Books, General

The Island of Dreams/The Island Prince | Review

Title: The Island of Dreams

Author: Gregory James Clark

Rating: 3 Stars

Dates read: 10 Oct 19

Publication date: 05 Sep 2017

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Genre(s): Utopian, Politics, Economics

Description:

In 2107, twenty-four year-old Gary Loman is disillusioned with life. There are scant opportunities in the capitalist world that surrounds him. When he receives a prestigious invitation, Gary knows that the change he has been waiting for has finally arrived; it’s a ticket to fame and glory as a skater.

Leaving the old world behind, Gary embarks on a new adventure on The Island of Dreams, led by the world’s newest monarchy, where he is introduced to the woman who will become his wife and a wildly different social order, one which has evolved over the previous seventy years by virtue of a slow, quiet and largely unnoticed revolution. By 2107, however, The Island is poised to become one of the most powerful states in the world, acquiring, most notably, the territory of Kamchatka.

The Island Queen, Queen Katie of Kamchatka, with the help of her devoted Prime Minister and her faithful staff, then attempt to educate and train the 240 receivers of the distinguished Queen’s Ticket, both for their roles as skaters and within the Kamchatskiy organisation, for whom they will be working under a completely new concept in political economy, based on quality rather than profit motives, and which is replacing Marxism as the world’s rival to capitalism.

As Gary progresses on The Island, and as its Queen seeks out her new King, the world is on the brink of a breath-taking transformation.

Title: The Island Prince

Author: Gregory James Clark

Rating: 3 Stars

Dates read: 10 Oct 19

Publication date: 01 Oct 2019

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Genre(s): Utopian, Politics, Economics

Description:

In the Spring of 2108 Australian Defence Minister Aub Ryman resigns from his post, committed to an alternative system for determining the sovereignty of nations that would end warfare forever.

In order to lead this transformation, he must first marry Queen Katie of Kamchatka, whose many fans throughout the world have given her power to approve or remove governments to achieve her objectives under a system known as The New Game.

Before he can assume his role as King, however, The Island Prince must first convince The Queen’s Ministers and the prestigious Kamchatka Parliament that he is indeed the right choice.

One the item and with the world’s eyes upon them, they express their love for each other and reinforce their message for world peace

*I received a copy of these books courtesy of Authoright and Clink Street Publishing as part of their The Island Prince Blog Tour*

I received this book duo courtesy of Clink Street Publishing and Authoright knowing very little about the author, genre, or book content. I quite going into a book relatively blind, so accepted the tour invite based on the initial synopsis. The books themselves are a masterclass in Utopian society and the world within is the author’s example of a Utopian future that feels both feasible and impossible at the same time.

It is clear from the outset that this book is written in a clever narrative style. At points almost seemingly in a non-fiction format, the books loosely follows the young Gary as he accepts and invitation to take him from a mundane life into the Utopian world of The Island, and then Aub as he settles into life as the future King. The Island itself is a Utopian Non-Capitalist Economic paradise that is the home (along with Kamchatka) of the Non-Capitalist Economic movement that is at the heart of both novels. The author has cleverly intertwined ‘real-life’ strife and warfare in the forms of the Northern/Republic of Ireland Divide, Chechnya, and The Falkland Islands to name a few, to create a more realistic back drop that grounds the reader within the world. While Kamchatka is a real peninsula, it is an area of Russia that is rarely mentioned or discussed, so it’s inclusion had the benefit of seeming like a constructed place for the book’s narrative whilst remaining a quantifiable geographical location.

It is also abundantly evident that the author has gone to great lengths to research and include detail in the books that enables the reader to understand the world and systems within which the narrative operates. Whether it is chess or gold, neurological function or economics, politics or engineering, Clark imbues his books with detail and and informative writing style that allows the reader to learn as they read. The books are clearly a passion project of the author, and intertwine many complex fields together within one world. One of my favourite inclusions is ice skating/dancing, a medium used within the book to allow platonic and romantic relationships to bloom, the instilling of discipline, and exploration into a more creative field than the economic and political theories allow.

You may be wondering, given the above words, why I rated these books 3 out of 5 stars? In part, this was because of the current world climate and my own mind set when I read these books. The current world climate, both politically and economically, is inescapable, so to read in depth about political and economical theory was not the escape I am currently seeking when I dive into a piece of literature. I also, rightly or wrongly, read the synopsis and thought of dystopian novels I have loved, so when I began reading and found this to be a detailed utopian piece, it didn’t quite set me on fire as hoped. I struggled a little connecting with the characters int he first book as the story doesn’t strictly follow one character in any detail. The Island Prince, however, tracks and follows Aub Ryman as he settles onto the Island and into Island life, and I think this allowed me to delve deeper into the narrative.

These books were so thorough and researched and really showcased the author’s passions. The were well constructed and intertwined a clever narrative style with complimentary themes and theories.

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