Updated: Feb 5
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the MANDATE THIRTEEN by Joseph J. Dowling Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
I give MANDATE THIRTEEN ⭐⭐⭐ ½!
This book had me vested from the first chapter. I’m a huge fan of the HANDMAID’S TALE and this story felt like the same but from a different country and solution. With that being said, we have a government that is religious-based trying to solve their birth rate issue. Their answer is to force a mandate where all thirteen-year-old girls must take a fertility test. If their fertility numbers are high then they’re forced to go to a special school and the parents are compensated. Most of these parents take the money because they’re starving and have other mouths to feed.
Great story concept! I feel that these stories are necessary to remind us that our rights as individuals can be stripped at any time. A scary thought, but so close to home nowadays with all of the debates over reproductive rights for women. Dowling does a wonderful job setting the mood and urgency of this situation within the characters and their world.
The reason I gave this book 3 1/2 stars is that the story was from the father’s point of view. While it was great to see a father’s perspective on this situation, I would have liked to only follow his daughter’s Hope point-of-view. The other complaint is I wished the author would have had Hope be less docile and naive. I think most thirteen-year-olds would better understand the world and sense when things are off, especially a girl in this situation. She does get more aware towards the middle of the book but I would have liked of seen this sooner.
Overall, if your looking for a quick read with lots of action and turmoil then pick up a copy of MANDATE THIRTEEN, it will not disappoint!
About The Book:
Title: MANDATE THIRTEEN
Author: Joseph J. Dowling
Pub. Date: January 10, 2023
Publisher: Manta Press, Ltd.
Formats: Paperback, eBook
In a world with dwindling birth rates, all young women must submit to compulsory fertility checks at the age of thirteen. For those able to conceive, a docile existence inside the Birthing Schools beckons—far worse if they fall into the wrong hands. When the clandestine Baby Farmers, and their brutal leader Miko, arrive to snatch his daughter, Michael must make a split-second choice: risk his own freedom to protect hers… or lose her
forever. Mandate Thirteen is a gritty dystopian thriller for fans of Children of Men, A Handmaid’s Tale,
and The Running Man. “An action-packed, cross-country adventure between father and daughter as they dodge authorities, reconnect with old acquaintances, and meet new people (good, bad, and crazy), forging connections at every stop. I loved every aspect of their journey and how they learned so much about themselves on the way. This is dystopian in every way that matters. A worthy addition to any library.” Preye, Literary Darlings
About Joseph J. Dowling:
Joseph always knew he would write seriously one day. That moment arrived in 2020, when his thriving hospitality business was temporarily shuttered. With time on his hands, he quickly fell into an obsession and became a keen student of the craft.
Since finding the passion, Joseph can't imagine life without stories rattling around his head. Eager to make up for lost time, he's been fairly prolific, and his short stories have appeared in several anthologies and literary magazines. Even better, his rejections are getting nicer by the week.
Joseph lives in London with his wife and their Scotty dog. Mandate: THIRTEEN will be his first published novel. Scroll to the bottom of the page on his website to sign up for his newsletter!