Be Perfect, or be Punished – Cull Review

Cull provides quite a unique premise of a dystopian situation in a Black Mirror kind of way. It’s our world, but not quite our world and it’s dark, funny and just a little bit too believable. I’ll admit that Cull is not my usual read but its unique voice, darkly comic storytelling and political relevancy makes it a hidden gem that I’m glad I’ve read.

The subject matter of Cull can be considered quite dark, but I’m a twisted fuck and wanted more from it. I wanted more gore, more depravity; I wanted to be more disgusted with some of the characters and situations. However it probably hits the nail on the head for most readers.

The political dichotomy is quite strong in Cull and it can infuriate people on both sides of the argument who are on extreme ends of the scale, or it can conflict people (like me) who can see both sides. NOTE: I am NOT saying that people with disabilities don’t deserve financial help and more, don’t be barbaric or jump to conclusions! However there is an issue in Britain at the moment with fraudsters who are cheating the system and making it much harder for people with genuine disabilities to get the help they need. There are several scenes/thoughts given by characters that can be empathised with throughout Cull. But there are also some horrific ideologies mentioned too!

cull inside

The characters are great in Cull but it can be quite frustrating in the beginning trying to get to grips with some of characters who didn’t really matter in the long run.  

“No one likes to be treated like a whore…even if they act like one.”

I loved Chris’s POV chapters. Chris is the guide dog. His chapters are pure and delightful and for some will help lift the tone up a little bit and offer a slight reprieve from the gritty nature of the book. This exact reason could also be why some readers might not like Chris’s chapters, as they do take you completely out of the tension and build up from the chapters preceding his. I however, am an absolute sucker for dogs – so I loved it.

I didn’t really like the way the speech was written in the beginning – especially for the youths. It just didn’t seem natural and I almost put the book down.  Also the disabled people in Cull are repeatedly referred to as ‘crips’ and I think this could get lost in translation overseas.

I mean, I’m British and my first thought was to Crips and Bloods. Each time I read it I had to remind myself what it meant in the context of the book.

“The H5 police force has to make a request that the campaigners listen carefully ti the accents before embarking on these so-called ‘shakedowns’. Every week they were having to apologise to the Welsh.”

cull cover held

For the most part, the pacing of Cull was really good – but I do feel that I have to admit that there was a time where I was considering DNF-ing this book. Don’t get me wrong – I’m really glad that I finished it. But there was a period of about a week where I didn’t read this book and I was putting it off.

I honestly can’t say why either; it’s not that Cull is bad in any particular way – the characters are good, the plot is good, the dialogue is good, the subject matter was great and intriguing. But something felt off at about a third of the way in. It’s not that the subject matter got ‘too much’ or anything – I can’t put my finger on it, but I just kinda, lost interest temporarily.

But I got it back! So, I guess from my own personal experience I’d suggest trying to binge-read this book (it’s certainly entertaining enough)!

I referenced it earlier, but if you like Black Mirror then you’ll love Cull!

“Birth is violent. Surgery is violent. Love is violent.”


Want to find out if Cull will boil your blood? You can buy a copy here with FREE worldwide delivery!


In a near-future Britain, the furore over the welfare state has reached fever pitch. A combination of state propaganda and aggressive austerity has Cull Cover Imagedivided the nation along poisonous lines: on one side, so-called freeloaders, crips and fakes; on the other, The Hard Working British Taxpayer. The government has introduced the Care and Protect Bill, ostensibly to to relieve the economic burden of the disabled, elderly and vulnerable on society by opening residential care homes where they will be looked after by medical professionals. But Alex – visually impaired and categorised as one of the dole-scrounging underclass – has stumbled across a troubling link between the disappearance of several homeless people and the extension of Grassybanks, her local care home… Helped by her guide dog, Chris, this discovery sets her on a path that leads all the way to the corrupt heart of government.

[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review. I did receive a copy in exchange for a review, but this did not have any effect on my review – all the opinions are honest and my own.

Cull Blog Tour Poster


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One Comment Add yours

  1. annecater says:

    Thanks so much for supporting the Blog Tour today x


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