Camp Despair


Worth reading 😎

A good dystopian fiction novel for anyone who loves political conflicts and doesn't shy away from a complex plot with many story lines.

Washington State decides to secede from the United States of America and become its own nation with very radical approaches to surveillance, police brutality, and overall politics. Few people try to rebel against the very strict laws because whoever doesn't conform to the rules and is captured, ends up in one of the many concentration camps. Camps like Camp Despair, where you are left to fight for yourself and have to find your place in a new society. There is still hope for Toussaint and his people, but it is uncertain if he can stand up and win against Alex Copeland or if he himself will end up imprisoned.

For being an action novel, the story can be a little slow at times, especially because it's the sequel to Rainier's Republic so the reader just wants to know what's going to happen. However, once things do speed up, the well described action (fight scenes in particular) makes up for the lack of speed quite well.

The premise is promising and the overall story is a very interesting mix of pointing out current issues (sexism, racism, ageism, police brutality...) and having those same issues appear as reasons for conflicts and disagreements.

The big cast gives the reader a good opportunity to see the same issue and story unfold from different angles, but I have to say that it was very difficult to keep track of the characters at times. It was also hard to connect to any individual character, as none of them felt like they were as developed as they maybe could've been. With so many names, settings and relationships, the story became a little overwhelming and the original, brilliant premise, moved into the background more often than I would've liked. It might also become a little complicated to keep track of all those individual plot lines and which ones are really relevant for the whole plot and which ones only move along at the side.

Overall it is a solid, interesting read and it makes you think a lot about current issues. I still have to say though that I would only recommend this novel to someone who is confident that they can follow along a rather overwhelming amount of plot jumps and characters.

Reviewed by

I've had a passion for reading and books ever since I was a little kid and on my blog I've been writing monthly reviews to give my readers a list of recommendations and ideas for what to read next.


About the author

R.P. Reece is a science fiction author. R.P.'s books blend his love of storytelling and learning new things with action and dystopian in a fast-paced style. His love of reading contributed to his dream of becoming an author. view profile

Published on January 31, 2020

Published by

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Dystopian

Reviewed by