BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS: The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray

book review date


The whole plot and world building are all incredibly intriguing and I love the scientific aspects incorporated in the story as well as some of its interconnected elements and themes with our real life situation. The sequel The Eden Conspiracy will hit the shelves on July 18th 2016! 

for book quotes.png




TITLE: The Liberty Box # 1
AUTHOR:  C.A. Gray
GENRE: Science Fiction, Dystopian
PUBLISHER: Wanderlust Publishing
DATE READ: July 17, 2016





Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.

Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?

anchor divider

non spoilery review


I just finished this book! I highly recommend it! I received this eBook copy from @royalsocialmedia in exchange for my honest review.

First of all…. I was mind-blown! I think I love C.A. Gray now! The whole plot and world building were all incredibly intriguing and I love the scientific aspects incorporated in the story as well as some of its interconnected elements and themes with our real life situation.

What I like about this story is that it felt believably real. This story takes place in a future time but it embodies what we fear at present day-being unable to distinguish what’s real and what’s not.

In this story, the economy of The United States had reached its rock bottom and the country suffered from what seems to be a serious stagflation that cannot be resolved. There’s chaos everywhere. This is where a billionaire man Volotini entered the scene. He’s Machiavellian by all means but with a plan. His rise to power was abrupt but the Congress had no other choice but to buy his idea and to instate him as the dictator or Potentate.

Now called the Republic, the government collects people’s brain waves and make everyone believe that the country is prosperous. What you see is not really what it is. Everything is a lie and controlled by the government. People remained optimistic because they think they are living a good life and the government is always helping them. In short, the whole country is brainwashed and only an outsider can see the truth. The government sacrificed realism for their own good.

What if you found out everything was a lie? Would you sacrifice your happy and sound mind to face the truth? Or would you deny it and refuse to believe to continue living life as you have known it?

Kate Brandeis is a product of this Volotinian system. She’s a successful reporter, wealthy and has a loving fiance. One day, Kate’s senses suddenly awakened after her old friend Maggie was reported to be assassinated for treason. She has been branded as an enemy of the state. Since then, Kate started to get images of her past and small vision on what her world truly looks like. She’s an interesting character though we have yet to view her as a heroic figure.

Jackson MacNamera is a guy who grew up on Iceland. He’s described as a person with heightened senses and he could see right through everything because of his strong mind. His training with his grandfather helped him learn how to control his own mind. I like him as a character because he possesses exceptional skills that could be necessary on this situation that would be soon be a revolution.

The Liberty Box is a thrilling dystopian ride that will surely mesmerize you. Every element is balanced and there are lots of tension and action going on. I’m excited to unravel what’s going to happen on the second book because this is a very promising novel. This book is a rare gem that everyone should try reading. There are no dull moments and every bits of it are truly action-packed.

The sequel will be released tomorrow, July 18th! Be sure to grab your copies!




spoiler filled review.png

plot and events discussion .png

I have to give credit to C.A. Gray’s amazing world building and plot line. The story she had written could capture not just young adult readers but also adult readers. The whole progression of the story was impressive and I was really amazed how she managed to support all the information she presented to us to mark its relevancy in the whole story line.

  • The Universe and System of Government 

The universe C.A. Gray created gave me shivers because it looks realistic. I mean the conflict she created has this eerie possibility to happen in real life especially if we humans fail to do better. The government could monitor their every movement and could track where the people are because of they have captured all brain waves of the entire population in the Republic. This reminds me so much of 1984 by George Orwell. But the most shuddering part of this is that all people are brainwashed. They see their environment as a lustrous and vibrant place and they think that their country is prosperous. A common person would look at a building and see an elegant structure where in reality, it’s totally destroyed and abandoned. Why? Because that’s what the government wants them to see.  You would think that they’re monotonous and robotic like but no, all of them wear a smile and optimism thinking the government is doing great and they adore their Potentate so much. Everyone thinks they’re living in affluence but in reality, their senses to perceive reality is just blocked because of the so called Liberty Box.

In this world, there are no private businesses and all of them are run by the government. Everyone is a government employee and higher educations are only provided for those who scored high on the exams. Those who failed are placed to the physical labor. Majority of the people are malnourished but none of them complain because they think that they are fine enough and that their government cares for them.

