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The Freedom Race

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The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred. Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way fto escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner. Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.


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The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred. Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way fto escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner. Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.

30 review for The Freedom Race

  1. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy Macmillan-Tor/Forge I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this cautionary tale. It may not be too far fetched as it seems! First, a warning about this book. It includes suggestions of mass rape, attempted rape, lynching, violence, slavery, and murder, even of babies. I didn't know this going in. This book is when the US has had another Civil War and now it is the divided into three parts. One section is called the Territories and that's wher The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy Macmillan-Tor/Forge I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this cautionary tale. It may not be too far fetched as it seems! First, a warning about this book. It includes suggestions of mass rape, attempted rape, lynching, violence, slavery, and murder, even of babies. I didn't know this going in. This book is when the US has had another Civil War and now it is the divided into three parts. One section is called the Territories and that's where they have slavery. Guess where that's located? South? Bingo! Only the owner of the slaves can impregnate the women. No other men can. The young are called seeds, or seedlings. When young, the color of the babies skin is measured on a chart. The darker the color, the worse the job. Around the Territories there are bounty hunters that kill or capture any runaway. The bounty hunters have the mental attitude that the Proud Boys do now. Not good for anyone even if they are free and black. Or white with a black person. Cruelty seems to be their forte. There are also hybrid people from the radiation fallout. The mutations that manage to live hide in the forests but bounty hunters look for them. The story is based around one girl, a teen, that wants to win the race and be free. She has a boyfriend too. They both want to run the Freedom Race to become free but things don't go exactly as planned. It's extremely suspenseful, depressing, odd at times, and ends strange. Maybe getting ready for book two? I did enjoy it regardless of the horror. I think the author may be looking at a future if our government doesn't save our democracy from the far right. Isn't this what they have been trying to do? It's certainly a wake up call!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    2.75/5 stars Adult speculative fiction set in a near-future United States that has been splintered into factions after a second civil war. The new Disunited States’ Homestead Territories has regressed and brought back slavery, a caste system, and new slaves from Africa. Main character Jellybean “Ji-Ji” Lottermule’s only hope for freedom is to compete in The Freedom Race, a competition that grants winners freedom and the ability to petition for others’ freedom. This one is not for the faint of hear 2.75/5 stars Adult speculative fiction set in a near-future United States that has been splintered into factions after a second civil war. The new Disunited States’ Homestead Territories has regressed and brought back slavery, a caste system, and new slaves from Africa. Main character Jellybean “Ji-Ji” Lottermule’s only hope for freedom is to compete in The Freedom Race, a competition that grants winners freedom and the ability to petition for others’ freedom. This one is not for the faint of heart and was a tough read for me. On top of the subject of a future America where black and brown people are disparaged, enslaved, and lynched, the lack of technology and regression of society and education was a hard sell. Like most first books in a series, a lot of time is spent on worldbuilding and the reader is hit over the head right away with new jargon and terms, replacing understood existing terminology with the new. Rambling memories and observations of the main character mixed in made the plot lost for me until the last 100 pages. For me, the book is a warning of not only the real possibility of history repeating itself but also how much worse it could be should that happen. Also, the story is not so much about the race but about Ji-Ji’s journey to get there and the revelations about herself, her family, and those around her. So many horrible and heartbreaking things happen along the way that, of course, I was anxious the entire read for Ji-Ji and Afarra (who quickly became a favorite character) to just make it through in one piece. While this book is not a favorite, there were moments and quotes I did love: Ji-Ji mentioning terms and sections from books she’s read (“a murmuration of starlings”), the found-family sisterhood with Afarra, the racers coming together in times of danger and duress, and the symbolism of Ji-Ji’s “mutation.” TW: slavery, executions, shootings, lynching, graphic violence of death, graphic attempted rape, domestic violence, physical abuse, drug use, animal abuse Thank you to Tor Books for the ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'll admit that after I got The Freedom Race I was pretty excited to dive into. Heck, I was even more excited when I got a buddy to read along with. Even though I'm a smidge late to the buddy read, I honestly wasn't expecting what all went down.. to actually go down. Now I might sound like a broken record with that statement but some of what happened just left me in shock. Not awe - shock. It hurt that children in this worl I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'll admit that after I got The Freedom Race I was pretty excited to dive into. Heck, I was even more excited when I got a buddy to read along with. Even though I'm a smidge late to the buddy read, I honestly wasn't expecting what all went down.. to actually go down. Now I might sound like a broken record with that statement but some of what happened just left me in shock. Not awe - shock. It hurt that children in this world would first be thankful for not being raped and then immediately jump to being lucky. Unraped. Lucky. On top of all that, we have the lovely racism, slavery, and cruelty to deal with. It shouldn't be a surprise that this book is set in the south. What did surprise me was a couple of other things. For example, women can only be impregnated by their owners - no one else. Babies, of all skin types, are measured and then given a job. Measured how? Oh by the color of the skin. Guess who gets the better jobs? There was also this moment where our main character, Ji-Ji, was called a mule by a man and I just wanted to throat punch him. If I was in her position I probably would have committed the deed and stated that I was an actual person and not a mule. That's mostly because I'm a very stubborn and hot-headed person to begin with. I would also probably not survive in this world either. I guess, in the end, I just have one question for you guys. How far would you run? Me? I hate running but I would knees to chest in this book and be the Forest Gump of the Freedom Race. Even if shit hit the fan and nothing made sense anymore.. I would just run. Far away from this horrible place.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Talia

