart.
Suffice to say, I really enjoyed the book. It was insightful, intense and imaginative. Kings of a Dead World is a thought-provoking thriller of a novel that will entertain to the very end.
Thank you, NetGalley and Sandstone Press, for the ADC.
Profile Image for Mark Redman.
587 reviews25 followers
June 30, 2021
Jamie Mollart – Kings of the Dead World

‘Kings of a Dead World’ by Jamie Mollart is a powerful work of dystopian, speculative fiction, set approximately sixty years in our future. Earth’s resources are dwindling to the point of running out. At the same time bringing the onset of drastic climate changes. The solution is The Sleep: periods of hibernation imposed on those who remain with only a Janitor in each zone to watch over the sleepers.

The story is split between two characters, Ben Middleton and Peruzzi. Ben in the time before the new world, tries to stop it happening with his anarchist group NSF. Ben in the present day, coping with the new world. Peruzzi is the caretaker for his district sleeping inhabitants in this new world. The storyline featuring Ben in the ‘time before’ concentrates on what Ben did, how and why he helped bring about this new world. Both Ben and Peruzzi are flawed characters in this character-driven book. I found myself completely wrapped in their feelings and worries, their triumphs and their every emotion.

On the downside, the narrative was very focused on the experiences of a few men, with little input from women. Yes, there was Rose, Ben’s wife. I felt for how Ben struggled with his waking time and the disease stealing his wife from him. We also have Kitty, Andreas’ sometimes girlfriend. This wasn’t so much a problem, just worth noting. There were plot revelations that changed my opinion about Ben. This demonstrated how well the characters were developed. How the author handled this development, especially evoking feelings both positive and negative towards Ben. It made me ask, what would I have done?

On the speculative side of the plot, it felt very much like The Handmaids Tale. It is very easy to see this world event scenario happening. It makes you question the ethical dilemmas, of who should live and die, like the final solution, although this isn’t discussed in any depth. Other ethical questions about how we should live, who has the power to make these decisions, should they make these ethical decisions. It was all very immersive and felt very realistic, insightful and powerful. Towards the end, there were some really good plot revelations and I felt the ending was handled perfectly.

This was a brilliant reading experience and it makes you think and question the world we live in.
Very highly recommended.
Profile Image for Fordith.
106 reviews2 followers
February 3, 2022
As someone who is not usually a dystopian genre reader I was surprised how intrigued by this book I was from just the blurb, so when I got the change to read it I snapped it up.

There are two strands of story told from very different viewpoints, Ben, who is one of the 'sleepers' trying to live in the new world order and Peruzzi who watches over the sleepers. I think that Mollart does a good job of switching between the two enough that it keeps the reader engaged and asking important questions.

As I said I am not usually a dystopian reader so I cannot compare this book to many others but I thought that the world building was great but I would have liked a little more explanation of how the world got that way (but have a feeling there may be other books so maybe it gets explained then) but what we do get is a short leap from understandable.

My only real issue with the book is that it is a bit of a sausage fest, there aren't any strong female characters or indeed any characters that aren't in the book except to be a plaything for the male characters. Even Rose - Ben's wife is mainly there as a hinderance. Perhaps that will change in upcoming books but for now I am only looking at this one.

Despite that I did really enjoy the book and would probably read the sequel if there is one to find out what happens next in this world and where it all goes from there. It is hard to talk about the book without giving spoilers so I will just say, definitely give this book a go and see what you think and then come talk to me about it!

Thank you to @Netgalley and @Sandstonepress for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Peter Baran.
496 reviews30 followers
January 9, 2023
There's a solid premise at the heart of Kings Of A Dead World (to stop a resources crisis, everyone sleeps for three months and wakes for one), but this backdrop is used to tell a number of disparate stories which don't really need the backdrop. We get the story of an old man whose wife has dementia, and he is trying to maintain some sort of quality of life. There is the story of the terrorists trying to agitate about the resources crisis (they are quite nihilistic and its unclear what their solution is). And there is the story of the "janitor" of the city, who doesn't sleep, and instead does trading to pay for the resources. These stories sometimes feel metaphorical, but interact in an unnatural way and during the process the entire world building sort of falls apart. The book kind of hand waves its premise being a convenient fiction but by then I stopped caring.