“They create all these widespread health problems, and then they show up and ‘fix’ them- with a treatment that costs them a couple bucks, like replacing a nutrient or two. People get better and they’re that much convinced that the Potentate is their loving parent. ” 

I like how this conflict was presented in a manner that we will feel the weight of it on the characters. Luckily, not all characters remain brainwashed though I have yet to see what causes them to gain senses.

  • The Rebels

We have seen this too much in a dystopian plots, this book is no exception. In a tyrannic system of government, there’s always group of people who will revolt. But in here, we could see that they aren’t that prepared yet for a revolution. Their numbers aren’t that overwhelming yet to fight against the government. The people who came into their senses gathered in a cave and created a small community in it. They have a leader called the Crone. The people in the caves claimed that they are now cured and they are not brainwashed anymore but Jackson discovered that even they know the truth about the government’s lies, their senses to perceive the truth hasn’t come back. We don’t know how much number of them were slaughtered on the raid. I wonder why the heck Will was alive.

  • Little bit of Questions

I don’t know if I’m missing something but I wonder what the other countries have to say with the governments’ deeds. Is this the era where none of the countries care? Or they just don’t complain because the people don’t too? And why do awakened people flee on New Estonia? Why did C.A. Gray chose that country? Also I was wondering, if the government could track everyone’s brain waves, why didn’t they discovered the caves earlier? Didn’t they have records of people of mysteriously disappeared? Why didn’t they track them? I still have no vivid idea on the full scale function of the Liberty Box. How much power it has over the people? I’m glad that despite the rich plot line, there’s still little questions that linger on us that is open for discussion.


For now, I will discuss the three main characters in the story, and if I’m lucky enough, on book 2, I will make an analysis to all of them.

KATE: In this book, we didn’t see Kate at her best though I admire her willingness to be of use and help the others. I can sense that she will play a big role in this book because she’s one of those special people who first resist the brainwashing. She is inquisitive and once an evidence is in front of her, she analyze it and when proven true, she accepts it without hesitation. Maybe this is one of her special qualities after working as a reporter. I’m excited to see her character development.

JACKSON: He is the strongest character on this book. I like the fact that he has a full control over his mind and has the full capacity to right see through the government. Though I admit I’m a little bit scared of what’s going to happen to him if the Potentate catches him. He’s not also know-it-all and try to force people to listen to him. He let people decide whether they would listen to him or not. From a normal boy from Iceland to a face of the revolution, Jackson has many obstacles to face.

WILL: I also like Will! He’s an intelligent hacker who isn’t close minded. When Kate lay down all her thoughts, her secret and her visions, he never rat her out but instead, he helped her even more. Meaning, his true loyalty doesn’t lie with the Potentate. He’s so intriguing and I want to know how he managed to escaped the Agents. Why is he alive? And why is it that he is with another soldiers who are against the Potentate. I wonder where they come from.

romance and ships.png

Romance I presume is not the main focus on this story but that’s okay. There are lots of things at stake and events going on around. It’s enthralling to see that C.A. Gray managed to not bore us out due to the lack of romance. It all worked out in the end because the story was eventful and truly brought me to the edge of my seat.


C.A. Gray write accurately. Knowing she’s a NMD, she really knows what she’s writing about. The scientific aspects incorporated in the story were impressive and significant. I enjoyed the two POVs; one for Kate and one for Jackson. The Potentate gets a snippet of POV but narrated in a third person and I like that. Narrating in  a third person made it suspenseful so that we won’t fully know what he is thinking. And being the main antagonist of the story, that’s really a lot to say. Her style of writing was gripping and nail-biting and every bits of it felt engaging. I love how authentic her writings style from beginning ’til the end. She did not disappoint.


I rate it 4.5 stars because it’s such a magnificent story that left me astonished. 4.5 and not 5 because we still haven’t reached a resolution and there are still teenie tad bit of information that wasn’t tackled or explained enough. But over all, I highly recommend this series because to be honest, it’s better than the Hunger Games trilogy. This is way better than that and I won’t compare it to Divergent too because this book can stand on its own as an amazing action-packed dystopian series. C.A. Gray is one of the gem authors whose style of writing will make you spell bounded. I’m so excited for book 2!

                                               anchor away 4.5.png


anchor divider



Follow Serene August's Goodreads Reviews.png


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s