    3.75/5 stars The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy is the story of a girl, Ji,-Ji who wants nothing more to enter the freedom race and petition for the freedom of her love ones. ⁣ ⁣ This is a good book. A smart book. A carefully designed book. The world-building is meticulous and literary. This is the type of book I imagine being assigned for an upper level African American literature college class. This is not an easy read, or a beach read. This is a book you need to digest slowly. This is a book that c 3.75/5 stars The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy is the story of a girl, Ji,-Ji who wants nothing more to enter the freedom race and petition for the freedom of her love ones. ⁣ ⁣ This is a good book. A smart book. A carefully designed book. The world-building is meticulous and literary. This is the type of book I imagine being assigned for an upper level African American literature college class. This is not an easy read, or a beach read. This is a book you need to digest slowly. This is a book that can be studied. ⁣ ⁣ Right out of the gate I was in enraptured by the tales of the Toteppi people, the stories from the Cradle-- Africa. ⁣ Despite this being speculative fiction I thought this was a good alternative to traditional slave narratives to study the way people are manipulated, controlled and brainwashed in a system of slavery. However, this "slave narritive," is not like those that have come before it. This is a story of resilience and how people can endure and carry on while experiencing trauma--all the while holding on to hope. ⁣ ⁣ I enjoyed the magical realism in this story and it felt like a nod to traditional African spirituality.⁣ ⁣ This story contains all the horrors of slavery, so readers beware of possible triggers. I endured them and this book made me cry, multiple times. ⁣ The book could have been more succinct. I struggled during longer parts of exposition where the narrator would have Ji Ji mentally review the history of her world. Some parts were important to the story, others, weren't. These parts were tedious to read. ⁣I wonder if Roy wrote book from multiple perspectives if she could have conveyed more detail in fewer pages. Despite those criticisms, I still enjoyed the story. ⁣ I recommend this book to people enjoy a commentary on social and political systems, detailed world-building, and a moderately paced narrative.⁣

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    A speculative fiction social commentary? Nice. Looking forward to this one. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book will destroy you. It is very uncomfortable to read and that is the point. The base history of this story is what would have happened if the insurrection had truly succeeded. The United States has splintered and territories have reverted back to slavery where shades of skin tones can determine your lot in life. This dystopian tale is one of horror and hope. The country, now split into basically what the South would like to be, the Territories roamed by bounty hunters that make the Proud This book will destroy you. It is very uncomfortable to read and that is the point. The base history of this story is what would have happened if the insurrection had truly succeeded. The United States has splintered and territories have reverted back to slavery where shades of skin tones can determine your lot in life. This dystopian tale is one of horror and hope. The country, now split into basically what the South would like to be, the Territories roamed by bounty hunters that make the Proud Boys look like Boy Scouts and an area where people have mutated because of radiation. Ji Ji (JellyBean Lottermule) tries to win freedom in a race. The whole thing has a Hunger Games vibe. Ji Ji is a teen who strives for more. This really isn’t young adult material though the main character has some of the same themes. She is very likable and it will be interesting to see how she develops and survives to live another day. She loves to read and manages to work in some of her favorite quotes. Since this is the opening book of a trilogy, there is some worldbuilding and language to get used to.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Courtly

