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The Culling

The Culling Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
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Summary

In a solar system where The Authority decides who lives and who dies, only one of their own executioners can stop them.  

Glade Io is a trained killer. Marked at a young age as an individual with violent tendencies, she was taken from her family and groomed to be a Datapoint—a biotech-enabled analyst who carries out the Culling. She is designed to identify and destroy any potential humans that threaten the colonies: those marked as lawbreakers, unproductive or sick. But when she’s kidnapped by rogue colonists known as the Ferrymen, everything Glade thinks she knows about the colonies, and The Authority that runs them, collapses into doubt.  

Pulled between two opposing sides, and with her family’s lives hanging in the balance, Glade is unsure of who to trust—and time is running out.

©2017 Relay Publishing (P)2018 Relay Publishing

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A Gripping Start to This Trilogy!

This is book one in the trilogy. This book starts just as a culling takes place, and six year old Glade watches her father struck down and then his body is dragged away.
The Colonies are on the different planets, and are controlled by The Authority who are rule all the planets. They are responsible for the culling of all citizens showing violent or murderous tendencies.
The Culling take place every ten years.
They used datapoints, humans with tech integrated so they can read brainwaves, so they can kill anyone with dangerous and murderous thoughts.
Even though Glade’s father was taken in the last culling, Glade had no doubt the Authority was only trying to create a better life for everyone. Glade is now a Datapoint and will be responsible for the next Culling.
All is well until Glade is kidnapped by the Ferryman, and the she spends time with the leader. Everyone shows her kindness, but Glade is still firm in her believe in the Authority.
This is a gripping story keeps you listening, with superb narration. I listened to this in one go, as I didn’t want to stop. I ended listening through the night. I know this is geared to young Adults, as Glade is only 16years old. This oldie really enjoyed it, and I’m getting ready to listen to book two The Authority. 

  • Overall
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Unreal listen, great dystopian!

Firstly Stacey Glemboski made this audiobook for me. I loved listening to her voice, she captivated me with her different characters and I was drawn into this sy-fy world. Amazing! Now to Ramona Finn, I picked up this audiobook because of the blurb, the idea of The Culling was unique and intrigued me. I loved the Hunger Game and the blurb reminded me of that and I wasn't disappointed. It was great, but not the same. It has unique characters and unique gizmos and technology. I loved Kupier and warmed to Glade by the end of the book. Can't wait for the next in the series!

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  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 12-05-18

Much better than I thought!!

Glade Io is a Datapoint. She has been groomed by The Authority to carry out the Culling. It's her job to cull anyone showing violent or murderous tendencies. She wholeheartedly believes that she is making their world a better place to live in, but that all changes when she is kidnapped by a rebel group known as the Ferryman. While in captivity, she learns that what she believes to be true, may not be, and that The Authority is different than she was led to believe.

I have the kindle copy of this since it came out but never got the time to read it, and to be honest, I was getting a little fed up with the tropes in the dystopian genre. But when it came to audio, I jumped at the chance to listen. Well, this book was awesome!! It was so much better than I thought and I flew through it.

I really liked the idea of the plot. The Earth is uninhabitable, or so the Authority will have you believe, so everyone lives on different planets in the solar system. The Authority rules all and has a firm grip over everyone. Every few years, they use the Datapoints to Cull the population. With the use of their biotech, they are able to determine who will show violent or murderous tendencies and they then cull them. The plot held a steady pace and kept my attention throughout.

I really liked Glade Io. She was brave and wasn't like the rest of the Datapoints. Even though she was brainwashed since she was young, she didn't enjoy her job and did wonder about it. The only reason she kept doing it was because she wanted to save her sisters from the life she has to live. Once she gets kidnapped and meets Kupier, she starts to question everything and is determined to get to the truth.

In all, this was a great read. I mean, it does follow the usual pattern of girl realising the bosses are evil, girl also finding out she is special and the only one able to either stop them or help them destroy the world, and there is always a boy!! Even with this formula, I still ended up loving it. The world building and character development was awesome and I can not wait to read the next one!!

Stacey Glemboski read this really well. She portrayed Glade perfectly and her tones and cadences brought the story to life. She was easy to listen to and I loved her performance. I will have to check out more by her.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 14-04-18

I have mixed feelings...

I'm not really sure how to feel about this book. I've read a lot of dystopian books over the last 2 years and they're starting to feel very similar. However the book is well written and the characters are really interesting. The concept of the Culling is horrific and even worse that they train teenagers to carry it out.

Glade is a great lead character and an interesting contradiction, chosen for her sociopath tendencies and trained to be unfeeling she does still care, a lot in some cases.

Overall it's left me with a desire to know what's going to happen next.

The narration is excellent, great character voices and the delivery is emotive and dynamic.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott Bennett
  • 22-05-18

"We Don't Have to Be Enemies"

I received this audiobook free from the author and I am willingly reviewing it.

