In a chilling dystopian world, the economy is ruled by the calorie, the measure of life, of trade, and of pain. Farms of young girls are set up in dilapidated apartment buildings… they serve many purposes: to breed, to grow new organs, and to feed the wealthy of the population. Ration focuses on one particular farm where a great conflict rages between the starving girls, the director, and her second. Peer pressure has ruled the floors of the building for as long as they can remember, forcing each girl to abide by the unwritten rules of hunger. Do not eat more than the allotted quota, or the director and her nasty second will take the offending girl to the wet room.
Filled with dark images of tyrannical mental abuse, this novel is not for the faint of heart. The manipulation ramps up for a select few girls who must choose between their own desires and the energy rations. I won’t get into any other details of the plot so as not not give up any spoilers, but I’ll just to say that the system breaks down and the pressure of holding The Farm together may just prove to be too much.
The story is told in alternating chapters between the points of view of Cynthia, one of the girls, and the director, Tuttle. It does take a bit of time for the world to become clear and realized, but this adds to the overall creepy feeling in the halls of the building. Luff makes the reader jump at what might be behind any of the unlabeled doors the characters may open. And he does a very good job detailing the different sides of the hierarchy: the human product of Cynthia and the farmer in Tuttle.
My only criticism is the ultimate set of conflicts were not timely enough. It just seemed like it took a bit too long for the overall arc to get solidified, especially for a story this short.
Ration is raw dystopian vision that sets a unique premise at the reader’s feet. The truth and its justifications will chill you.
4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to Apex Publications and the author for an advanced copy for review.