Also, I don't think, no matter how high the tides get and the water rises, blowing up London's water defenses will not end up in "the Shard getting washed away".
Profile Image for Adrianne.
197 reviews6 followers
March 9, 2022
*A copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Going into this book I expected a science fiction story about a possible future of our planet, and the remaining population's fight for survival. However, this story is so much more than that.
It doesn't matter if you are a sci-fi fan, I guarantee you will find something here that you like. It is a dystopia, which shows how politics and idealism fight for dominance when faced with the end of a world as we know it. How drastic decisions made by few can impact the lives of all for decades to come.
But most of all, this is a story of love. Not the romantic kind that you swoon over, but the real kind. The kind that will make you feel things and question everything that you knew at the start.
Profile Image for Harley.
49 reviews4 followers
June 18, 2021
Climate change is rendering the world uninhabitable and there are too many people for the space that’s left. The world needs to do something and world leaders are taking matters into their own hands. Their solution? Sleep. With a capital S. In the waking time between, Ben steals moments with Rose, who is slipping through his fingers as each Awake moment passes. Peruzzi watches over them all, tasked as the sentient watchman of the Sleepers, but his ivory tower is shrinking. The city is waking up and reality is crumbling. Ben is desperate to confess his past before it’s too late. What is left when the world we thought we knew falls apart around us?

What a novel. I raced through this at such a pace that I definitely need to read it again. This is the kind of book I want to go back and revel in. Spot the moments that link all the parts of the plot together in this tense, multifaceted and fast-paced narrative.

I have read a lot of ‘cli-fi’ style books, and what strikes me having read this novel is how often books in this genre focus on the powerlessness of the human race against the inevitable climate onslaught we all face. Narratives focus on the post-apocalyptic ‘after’ and how humans that are left begin to rebuild. But this comes only after humans are ‘done to’. In this novel, world leaders have to choose to ‘do to’ the human race. They realise they need to take decisive actions. What Mollart shows us is something that feels close and uncomfortable – the reality is that world powers will have the power to decide what action to take and this novel explores what that action might look like. It places humans in the driving seat and it’s not pretty.

Mollart’s pacing was perfect – while I felt like I was hurtling towards the climactic ending for most of the novel, at no point did I want to slow down. There was something in that which spoke to the wider themes in the novel – there’s a fragility to the set up with ‘Sleep’ which, once tested, rapidly unravels.

I think the only place the pacing came as a detriment was in some of the emotional exchanges between characters. I wanted to feel a little more for their interactions, some of which were imbued with such human feeling that I didn’t really have time to take it all in. That said, I can see why it would be that way – the chain of events wasn’t going to wait for emotion or relationships. It certainly didn’t detract from the thoroughly engaging reading experience.

This book is one I’ve thought about for some time since putting it down. It is powerful and uncomfortable and real. And you should go read it, because it is out now!

*Thanks Sandstone Press for this advance read copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Andrew Salgado.
263 reviews53 followers
September 7, 2022
REVIEW: this was one of the craziest deep dives I’ve read recently. Totally immersive and filmic, for fans of dystopian / speculative fiction or any of the following films: Blade Runner, Alien, Minority Report, Children of Men, and even Demolition Man. 🐀 Weird, because I nearly DNF at 150 pages and then something clicked and it totally sucked me in. A must read for sci-fi fans. 🩻 👁 💡🌃🧑🏻‍🎤 5/5
#jamiemollart #kingsofadeadworld
124 reviews3 followers
June 14, 2021
I think that this book does a really good job of being a novel: the prose is really enjoyable; the characterisations are fully fleshed out, internally consistent, distinct, and interesting; tense sequences actually made me feel tense; pacing was consistently interesting throughout. I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book.

I don't know that it had anything particularly new to say, though. The picture it painted of a climate-apocalypse Britain felt detailed and interesting, and much like The Wall, it had a real sense of the landscape. The underlying messages about power and consequences I liked a lot, and again felt really real. But really new ideas? Not a ton, honestly. I feel like Early Riser did a much better job of thinking about the effects that hibernation would have on society, for example. On the flip side, I certainly enjoyed the pastiche of trading and ideas about what effect traders actually have on the world.

