THE CITY CENTER by Simone Pond


The City Center by Simone Pond


This book won a Gold Medal for Dystopian Fiction.

Dystopian fiction has gained popularity over the past few years and authors are churning out books by the thousands. The problem with this popularity is that with such a glut of books available it is difficult to find one that is truly original. Well, look no further. ‘The City Center’ is a rare gem of originality.

‘The City Center’ takes place three hundred years into the future in a utopian city where genetic engineering is the norm and people have never been exposed to actual sunlight. The city is located on the California coast and is encased in an air and light-tight dome.

City residents live in a reality of blissful ignorance. Microchips implanted in them at inception (not birth, since natural births no longer occur) tell the city’s residents what to think and when. Mood enhancers are sprayed into the air to keep the citizens content and docile.

Ava Rhodes is one of twelve young women who were created to take over the Royal Court at the age of 18. One of these young ladies will become Queen and the others will receive positions such as Duchess or Countess. There are also 12 male Successors, each paired with one of the females since inception.

Simone Pond has imagined a complex society with fascinating technologies. No detail is left out. There is even a “dark market” where city residents can buy such things as a download of classic movies. Since all screen viewing is carefully selected propaganda, the ownership of these old movies is illegal (even if it is only considered a minor offense.)

Ava has always been just a little bit different from the other Successor candidates. Her designated partner is a pompous jerk who insists that Ava has a “glitch”. Sometimes she can’t help but think he is right.

With Graduation Day fast approaching, Ava knows that her life will soon change dramatically and she knows that what little freedom she now enjoys will be a thing of the past.

A chance encounter with a handsome and mysterious ‘Outsider’ leads Ava to start questioning her world.

The question is what can she do about it? And, does she really want to do anything about it? Should she leave the city to try to discover the truth? Or should she remain and accept the status quo?

Ava has some big decisions to make, or maybe not. Those decisions just might be made for her.

Once you learn what lies at the sinister heart of the City Center, you will be shocked and appalled. From that point on it is impossible to put this book down.

‘The City Center’ is a fast paced, thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ava Rhodes is an excellent heroine. Personable and real, you can’t help wanting to root for her.

I was very impressed with the sophistication of the writing in this book. Simone Pond is definitely an author worth watching.

This tale is full of imagination, interesting ideas, intellect and intrigue. It is a must read for all lovers of dystopian fiction.

To find out more about this author and her books, visit her online at:

My rating for this book is an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars.

I will be starting on the second book in this series immediately

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