I wanted to listen to this book because I had heard some of the narrator's work before and the story looked very interesting. I was not disappointed. The idea of culling out individuals and using technologically enhanced datapoints to do the work hooked me into the story. The character development was top-notch. We get to see both sides - the so-called good guys and bad guys. I like how the author changes POV between Glade and Kupier. The narrator does an excellent job letting you know not only which character is speaking, but which POV your viewing. She even changes her delivery slightly depending on which main character's POV you're in. Very glad I took the time to listen, and I will definitely want to hear the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • April R
  • 24-04-18

Excellent start to a sure to be great trilogy!

This author and narrator are both new to me.

The description of the book was an immediate draw and interest to me. I love the idea of a alternate world where we live and survive by different rules brought on by circumstances outside of our control. In this book it was brought on my the Earth no longer being inhabitable.

The story was well thought out and well written. I didn't feel as though there were any outstanding and unbelievable occurrences that happened that the author didn't make me believe was inside the realm of possibility. I am truly looking forward to getting my hands on the next book.

I thought the narrator was excellent. A lot of times a narrator can make or break a story. However, this particular narrator was truly talented. She played each character well and the emotion and tone was spot on.

Overall this is an audiobook and book I would recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 06-08-18

Takes a while to get into but worth it

It took me a while to get into this book but I’m glad I stuck with it. I really enjoyed the characters and the main struggle. Glade Io is a pretty standard main character. She’s likable but a bit flawed in her absolute belief in the Authority. Still, I felt it was true to her character that she wouldn’t immediately believe those that oppose the Authority. It’s that struggle (Glade’s ability to parse the truth) that really drew me in.

The Ferrymen of Charon are your standard rebels or resistance. They just want to protect their families and have enough to live a decent life. Coopier inherited the leadership of the Ferrymen when his brother Loose died. The Ferrymen have come up with a plan to take out the Authority, but they need a Data Point and set about kidnapping a few (Glade and Sulia). This is where things finally got interesting for me. Glade’s 16 years of believing in the Authority are challenged by the Ferrymen (how they act & what they show her) and her world begins to crumble a bit.

Back at the Authority, Glade continues to train under Don, her long-term mentor. The story has set up a love triangle and love triangles are not my thing. It rarely works for me and it doesn’t work here. Despite that, I like Don and his own inner struggle – to trust Glade, hold true to the Authority, hate the Ferrymen.

The main premise of the tale is that specially trained people with a very specific personality (a little sociopathy, still maleable, highly intelligent, etc.) can work with specialized tech to read another person’s brainwaves and then snuff them out. Yep. Snuff out hundreds to thousands of people from afar. Planetwide but sometimes from other planets. I couldn’t help but shake my head at this. The writing could have made this a bit more believable but it was real loose and ridiculous.

Also there were small things that just didn’t ring true. The Authority monitors the Data Points during training… yet not during an actual culling? Some of the Data Points take up communicating silently through their tech and yet it’s not a common practice and is apparently unmonitored? Unlikely. Also, Glade is considered rather important and yet they don’t monitor all her movements all the time through her tech? It would be so simple to do…. So because of all these small things like this, I often felt the writing was lazy instead of giving us a story with solid, realistic rules.

On the other hand, the emotions of the characters and how some of them grow throughout the story kept me engaged. Even Sulia, who is a jerk, might have something more going on than just what we see on the surface. Because of the characters, I look forward to Book 2. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Stacey Glemboski did a great job with this book. She had distinct voices for all the characters and her male voices were believable. I really liked her voice for Coopier’s little brother and for Sulia when she’s being nasty. There’s plenty of tense emotions in this story and Glemboski did a great job portraying them. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KRLGA @Smada's Book Smack
  • 21-07-18

Sci-fy Dystopian Wonderfulness

" What can I say, I've got a thing for dark haired girls who try to burn me alive using only the power of their scowls."

Glade's father was Culled when she was a child and her mother made her promise to hide herself away from everyone since she was too like her father and would be a target for who she is. But it was too late, a man had seen her brain waves and knew she was different, a future Datapoint. Glade is not really interested in culling people but needs to otherwise her innocent younger sisters will be recruited into the program and she refuses to let that happen. To make matters worse, she is kidnapped by the ruthless Ferrymen, and suddenly everything is so much more complicated.

This is actually the second book I have read by Ramona and my new absolute favorite from her. Don't get me wrong, the other book I read was the first in a different series and it was good, but I just enjoyed the Culling so much more! Everything about this story was engaging for me, be it the tech and the future world, the culling process, the layered characters and the fact the story is told in multiple points of view (and I love books with multiple narrators!). There was so much conspiracy flowing through the words, I had no idea who to trust, what to believe or what would happen next. It was perfect for keeping me on my toes. Can I pretty please get the next two books in the trilogy now?? I have to know how it will all end.

