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SCI-FI/DYSTOPIAN: All her life Mia has taken pride in her compliance with the Council’s rules and way of life in her Village. She never had a rebellious thought until her friend Kate broke many rules and left the Village for places unknown. With Kate and her other friends gone, in her loneliness Mia turns to her mate Chad for solace, but even that is forbidden, so she is torn between her need for obedience and her growing feelings for him. When the Council threatens her mate will Mia have the courage to break away from tradition or will she remain mired in her cowardice?
An enthralling addition to the dystopian genre, “The Scent of Lilac” offers a unique window into a matriarchal society where men are viewed as cattle, good only for breeding. While this novella takes place after the events in the original books there is no sense of confusion. One delves head first into a way of life so foreign that it is a shock to the system, as women are sorted into a variety of groups most beneficial to the Village and men are kept in cages. No answers are forthcoming as to the path humanity trod to reach this juncture, but Mia’s internal and external struggles with her place in this world bring hope of change. A too-often dragging pace is the only critique this reader can offer. Even with a satisfying conclusion one is left yearning for more richly woven tales of this fascinating world.