The Gender Games Series Review
This summer, I challenged myself to read 8-12 books but I was only able to read 7 books during the summer. But that is okay with me because I was focusing on applying to jobs. I read books 2-7 in The Gender Games series as well as Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips. Since I spent most of my summer reading one series, I decided to write a review on entire Gender Games series.
Gender Equality Isn't the Only Gender Issue
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Power-hungry leaders manipulate their citizens in an attempt to take control of both countries. A group of rebels must ban together to expose the lives and deception and save both countries from their destructive ways. The Gender Games by Bella Forrest is a dystopian novel set a matriarchal country called Matrus and a patriarchal country called Patrus. Each country has a flawed monarchy that is resistant to any change. In Matrus, young boys must take a test to prove that they are not aggressive because that would be a threat to the society. Males have little rights and aren't able to be join careers like law enforcement and politics. In Patrus, women have no rights. They aren't able to own land, vote, or go anywhere without a male escort. Women have to obey their guardian, whomever it may be. They don't even have the right to choose what they wear and are usually forced to dress conservatively. Their parents have the right to marry them off to whomever they want (sometimes money is exchanged).
My Thoughts on the Gender Issues
When I was in university, I took a class where I studied gender issues in dystopian novels. It was one of my favourite English classes. So when I saw this series advertised on Instagram and Facebook I was really excited to read this book because it was dedicated to gender. However, I was disappointed when the issues discussed didn't go further than gender equality. There was not an in-depth discussion of consent or any LGBTQ+ issues. In a 7 novel series, there was no trans or gay characters. I really wanted Jay and Tim together but at the end of the novel or really any other character. But sadly, all the characters in this series are heterosexual. I think this was the biggest disappointment for me.
My Thoughts on the Story
The plot takes place over the duration of 7 books. The pacing of the first two books are appropriate. Each seem to have 1 main problem that was resolved by the end of the novels. However, as the series progressed, it became less clear what the distinct conflict was in each novel. There is 1 overarching conflict throughout the series but I think that each book should be still have 1 problem that they are working to resolve in each novel. Despite the pacing problems, I thought that the story is very interesting and the world building is great. I read all 7 novels and I can say that I really enjoyed them.
My Thoughts on the Characters
I think my favourite thing about the story is the characters. Despite all its flaws, it's redeeming quality is the characters and their unique stories and motivations. Viggo and Violet are 2 very passionate characters with strong motivations for each move that they make. The supporting characters in the novel are just as good, if not better, than the main ones. Throughout the series, more supporting characters are added; each has a unique history and personality. I think my favourite supporting character is Violet's younger brother, Tim. His bubbly personality mixed with his limited speech makes him extremely endearing. The characters are the thing that kept me reading when I started to think about the pacing and lack of gender issues.
My Favourite Book
My favourite book of the series is The Gender Secret. The progression of Viggo and Violet's relationship made the book interesting to read. In this novel, conspiracies are revealed and alliances change. None of the events in this novel were even remotely predictable and I never knew what was going to happen next. I also really enjoyed all of the characters were introduced in this novel.
Question of the Day
What’s your favourite dystopia?