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Hope Runners of Gridlock


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If hope is a thing that could be turned into fuel, then this is the best pit stop you could have.

Hope is a funny thing. It can inspire a nation or it can drag someone down. There are several ways it can be used, often as a sense of enlightenment and empowerment, but just as often as a tool of oppression.

Here, it’s all these things.

Hope Runners of Gridlock is a curious book for me. There are no answers at the end, at least, not any that are satisfactory. While the central mystery around our main character, Flora, and her father finds a motive for what happened to him, it still leaves the reader wondering what lies beyond Gridlock.

It’s a question that the book doesn’t ever answer, not that it sets out to.

Rather, the point of the novel is Flora and her friends’ journeys to their peak selves. We see her embrace hope and go after what she wants, just as we see Esper reckon with his past, and Palma gain the confidence to think and act for himself. The point is to get to a place where the questions are answerable, a place where everything becomes a start.

I liked that a lot about this book, actually. Since there was no real endpoint, it didn’t feel like there was a limit. Rather, it felt like there was an endless sea of possibility, with the ending left open for more, perhaps a potential sequel?

The character work was also quite good. Flora’s fear and the crushing weight of the hope thrust upon her was visceral, as was the slow building of a relationship that would eventually inspire her to be more. Esper’s determination for more was also poignant, as was Palma’s anger and his slow realisation that he could want things for himself. It felt like I was with these characters, learning and growing along with them throughout the book because they were learning and growing in real-time.

If you’re looking for something that’s light, I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you’re looking to find hope in a dystopia? This book’s got you covered.

Reviewed by

A lifelong reader, I've decided to share my opinions, my likes and my loves with the world. Fantasy and science fiction have long been passions of mine, but so has bringing minority voices to the forefront.


About the author

Coder and writer. Enjoy inventing new economics and writing about it. view profile

Published on October 24, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Science Fiction

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