Dystopia for beginners – The Disappeared Review

I really wanted to love this book – the genre is right up my street – I’m a massive fan of dystopian fiction! But The Disappeared by Amy Lord just didn’t hit the spot for me. I know the whole ‘there are no more original ideas’ thing is pretty obvious but I can’t help but feel that this has been done before – and better – especially in Fahrenheit 451.

So The Disappeared is set in a not too distant future Britain, shortly after Brexit (honestly, if I hear any more about Brexit I’m gonna scream!) where books, and knowledge in general, is considered dangerous and you’re only allowed to learn or teach government approved stuff.

Our main character’s arc begins when her father is arrested for owing banned books (where have I heard that idea before…) and when she’s all grown up she decides it’s time to fight back.

Ok, let me get the negatives out in bullet point style, because I don’t like to dwell on the negatives:

  • This seems like something that’s been done before – which would be fine if the writing was better…
  • The writing needs some work – the concepts are great, but the writing lacks nuance and the use of language is quite irritating…
  • The language is unimaginative and quite repetitive…
  • As are the characters actions…
  • The characters aren’t that intelligent and have no real development.  
  • The whole story lacked any real depth in the end.
  • The world building was barely there.

But here are some positives:

  • The story was engaging more often than not
  • The premise was solid
  • Politically relevant right now
  • Quite a human story
  • Thought-provoking
  • The storyline is plausible.

So, unfortunately, there you have it. A short and semi-sweet review.

The Disappeared is a middle-of –the-road story that could have been great in a more experienced writer’s hands. I think if you’ve never dipped your toe in dystopian waters, this would be a great introduction, but it would fast become frustrating for veterans.


Thank you to Unbound for partnering with me for this review.

What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?



Do you want to check out The Disappeared? You can buy it here with FREE worldwide delivery.

[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.


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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dystopian is always so hit or miss for me! I always feel like “oh, there really aren’t any original stories left”, and then sometimes, I’ll be blown away by one! I’m actually currently reading We Set the Dark on Fire and that one’s so good!!


    1. A Novel Love says:

      I’ll be placing that one on my list then! Thanks for letting me know about it!


      1. Of course!! Hope you’ll enjoy it if you end up reading it 🙂


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