The concept of Culling was terrifying and yet at the same time realistic for the future. To cull means to remove a citizen after reading their brain waves and seeing that they were prone to violence, allowing for a more peaceful community and avoid possible issues. I loved that Datapoints had to be positive for sociopathic tendencies to make them successful at their calling, the need to be self-serving and not too concerned for the well being of others allows them to "cull" aka kill/eradicate others- which really makes perfect sense, if you empathize you fail.


​The narrator gave Glade so much personality I really related to her and enjoyed her inflections and attitude.​ She brought Glade to life right before my eyes (ears?) and I felt like I knew her through the combination of the author's words and the narrator's emotions. The voices she used for the other main characters (Dahn and Kupier) narrations were not very different from Glade or each other but she was clear and precise in her diction and gave the characters personality which made it easy for me to know who was what.

There was so much going on within the pages, be it futuristic technology, mystery, romance via a love triangle, conspiracy, action, space travel...yep, there was pretty much a little bit of everything provided here. I can't wait to get my hands on the other two books in the trilogy (yay for a trilogy that is already all out!) and I would gladly listen to them as audio versions since I enjoyed the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lomeraniel
  • 20-07-18

Great character development

In a galaxy controlled by the Authority, for which Glade Io is one of the people in charge of executing violent and rogue citizens remotely with the help of technology and the power of her mind, things are not what they seem. Was Glade's father really violent and was his death 'fair'? Amidst all these doubts, Glade is kidnapped by Ferrymen, people from a rogue planet that believe in very different things than the Authority.

This was a good dystopian story, with a good world building and some original things. I found the role of Data Points quite interesting, and I liked the idea of a database supporting their decisions. Although the story is good by itself, what I really enjoyed was the character development. Ramona Finn writes good scifi but part of that is thanks to fully fleshed characters, with actions that it is easy to connect to, and great dialogs and interactions. 

As I have said, despite being a dystopian book, this is a strong character driven story. The are important things at stake here, but there is also a clear love triangle that at times seems to matter more to the story than the real conflict. I think this is mainly due to this book being aimed at a young adult public, and it did not bother me, but I could have done without it.

At times, the book reminded me of 'Ender's Game', and I almost expected some of the tricks that were used there to appear here too, but I am glad Ramona Finn has decided to stay far from that. 

Although I really liked this book, there are a couple of things that I would like to mention. I missed some more world building and knowing more about how the society and the Authority worked. I know this was hidden mostly because the story is told from Glade's point of view, but I missed some more information from her side. Also, I wanted to know more about the quarters where she lived in, since it seemed very easy to sneak in unseen.

What I absolutely loved was Stacey Glemboski's narration. She is one of my favorite narrators, able to transport me to distant worlds and make me believe that I am listening to a whole bunch of different characters. She has an ample voice range, but she can also transmit the characters emotions multiplied by ten, bringing them to life in a way that you feel you are listening to real people.

I am curious about where this story is going so I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I think this would delight anyone into science-fiction.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Book Addict
  • 17-07-18

Gripping Start to the Trilogy!

This is book one in the trilogy. This book starts just as a culling takes place, and six year old Glade watches her father struck down and then his body is dragged away.
The Colonies are on the different planets, and are controlled by The Authority who are rule all the planets. They are responsible for the culling of all citizens showing violent or murderous tendencies.
The Culling take place every ten years.
They used datapoints, humans with tech integrated so they can read brainwaves, so they can kill anyone with dangerous and murderous thoughts.
Even though Glade’s father was taken in the last culling, Glade had no doubt the Authority was only trying to create a better life for everyone. Glade is now a Datapoint and will be responsible for the next Culling.
All is well until Glade is kidnapped by the Ferryman, and the she spends time with the leader. Everyone shows her kindness, but Glade is still firm in her believe in the Authority.
This is a gripping story keeps you listening, with superb narration. I listened to this in one go, as I didn’t want to stop. I ended listening through the night. I know this is geared to young Adults, as Glade is only 16years old. This oldie really enjoyed it, and I’m getting ready to listen to book two The Authority.
 
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jess
  • 31-05-18

Entertaining

Wasn't sure if I was going to like this one but it held up! Good narration great characters. Story pulled me through from beginning to end.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam C
  • 18-05-18

Very good!

Set in the far future where Earth is no longer and the people have been sent out to colonize the solar systems, The Culling premise reminded me of the Hunger Games...and I enjoyed this one every bit as much. The idea of Datapoints and how they are integrated with a technology that allowed people to see and 'Cull' the 'bad' people from society is a new one for me. Very disturbing, as well. The Authority is apparently a new ruling system and they are just as corrupt as...most. The author used 1st person for Glade and 3rd peson for the others, but, that didn't disturb me as much as it apparently did others. Maybe because I listened to the audiobook version and Stacey Glemboski does a really good job of expressing the differences in the characters, so maybe that is the difference. I enjoyed her voice, her narrations and her characters. I hope to listen to more of her work.
I hope to listen to book 2 very soon!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful