Skip to content
Reviewed by Thora Moffat
Opening sentence
The minutes pass but he doesn't come.
The Carbonite’s Daughter is an exciting new dystopian story about courage, discovering yourself, and realising things are not always as they seem.

Set in a dystopian New Zealand after a Nuclear Dawn, 18-year-old Calista lives as a breeder, with her mother and her two children in the tunnels, safe from the fatal radiation outside. But when her father, who was exiled outside 10 years ago, returns to take her outside, she discovers the MIC (Men In Charge) had been lying about what was happening outside. Alongside Mathew, a man she meets outside, she runs from those trying to return her to the tunnels to breed more children. But everyone has secrets, so who can she really trust?

This is a gripping book, and I really enjoyed that it was not too difficult to read. The language used was understandable, but it was still a very descriptive and detailed book. I particularly enjoyed this passage:
“The bush had an air of magic about it and had the children been there they would have rushed about looking for fairies among the toadstools, again just like the picture books at home. Some fiction had carried forward for centuries.”

I loved that the author had clearly spent time creating the world this book was set in as every detail was thought through. All the characters were also very well fleshed out as they all had their own personalities which you could clearly picture through the use of descriptive language.

While I personally prefer more fantasy books, this realistic futuristic story was still an enjoyable read, and would be a great way to be introduced into the dystopian genre. It has a great story as to how this had happened and had structured the society that Calista was living in clearly, so it made sense as to why thing like being a “breeder” happened in this world.

Another thing this author did well was not making the plot too complicated. As it was a reasonably short story, there were no sub plots and everything was resolved at the end, whilst still leaving the reader wanting more. Calista grew as a character, as at the beginning she is a naïve girl, but as she learns more about the outside she matures and begins to understand what was wrong with living as a breeder in the tunnels. The book is mainly from Calista’s point of view, with some small bits from Mathew as well as one of the Men In Charge, as to add depth and more insight into the story.

I would recommend this book to mature reader of ages at least 13 + as it has some mature and intense scenes. It also may be more difficult for younger readers to understand. I think people who like books by Des Hunt, like Project Huia and Phantom of Terawhiti would enjoy this book (although it is more fantastical than Des Hunt’s books) as well as anyone who loves a good short dystopian novel.

– Thora lives in Nelson.
Publisher: IFWG Publishing
ISBN: 9781922556400
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2022
Ages: 13+
Themes: Dystopian