Jason's Journey


Not for me 😔

Stiff dialogue and more exposition than action makes what could be an engaging environmental dystopian less than grabbing.

The synopsis of Jason’s Journey asks “Could [Jason] be destined to lead the fight to save the world from environmental disaster?” After reading, my answer would be “No, not really.”

Jason’s Journey follows Jason Evans as he discovers that life in a Factory City isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What once felt like protection quickly becomes suffocation, and soon Jason is on the run, meeting people that reveal to him the cruelties and hypocrisies of the world. Nothing is what it seems—not even his family.

As the first book in a series, it comes as no surprise that over-exposition is a problem in Jason’s Journey. While interesting at times, the exposition often didn’t appear to have any bearing on the plot. By the second-half of the book I found myself thinking “Oh, that’s cool. So what?”

Whereas certain aspects of the world (i.e chestnuts) are painstakingly expanded upon, the characters remain flat. We’re told repeatedly that Jason is amazing, but he doesn’t really do anything. Stiff dialogue leaves him sounding like an old man instead of a 19-year-old trying to reconcile the world he thought he knew with what he’s experiencing. Rather than human, Jason feels like an archetype of your basic protagonist.

Additionally, although advertised as an environmental dystopian, the themes of environmentalism aren’t present in much of the book. They appear in the first-half during exposition, then fade away. When they return in the second-half, they reappear in a way that feels like the characters are preaching to us, or saying something they know is “deep” so they can turn to the camera.

Despite all this, I wouldn’t say Jason’s Journey is a bad book. I could finish reading it, and I admit to being faintly interested in what the rest of the series brings, though it’s a faint, faint interest.

If you want a new, relatively standard dystopian series to get into, I would recommend this one. There’s nothing particularly surprising or new, especially when compared to series like The Hunger Games or Divergent, but the potential is there, especially if Robitaille decides to further examine the themes of environmentalism in a post-climate-change context on a more than surface level.

Reviewed by

I've always had a passion for reading and sharing my opinions on what I've read. I have experience being a weekly book editor for my school newspaper, and once that ended, I began doing book reviews on my own. I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting books to read.

About the author

JW Robitaille writes the Cory Marin mystery series as well as Biztopia, a YA environmental dystopian series. She received degrees in English from Emory University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida. Download a free book of short stories from her website. view profile

Published on December 01, 2020

Published by

100000 words

Genre: Dystopian

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