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Another wonderful review for A World Without Men

This one is from the Midwest Book Review from Senior Editor Diane Donovan who also published it on her website: Recommended books January 2023.

A World Without Men

Randall Moore

Atmosphere Press

9781639885848, $18.99

A ban on men? In A World Without Men, such is not only possible, but has happened 150 years in the future, when the incubation of men has been prohibited and males have been regulated to lower-class near-slaves.

In this woman-controlled world, Eleanora is tasked with finding solutions to problems. Maternal desires are satisfied by simulated children, and new citizens are grown in birth factories, not wombs, which lends to more specialized selection than in the once-free world. Ordinary working women rarely have the opportunity to raise a child of their own in this milieu, and men have effectively been eliminated from the gene pool.

So, why is Eleanora viewing bootleg images of men? Raised in a group home with nurturing women, Eleanora would seem the least likely to become a revolutionary in this unusual setting. But she is, and her role upholding the status quo is challenged by encounters with those who have less acceptance of their roles and future opportunities - especially the rare man who lives in this repressive society: "It seems that is the sole act of personal autonomy left to me. All my daily comings and goings are dictated by others. Throwing myself to my death would be my choice and mine alone, my only avenue of power."

Be careful what you look for. You may find it.

Eleanora's secret passion becomes a dangerous reality as she finds herself walking on the dark side of the minority in this world without men. Her character and observations carry readers into an arena where flawed heroines and oppressed men venture into unfamiliar territory.

Randall Moore's ability to inject moral, ethical, and social questions into the story gives it the allure of a plot that lends nicely to book club debate and group discussion: "It's better to nip bad behavior in the bud rather than wait until it takes full flower. This is the way things are and have been in our society for a very long time. If a child is judged unable to take a constructive role in society, then they're removed."

Questions of control, superiority, hypocrisy, and slavery result in some surprising twists that will encourage readers to think about the origins of repression and the bad results of good intentions gone awry.

The result is a futuristic novel about dangerous trends, attitudes, and possibilities that should earn a place in any library strong in works like The Handmaid's Tale, Animal Farm, and other novels of social inspection and moral and ethical quandary.

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