    First and foremost this The Freedom Race is a work of speculative fiction which is a genre I dabble in at best. So take my review as such. Second I will say outright that this book is not one I would’ve sought out on my own based on the premise alone. This book is set in the future United States which has split into several regions with their own governments and the region in which this story takes place has reintroduced slavery (including the slave trade). And the story follows the path of one First and foremost this The Freedom Race is a work of speculative fiction which is a genre I dabble in at best. So take my review as such. Second I will say outright that this book is not one I would’ve sought out on my own based on the premise alone. This book is set in the future United States which has split into several regions with their own governments and the region in which this story takes place has reintroduced slavery (including the slave trade). And the story follows the path of one enslaved girl JiJi. So one of the main questions this book speculates on is what if slavery were to happen again in the US after a second civil war. If that is a question you’re willing to dig into and contemplate in a dystopian future then this book would be for you. Things I liked about the book: Once JiJi is off the homestead I enjoyed the story more. I liked getting a better glimpse of how the new world functioned and how they people had learned to thrive in those circumstances. I also was intrigued by the magic/science aspects. The introduction of the Toteppi’s origin stories and magic and how they interweaves with JiJi’s destiny was what kept me reading the story. As a mostly SFF reader those aspects that reflected SFF were what kept me engaged in the book. Things I struggled with: The farm based jargon and world building were a bit much at the beginning. Everything makes sense, but personally I think the story would’ve been just as strong with fewer new word combinations. I also thought the first half on the homestead could’ve been more concise to keep the story moving along. And as previously mentioned the premise of the book based on a reintroduction of slavery. And as this is the thesis of the book all content warnings are applicable. CW: any and all aspects related to slavery including but not limited to lynching, rape, violence, death, abuse, graphic descriptions. Also death of loved ones, death in childbirth, body horror. Overall while I didn’t love this book I thought it had intriguing aspects. Would recommend to those who are able to handle the content of the book and enjoy a speculative look at a dystopian future.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight **TW: I wish there was an official CW/TW because I know I am not going to cover it all, but this is a book dealing with slavery, and it's brutal, as slavery is. Rape, violence, murder, it runs the gamut.  Whew, so, with that said, this one is not an easy read, as you can imagine. But I also left the book feeling a level of hope I hadn't expected, so if you can handle the subject matter, I You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight **TW: I wish there was an official CW/TW because I know I am not going to cover it all, but this is a book dealing with slavery, and it's brutal, as slavery is. Rape, violence, murder, it runs the gamut.  Whew, so, with that said, this one is not an easy read, as you can imagine. But I also left the book feeling a level of hope I hadn't expected, so if you can handle the subject matter, I highly recommend. The story follows Ji-ji, a young woman who is living in slavery with her mother, and trying to prevent yet another sibling from being taken from them. Her story to this point is beyond devastating, and I had a really hard time, especially with the deaths (and assumed deaths) of young children. And it isn't only Ji-ji who's lost people, of course. Every last person at her "Planting" has lost, has suffered, continues to lose and suffer. Especially in the first part of the book, you will see some of the darkest behavior of mankind. My heart broke for Ji-ji and the others over, and over, and over. But Ji-ji is a powerhouse. She possesses a strength that, frankly, she should not have to possess, but the world she lives in insisted on it. She wants her freedom, but she also wants freedom for as many loved ones as she can possibly free. She knows her best way to do this is the titular Freedom Race, so she pretty much garners strength from this hope, this one chance. I won't spoil anything (because I really think you should read this book, have I mentioned that? Just kidding I know I have), but obviously there are hurdles to overcome. Many, frankly. And I enjoyed so many of the characters that Ji-ji meets as we journey with her. That even in the darkest, bleakest hours, there are still glimpses of the beauty of humanity. I also really found the world building to be spectacular- mostly in its realism. I mean, we all can certainly see the south and midwest thinking this is a fabulous idea, that isn't much of a stretch. But what struck me is how realistic the "free" places are too- sure, Ji-ji might be able to live in the North, maybe even live free... but they're sure not going to go out of their way to help. The whole aspect of this being a second civil war is, frankly, all to plausible. The evilness, hate, hypocrisy, and selfishness of the wealthy white man is on full display here, and again, it isn't exactly a stretch. And isn't that the most appalling part? That this could, terrifyingly easily, become reality? That there are those who would make this a reality instead of being as horrified as we, the reader are? This is to say, there is a certain thought provoking quality to this book that haunted me throughout. And I think it's important to keep those feelings in your mind as you read this story, read Ji-ji's story. As you fall in love with her, her friends (both old and new), and cheer for them to find their way to freedom. The story also incorporates some incredible magical realism (and I say this as someone who can be quite picky about that) that works so well with the story. I'll end with this: I have seen some reviews that find the idea of the Freedom Race itself to be unbelievable, in a whole "but why would these terrible slave owners let anyone attempt to leave?", which is a valid question. But, the truth is, dangled miniscule hope is probably one of the best, if not the best motivator for them. Sure, maybe you lose someone every once in awhile, but to have an added power to dangle over everyone's heads? Probably worth it to these monsters, the whole "hope is the only thing stronger than fear" adage. (Thanks for the quote, President Snow, speaking of atrocious old white guys who were fine with killing kids.) Bottom Line: Is The Freedom Race going to make your heart ache? It certainly is. But is it also going to make you feel hopeful and uplifted? You bet it will.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    The Freedom Race is the first novel in Lucinda Roy's The Dreambird Chronicles series, and it is a series like no other. It blends science fiction fantasy with dystopian elements, and it does so flawlessly. Better yet, it has a poignant message written into the narrative, which makes it all the more powerful in my book. The country has been torn apart by another civil war. Following the aftermath, it split into two factions. On one side, there's the Homestead Territories. This is the side that bel The Freedom Race is the first novel in Lucinda Roy's The Dreambird Chronicles series, and it is a series like no other. It blends science fiction fantasy with dystopian elements, and it does so flawlessly. Better yet, it has a poignant message written into the narrative, which makes it all the more powerful in my book. The country has been torn apart by another civil war. Following the aftermath, it split into two factions. On one side, there's the Homestead Territories. This is the side that believes in the right to slavery and is the side nobody would want to see win the war. Ji-ji was born on this side, and all she has ever wanted was a way to escape the only world she's ever known. The only way to do that is to enter – and win – the annual Freedom Race. Wow. If you're looking for a book that hits hard and doesn't pull punches, look no further. The Freedom Race is unafraid of who and what it is – and it shows. This is a novel that merges dystopia with slavery, showcasing the brutal world that would stem from it. To say that it was a horrifying read would be an understatement. Yet, I found myself loving Ji-ji's character. It's impossible not to root for her. She's a light that shines so bright amidst all of the horrible actions around her. I should mention that if ever there was a book that needed trigger warnings, it would be this one. When I say that there are brutal examples of slavery – I mean it. There are also scenes depicting rape, lots of violence, and so much more. This is not a light read by any means, but as long as you know that going into it I can see readers appreciating the message. Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks>