I guess my sense of disappointment comes from the fact that this feels like a first book in a series, and I still have a number of questions about how things became the way they are and where it goes next. I think that the sense of unanswered questions also comes from the way that we see the world through the eyes of the people who aren't pulling the strings, and in a way it did a very good job of conveying that sense of powerlessness under capitalism. Real life isn't satisfying, and the fact that it managed to tie three storylines together and have one or two genuine reveals really isn't to be sneezed at.
Profile Image for Dan.
Author 12 books129 followers
November 10, 2022
The book comes alive during its intense action sequences, but it isn't very well paced, it's *very* male-oriented, with the only major female character little more than a remote and idealized "romantic interest" who spends half the novel in a semi-vegetative state, while its dystopian world-building is grounded in some questionable ideas about over-population and giant globalist conspiracies.
Profile Image for Ben Thompson.
8 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2021
I bought this book as the plot interested me as I find dystopian themes very interesting. This is set in a bleak futuristic Britain where the population is subject to ‘The Sleep’ or so we think….

I enjoyed the book a lot, the last 50 pages were a real rollercoaster of emotions and twists and turns with a good ending. I also enjoyed the segments of the book which gave us a look into the past to see how the world had gotten into the mess it was in.

Great work Jamie , a super book.
Profile Image for Alix.
19 reviews
March 15, 2022

J’ai trouvé l’idée et la narration géniales, différente de toutes les sf et dystopies, et on se remet bcp en question dans ce livre. Mais je regrette qu’à la fin certaines questions soient restées sans réponses..
June 10, 2021
This is one of the most gripping books I have ever read! Jamie Mollart has the most incredible imagination and paints such a vivid picture I could see every person and every single place so clearly in my minds eye.
The thought of the end of the world becomes very real and as you follow Ben and Peruzzi's journeys through this story - you find yourself feeling their worries, their triumphs and their every emotion as this incredible story unravels.
The last book that left me feeling like this was Stanley Kubricks Clockwork Orange many years ago - I thought about it for weeks and The Kings of a Dead world has moved me in just as powerful a way.
Profile Image for Paul Braddon.
Author 1 book11 followers
June 10, 2021
'Kings of a Dead World' by Jamie Mollart is an astonishing and powerful vision of society struggling post environmental collapse, full of memorable characters and unique settings. A clever structure lures you in, catching you on the horns of the individual narratives until it all comes crashing together with unstoppable force. If you like your dystopian reading matter dark and peppered with surprises, then this is for you.
2 reviews
April 28, 2021
Kings of a Dead World: A Welcome Take on Dystopia

Kings of a Dead World is the latest release from Leicestershire writer, Jamie Mollart. Six years following the release of cult hit The Zoo, Amazon’s 2015 Rising Star author is back with a compelling and remarkably fresh interpretation of dystopia.
As a member of the Climate Fiction Writers League, Mollart’s builds his world in the not-so-distant future where war, exploitation and global warming have finally laid waste to the land. The new Earth is shown through the eyes of Ben, a man whose many years have not been kind, as he wakes from a medically-induced coma called The Sleep. He is part of the world’s 99% who are forever forced into a cycle of 3 months of sleep with only one waking month in between. Compared to more traditional dystopian tales, like The Hunger Games or A Clockwork Orange, Mollart’s backbone concept adds that corporate control for an eerie kind of realism where the world no longer cares for its people.
In terms of the plot, scenes periodically flick between three story strands. For me, this is what kept the pages turning. One chapter is dedicated to Ben, the next, Peruzzi then, what I found the most compelling, the flashback sequence. The rolling switch in perspectives gives the plot momentum whilst only feeling a little jarring during the first few chapters. For example, the book opens with Ben’s first-person perspective then shifts to third to introduce Peruzzi, a well-dressed corporate who must stay awake to watch the Sleepers. However, the punchy but intimate style does an impressive job of placing readers alongside Peruzzi, much like it does with Ben, so that the change is barely noticeable after Chapter 2.
As mentioned earlier, Mollart’s style is quick, focussed and concise. That’s not to say it fails to take its time and sketch out the wasted English cityscapes. In fact, many instances don’t shy from slowing down and holding certain moments. Some of the book’s strongest points are when Ben stops to appreciate fleeting moments with his wife, Rose before her memory is lost to her disease. However, it handles the pace of a scene well, rarely losing itself in its own description. Kings of a Dead World makes a habit of teasing out its plot like the nature of religious icon, Rip Van, and the events which led to The Sleep as a global solution.
My main criticism is how the book handles character. Certain interactions and dialogue, to put frankly, seem entirely out of place. For example, a particular flashback strand depicts younger Ben and Rose fleeing from armed police then proceeding to make love in an alley during the tail end of their chase. It is sequences like these that really disconnect some gripping characters from the plot, itself. This is especially frustrating when the book has some truly poignant scenes like when Present Ben tries desperately to piece together Rose’s scrambled memory.
Overall, Kings of a Dead World is a welcome and surprisingly evocative take on the dystopian genre. Where it sometimes falls short on character, its fragmented structure and focus on individuals do exceptional work to craft a unique apocalyptic Britain. 4 out of 5 stars.