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hoarding Books Herding Cats

    𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐞 is the first book in 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬, a speculative fiction series by Lucinda Roy! This was a mind-boggling novel that I still haven’t quite processed, so for now I’ll just say that reading this book was a very unique experience and that I commend the mind that came up with it. Many many thanks to @torbooks and @b2weird book club for providing me with an ARC of this spectacular book! Here are some quotes that I loved: > "Unanswered yearning can split you wide open, force 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐞 is the first book in 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬, a speculative fiction series by Lucinda Roy! This was a mind-boggling novel that I still haven’t quite processed, so for now I’ll just say that reading this book was a very unique experience and that I commend the mind that came up with it. Many many thanks to @torbooks and @b2weird book club for providing me with an ARC of this spectacular book! Here are some quotes that I loved: > "Unanswered yearning can split you wide open, force you to spend the rest of your life searching for foolish ways to plug up the world." > "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, bound in a single quilt of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." > "She would proclaim her love for him and use the one weapon she had left--words." > "My miserable path does not have to be yours. What good has it done me to play by men's rules all these years?" > "Black, brown, and white flocking together! Heads of midnight, heads of earthlight, heads of moonlight!" Follow me on bookstagram (@hoardingbooks.herdingcats) and book Twitter (@hoardingbooksHC)! ⁣

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    *Won a free ARC through Goodreads Giveaway I had hoped to finish this book before it's publish date but it was so very hard to read. It took me so long to get into it and to adjust to the terms and pattern it was written in. It was a lot of slang and weird words that throws you off. I constantly had to go back, reread and try and understand. The beginning of the book just jumps into all of this information but it doesn't truly get explained until the middle. It reads like you should know this infor *Won a free ARC through Goodreads Giveaway I had hoped to finish this book before it's publish date but it was so very hard to read. It took me so long to get into it and to adjust to the terms and pattern it was written in. It was a lot of slang and weird words that throws you off. I constantly had to go back, reread and try and understand. The beginning of the book just jumps into all of this information but it doesn't truly get explained until the middle. It reads like you should know this information but it's a new world/new book so how could you. The maps aren't much help at the beginning either and you don't really get the history in a full picture way. There is so much going on but it's also like you're not seeing anything. Like you hear what's going on behind you but can't turn around to actually see. I liked Jiji but I think my actual favourite was Afara. She's the most kind and loyal friend imaginable. And despite the awful way she is treated she remains that way. I just want to keep her safe... The concept is super interesting. Which is why I forced myself to continue. I wanted to know but it was incredibly painful to get there. I boosted the rating because it got so interesting once they left the planting. Meeting the Friends and actually figuring out what was going on all along was a relief. It actually got really good and I read the end half a lot faster than the first. I feel like book two will be way better than the first...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    This book is set in a future world, where the United States has devolved into a second slavery system the in aftermath of climate disasters and a second Civil War. Ji-ji, born, raised, and enslaved on a Homestead Territory, is a runner. And so against all odds, she trains for the Freedom Race that is her only opportunity to escape captivity and future forced marriage and rape, to help her family and friends, and to unfurl the hidden potential and identity within her.  This brutal world has been m This book is set in a future world, where the United States has devolved into a second slavery system the in aftermath of climate disasters and a second Civil War. Ji-ji, born, raised, and enslaved on a Homestead Territory, is a runner. And so against all odds, she trains for the Freedom Race that is her only opportunity to escape captivity and future forced marriage and rape, to help her family and friends, and to unfurl the hidden potential and identity within her.  This brutal world has been meticulously designed. The author takes the current divide in the United States and pushes it even further and combines it with the aftermath of a climate driven destruction of society as we know it. It's not a return to slavery, but a new wave of slavery with the construction of a new class system that ultimately adds more layers at the bottom taking away peoples' personhoods. Every character and every story within this book is to give definition to this world and together they give it a reality that makes it seem brutally and devastatingly conceivable. But, warning, its hard to read.  Within this world is Ji-ji's story of striving for escape, a budding rebellion, and mysterious histories about different species of human built to fly. While the world is so well-built, and each character serves a purpose for that world building, the story itself falls by the wayside. It becomes confusing and there are too many questions left unanswered. In this book, it's possible that writing from multiple points of view would have helped with clarity and potential cut down the length to get a tighter story. The world is fully-fleshed out, but it likely doesn't need to be for the reader to get the flavor of the world and get invested in Ji-ji's journey. While I can't say that I enjoyed it, I am glad that I read this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Banks

    I betroth myself to my own future. I will never be meek again in the face of it. This was not an easy read by any means, but I’ve always liked a challenge. There’s so much to unpack here, from the terminology to the way this Disunited States operates that I really had to take my time and digest it all. Every corner of the world was really interesting, though some aspects were hard to stomach like the color wheel system for the muleseeds and Sylvie’s “purple tears.” I definitely got into the st I betroth myself to my own future. I will never be meek again in the face of it. This was not an easy read by any means, but I’ve always liked a challenge. There’s so much to unpack here, from the terminology to the way this Disunited States operates that I really had to take my time and digest it all. Every corner of the world was really interesting, though some aspects were hard to stomach like the color wheel system for the muleseeds and Sylvie’s “purple tears.” I definitely got into the story more around the second half when Ji-Ji leaves Planting 437 and the focus is more on the Freedom Race itself. The whole concept gave me Hunger Games vibes with a little fantasy mixed in, while the first half felt more like a slave narrative twist on The Handmaid’s Tale. Wanting more of the race aspect and the Toteppi as a people in exchange for a little less time on the Homestead Territories took this down a little for me, but I’d still be interested to see where the story goes from here now that things are established. ⚠️TRIGGER WARNING: Slavery (any & everything related), attempted rape, lynching, death during childbirth, & domestic violence

  14. 5 out of 5

    CR

    This book is not for the faint of heart. Let me tell you that first. It has a bunch of tiggers so make sure to check those out below. This was a very intersting story. It was drepressing and sad at times so fair warning there. But it was a testamate to how we as humans treat others. It ends on a weird note as well. I think that if you like science ficiton war stories that this one might mesh with you. I did enjoy it but I don't think that I would read book two. It was just way to much for me as This book is not for the faint of heart. Let me tell you that first. It has a bunch of tiggers so make sure to check those out below. This was a very intersting story. It was drepressing and sad at times so fair warning there. But it was a testamate to how we as humans treat others. It ends on a weird note as well. I think that if you like science ficiton war stories that this one might mesh with you. I did enjoy it but I don't think that I would read book two. It was just way to much for me as a reader. Tigger Warnings: Talks of Mass Rape, Attempted Rape, Lynching, Slavery, Murder of Babies.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keisha Parks

    Let me preface my opinion by stating that this book is not a leisure book. This is a literary text meant to be analyzed by literary studies students as a case study in speculative fiction. If you read this book for any other purpose, you will be frustrated. If you enjoy challenging books, not in the vocabulary, but in the world-building, the integration of multiple genres in one text, and an alternate future of the Black experience in America, then this is the book for you. That being said, I en Let me preface my opinion by stating that this book is not a leisure book. This is a literary text meant to be analyzed by literary studies students as a case study in speculative fiction. If you read this book for any other purpose, you will be frustrated. If you enjoy challenging books, not in the vocabulary, but in the world-building, the integration of multiple genres in one text, and an alternate future of the Black experience in America, then this is the book for you. That being said, I enjoyed this book, specifically because of the complexity of world-building and its impacts on individual characters. Sila, the main character’s mom, and Lotter deserve at least two academic articles detailing the psychological effects of slavery on female slaves, the imbalanced master/ slave dynamics, and toxic masculinity/ patriarchal leadership. The book does seem top-heavy, incredibly complicated, and then kind of thrown together towards the end. I found out that the book is part of a trilogy. I don’t think three books is necessary, maybe a strong duology. Also, the title. Needs to change. The actual freedom race is a minor part of the book and it isn’t her only option out of slavery by the halfway point of the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allmyfriendsareinbooks Jamie

    I think Nikki Giovanni’s blurb from the book sums it up best. “Every now and then a work come along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” The Freedom Race is a speculative fiction novel that takes place in a future after the second US Civil War, the Sequel. Ji-ji Lottermule is one of many on a plantation in Virginia. She is hoping to win The Freedom Race so she and those closest to her can be free—if she can make it to the City if Dreams. I think Nikki Giovanni’s blurb from the book sums it up best. “Every now and then a work come along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” The Freedom Race is a speculative fiction novel that takes place in a future after the second US Civil War, the Sequel. Ji-ji Lottermule is one of many on a plantation in Virginia. She is hoping to win The Freedom Race so she and those closest to her can be free—if she can make it to the City if Dreams. However, there are supernatural factors at play that may derail those plans. TW: There are very graphic descriptions of life on the plantation, including punishments, in this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annalisa Ely

    The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy. This one was a Netgalley one. It's coming out in July and I finished it in May. And this I started off reading really slowly because it is pretty dark and discouraging. There's just so much pain and darkness and it feels overwhelming and like the characters are powerless against it and therefore it makes the reader feel powerless. Because this is set in a dystopian future after a second civil war in America and basically a big section of the country everywhere tha The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy. This one was a Netgalley one. It's coming out in July and I finished it in May. And this I started off reading really slowly because it is pretty dark and discouraging. There's just so much pain and darkness and it feels overwhelming and like the characters are powerless against it and therefore it makes the reader feel powerless. Because this is set in a dystopian future after a second civil war in America and basically a big section of the country everywhere that isn't a big city and isn't on either coast I think has gone back to a plantation style way of living along with slavery. But now they have some futuristic technology and they have gotten a new religion that is slightly inspired by certain interpretations of Christianity but they added a new book in addition to the Bible and don't really read the Bible anymore, they read his new book. It's super patriarchal, very sexist, and also very racist. And they actually use a color wheel to like standardize colorism. Super dark but it's been very accepted by the people who live in it sort of a way, like they don't feel like they can change anything, and it's old, it's been at least a couple of generations since the civil war happened and all this got instituted, so people were very used to it and very worn down. And our main character Jiji was raised in it and she's 16 years old. And the book starts out a lot with how she lives in it and with the execution of one of her mentors from when she was growing up, and there are a lot of flashbacks in the first third I would say about her childhood and growing up and how horrible it's been. Although her life has been a little bit less horrible than a lot of people's because she - her mother is favored a lot by the white man who "owns" her and so yeah, and so she's a favorite daughter, one of his daughters, because there's a huge, bit huger maybe than the old plantation style, rape system which is a breeding system where they are actually trying to get whiter and whiter Black people by having most of the women be paired with a "father man" who is a white man who is like a sectional, who owns like a section of a plantation. And those always hit me really hard. I really - anything involving rape, especially on such a massive scale and a repeating scale, really messes with me, so it took me a long time to read this. I think I started it in April. But eventually we got into the Freedom Race, which is something kind of odd. I don't know why it was instituted into the plantations. It's like a system where if you race and perform really well, for the women it's just racing for men it's also an acrobatic show, if you do really well you can win your freedom in DC. It's a very small number and apparently it's like a big money maker because there's a performance aspect and like people want to watch and see. I don't know, it feels too good to be true in this super dystopian world. Once we got to that portion where there was a lot more hope and that was a lot more pleasant to read, so I got through that a bit faster. And I really liked it. I thought the world building was super in depth. Except for you know a couple, like the too good to be true thing, it seemed really good. There are also like mutants who are experimented on and genetically modified creatures, like there are these massive hyena things and some snarlcats which are super big tiger lion things. I really liked all of that and I also liked the main character's immediate family, mother, grandfather, cousins, were more recently brought over from Africa than a lot of people, and so they actually have links and can remember the people that they came from and their traditions, and so I really liked that spiritual traditional aspect that kept coming in, and like origin stories that had a lot to do with the somewhat sci-fi magical aspects of it. And I found our main character very likable and understandable. Overall once I reached that less hopeless point it was a really enjoyable book. Could be quite disheartening and even triggering for a lot of people, so I've talked about most of the trigger warnings but there are a few more so look into those.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] Firstly, this book is probably one of the very few that took me the longest time to finish because of its intricate details and world-building. The author creates the world and the characters in such detailed information that you take a step back to absorb it all. She gives creative names for the characters, builds unforgettable territories, and wrote a heart-wrenching yet hopeful story. Set in a dystopian world, the author t [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] Firstly, this book is probably one of the very few that took me the longest time to finish because of its intricate details and world-building. The author creates the world and the characters in such detailed information that you take a step back to absorb it all. She gives creative names for the characters, builds unforgettable territories, and wrote a heart-wrenching yet hopeful story. Set in a dystopian world, the author takes us on a fascinating journey as a girl sets her heart on freedom. Moreover, Jiji is fantastic, and I rooted for her in every step of her journey. She is one of those characters who I will never forget as one of my fictional favorites because of the hardships she suffers. There are so many memorable characters like Silapu, Afarra, and Tiro who compliment Jiji’s story. However, I have two favorite moments in the report. The first being her adventure and friendship with Lucky. Lucky is a beautiful character, and I loved their scenes together as they talk about their lives and deal with Chet and Zinc. My second favorite moments were when Jiji meets Man Cryday, who saves her from the mutants. However, this book is not a short or easy book to read. There are moments of rape, murder, slavery that will hit you hard. Probably my only minor criticism of the story is that it is very long at times. The author adds many details to how Jiji thinks and reacts to various situations, which the author could have trimmed. Nevertheless, I admire the author for taking writing this novel and am curious to see if there will be a sequel. Overall, “The Freedom Race” is a book I would recommend if you are in the mood for gripping dystopian adventure fantasy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wade

    Thank you to Tor for sending me this arc of The Freedom Race. This book will be published July 13! It’s been called a blend between The Underground Railroad and The Handmaid’s Tale and I can’t agree more. Every trigger warning should be included here so keep that in mind. It starts a little confusing and slow, there are a lot of characters and there are a lot of different names for things in this future world but the story is very interesting. In this future world there are mostly all the bad par Thank you to Tor for sending me this arc of The Freedom Race. This book will be published July 13! It’s been called a blend between The Underground Railroad and The Handmaid’s Tale and I can’t agree more. Every trigger warning should be included here so keep that in mind. It starts a little confusing and slow, there are a lot of characters and there are a lot of different names for things in this future world but the story is very interesting. In this future world there are mostly all the bad parts of the old one we know now mixed with the incredible horrifying mistakes featured in our history. Ji-ji has to run this race through the slavery parts of old America and pass through the bounty hunters, the hybrid people who have suffered mutations from radiation, and such horrific things just to be free in the Dream City. Once Ji-ji starts the actual race the story really picks up but this is not an easy read. It’s really heavy and it sticks with you. This is not a beach read, this is more like a book to be analyzed and dissected as a wake up call. This book anticipates the frightening direction our nation could be heading toward as it succumbs to its recurring ways of racial prejudice and unrest. Regressing into a segregation-reminiscent caste system, The Freedom Race exhumes and projects past survival stories into the future where cries of resistance harp on our silent calls for hope. Written by one of today’s most committed activists, Lucinda Roy has created a terrifying glimpse of what might be and tempered it with strength and courage. It is a call to justice in the face of an unsettling future. This adult fantasy novel packs a punch, it should be read with care as it contains intense scenes that feature slavery, lynching, and etc.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bookgrrl

    2.5 stars The premise for this book is very interesting, and given the continuing disparities and strife between races in US the idea of a second Civil War is not that far-fetched. I thought going in that this would read as present day or future, but it doesn’t. It reads entirely like 1800s Southern plantation slavery (every once in a while there’s a reference to a plane or a TV or a wristwatch). The masters of the Plantings are referred to as Father-Man, and these men take Seeds (slaves) as thei 2.5 stars The premise for this book is very interesting, and given the continuing disparities and strife between races in US the idea of a second Civil War is not that far-fetched. I thought going in that this would read as present day or future, but it doesn’t. It reads entirely like 1800s Southern plantation slavery (every once in a while there’s a reference to a plane or a TV or a wristwatch). The masters of the Plantings are referred to as Father-Man, and these men take Seeds (slaves) as their mates to breed with them. So you need to be prepared for government sanctioned rape, lynchings, beatings, degradation, and murder. This makes for a quite depressing read. It’s also a confusing read. The author has practically invented her own language—changing existing words to mean something else, and there is little explanation given. Either you figure it out from the context of the sentence or you don’t. I still haven’t figured out the meaning of some of the terms, so I was a bit lost reading this book. There is very little world building or background given, so that adds to the confusion of all of these terms. In addition I think the pacing is off; it’s a bit too slow paced. If the wording had been simplified then I think this definitely could have been a better story. But as it is it’s just so difficult to follow. Thank you to NetGalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge for this advanced reader copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe L.

    This is the kind of book that I have missed as of late. For a long time we had a surplus of dystopian books and then they just seemed to one day vanish. And this speculative fiction book fit what I missed about those books and put a modern twist on the genre. It also has just that right amount of horror added in at the thought of how easily something like this could actually occur. This book is a tough read because it shows us the things we don't want to imagine. Also given *waves at everything* This is the kind of book that I have missed as of late. For a long time we had a surplus of dystopian books and then they just seemed to one day vanish. And this speculative fiction book fit what I missed about those books and put a modern twist on the genre. It also has just that right amount of horror added in at the thought of how easily something like this could actually occur. This book is a tough read because it shows us the things we don't want to imagine. Also given *waves at everything* going on in the world it's also pushing a bit on the more realistic side of the genre. Which is something I don't think anyone wants to see. And the thought and detail put into this book and story make it all the more palpable. So yeah, this one had me from the first line and I just couldn't look away. I definitely think that this is not only an important read, but something that we could all take a little something away from. But even that aside it's a really amazing story and one that you will just want to read more and more about. You can view my full review & giveaway on my blog! I also post about a lot of different types of books! Reader | Bookstagrammer | Blogger | Reviewer @ya.its.lit - https://www.instagram.com/ya.its.lit/ Blog - https://yaitslitblog.wordpress.com/

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deena B

    Very complex, a good novel that I enjoyed. Although while reading it I felt I was being whisked around and around very quickly, and I feel I missed a lot even though I read the whole book. It was well written, it kept my interest. My favorite parts were JiJi's times with Lucky. I liked his character. I loved Afarra. I was almost relieved when Silapu, JiJi's mother, died. She was cruel, crazy, bitchy and no help at all. The Wild Seed Rule for the Freedom Race seems Wildly Unfair!! That whole busines Very complex, a good novel that I enjoyed. Although while reading it I felt I was being whisked around and around very quickly, and I feel I missed a lot even though I read the whole book. It was well written, it kept my interest. My favorite parts were JiJi's times with Lucky. I liked his character. I loved Afarra. I was almost relieved when Silapu, JiJi's mother, died. She was cruel, crazy, bitchy and no help at all. The Wild Seed Rule for the Freedom Race seems Wildly Unfair!! That whole business (cheating) put a bad taste in my mouth since the Hemingsgate in Monticello, but I got over it. Big Thanks to Goodreads Giveaway, the author, and TDA for this book. I will read it again before the second one comes out!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    *Won this as a free ARC through Goodreads Giveaway* Not an easy read. Complex and depressing subject. The premise was interesting and when I finally managed to push through the first part it became more interesting. I thought the first half was very slow paced and it took me a while to get into it (2/5). Some parts could've been trimmed. You're thrown into this new world and a lot of things weren't explained at first. The made-up words also made it harder to understand. The second half was much b *Won this as a free ARC through Goodreads Giveaway* Not an easy read. Complex and depressing subject. The premise was interesting and when I finally managed to push through the first part it became more interesting. I thought the first half was very slow paced and it took me a while to get into it (2/5). Some parts could've been trimmed. You're thrown into this new world and a lot of things weren't explained at first. The made-up words also made it harder to understand. The second half was much better (3.5/5). It picked up the pace a little bit and explained some of the things that were previously left unexplained.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    The idea of this book really hooked me but the made-up language took a while for me to get used to. I feel like realistically, concepts would keep the same language but almost every single concept or noun had different words to go with it. I also didn't really understand the system that was set up with indigenous african americans vs those that couldn't prove their heritage (don't think the south really would care about that). This book had a lot of potential for me, and maybe the sequels will b The idea of this book really hooked me but the made-up language took a while for me to get used to. I feel like realistically, concepts would keep the same language but almost every single concept or noun had different words to go with it. I also didn't really understand the system that was set up with indigenous african americans vs those that couldn't prove their heritage (don't think the south really would care about that). This book had a lot of potential for me, and maybe the sequels will be better now that I am familiar with the world.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paula Robinson

    The Freedom Race is an adventure foreshadowing an America that is devastated by the racial/political/environmental ills of its present and past. It’s a timely book that will leave you wanting more of its character’s stories and more of Lucinda Roy’s insights. Read it now! Discuss it now! The analysis of works like this will hopefully create positive social change - so the text can remain a great work of fiction and not become an accurate forecast of our future.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Lee

    This book was very well written and you felt like you were in the time era that all the racially problems happening. We see the strife the go through with this civil war and how they fight to survive

  27. 4 out of 5

    Overia D

    Incredibly rich in fabric and movement. Vivid and vivacious in detail as well. Difficult to put down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Incredibly imaginative rich story and world building!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Toughnurse

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lira

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