By Mitchell L
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1 review
June 9, 2021
The high concept of the book draws you in and the characters, and them slowing losing grip on everything they know and understand, keeps you turning the page. It’s a satisfyingly slow burn to the point of conflict and once it hits, it gets even more powerful. The visuals are striking and the characters grab hold of you. KOADW is a gripping read and so relevant for these strange times.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,106 reviews43 followers
June 5, 2021
"Kings of a Dead World" is definitely an uncomfortable read. Jamie Mollart presents us with a future that is far too possible and distasteful. As entertainment, though, it can't be faulted. It's a brilliantly written and immersive story that's hard to put down. The characters are realistic, and "Ben" was my favourite. One for the bookshelf labelled "WARNINGS TO HUMANITY".

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
163 reviews
April 3, 2021
With an overpopulated earth and resources dwindling the only option the Government has determined for its inhabitants is to put them to sleep; so begins the story of how this dystopian world came to be. We hear from two viewpoints, Ben Middleton who tries to stop this new world with his anarchist group NSF and Peruzzi the caretaker for his districts sleeping inhabitants.

The story and its characters were so gripping that I read this in one sitting. The two protagonists Ben and Peruzzi were both flawed but so real that I couldn't relax until I knew exactly what was going to happen to them. 5 Stars and would definitely recommend!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book to read in order for an honest review
96 reviews4 followers
April 28, 2021
Handmaid's Tales meets the Inverted World
This is a fantastically imaginative novel, eerily prescient in light of the pandemic and, like The Handmaid's Tale, a stone's throw away from happening.
The story tells of a world run out of resources and the only solution is to put the majority of the population to sleep for three out of every four months. The novel follows the story of primarily two characters, as well as a third narrative looking back at the past.
This novel is incredibly well written and well-paced. It was a real page-turner as issues escalate and catastrophe is anticipated.
At a deeper level, the commentary on society and human behaviour is insightful - motivations are really well thought out for most characters.
Lucky enough to read this via #NetGalley
Profile Image for Will Jones.
1 review
April 12, 2021
I couldn’t put it down! A gripping read that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

The dystopian future created is overly familiar and feels very close to home, making you ponder topical themes such as global warming and climate change.

The characters are like people you would bump into in the street and I found myself rooting for them through their trials and tribulations. I couldn't stop imagining the movie adaptation as I read!

If you liked George Orwell’s 1984, you will love this.
Profile Image for Ally.
7 reviews
March 15, 2021
I wish I could read it for the first time again, just so I can experience the twists and turns of the whole adventure.

My whole body has never been so tense when reading about Ben and Peruzzi and their lives both within and outside of the compound. The way it is written, you really get a sense of who these characters are and why they are motivated to do they things they do and why they make certain decisions.

I genuinely miss these characters already.

April 21, 2021
"This is the new natural selection" - wondered if I'd like it....I Loved It!
Dystopian climatic fiction. But great characters human interest story of heightened emotions amongst a concrete catastrophic world.
The Sleepers are us - CHRONOS GOD AND Rip Van control our lives. Some will fight back -but will they win? Not my usual read - excellent
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