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Orange City (Orange City, #1)

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Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave. Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the "Man" who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifeli Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave. Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the "Man" who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones. After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.


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Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave. Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the "Man" who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifeli Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave. Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the "Man" who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones. After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.

30 review for Orange City (Orange City, #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Like Orange soda, "Orange City" is something completely different. Move over Orwell. Move over Clockwork Orange. Move over Truman Show. Move over Timothy Leary. Orange city is the dystopian future where perhaps you get what you bargained for. Spend the rest of your life behind bars or in a purgatory on your way to paradise -- just doing a few odd jobs for the Man, who lives up in the Eye tower and wants his pilgrims guided to his secret island city. And on the way to paradise all it will cost is Like Orange soda, "Orange City" is something completely different. Move over Orwell. Move over Clockwork Orange. Move over Truman Show. Move over Timothy Leary. Orange city is the dystopian future where perhaps you get what you bargained for. Spend the rest of your life behind bars or in a purgatory on your way to paradise -- just doing a few odd jobs for the Man, who lives up in the Eye tower and wants his pilgrims guided to his secret island city. And on the way to paradise all it will cost is your immortal soul and perhaps more. Moral dilemmas and Hobson's choices are not the end of it all. Because the heart of the book is about free will and manipulation and the choices that are slowly taken away from us. Madison Avenue can convince us to want anything, to buy anything, to become anything. It's almost like we can't stop ourselves. At what point are we being manipulated and at what point are we knowingly choosing to conform to what's required by the corporation, by the twitter mob, by the dictates of those who dictate what's allowed to be said and what's allowed to be felt and experienced. Orange City is an unusual book and it will take a little bit before you, the reader, get a feel for where things are going. Just remember the main character is probably even more lost and disoriented than you. In the end, Orange City is a terrific read that leaves your mind buzzing with thoughts and desperately awaiting the sequel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Iseult Murphy

    A nightmarish cross between 1984 and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In a future United States, Graham is offered a second chance by going to the mysterious city, run by the grotesque and monsterous The Man. Graham accepts the offer but finds he’s exchanged one prison for another. I loved the use of colours to control Graham, and the atmosphere of paranoia that surrounded his life in the city. I found Orange City an absorbing, enjoyable nightmare. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest A nightmarish cross between 1984 and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In a future United States, Graham is offered a second chance by going to the mysterious city, run by the grotesque and monsterous The Man. Graham accepts the offer but finds he’s exchanged one prison for another. I loved the use of colours to control Graham, and the atmosphere of paranoia that surrounded his life in the city. I found Orange City an absorbing, enjoyable nightmare. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lena (Sufficiently Advanced Lena)

    Thanks to Lee Matthew Goldberg, Atmosphere Press and NetGalley for giving me access to this book for review. First of all, I was already intrigued by the cover, really, is stunning, but then the summary was the cherry on top. In this book we follow mainly Graham, who gets offered an opportunity like no other, go to live in The City, a place where the past doesn't matter and people get a second chance. The City is ruled by this mysterious figure (or should I say disfigured, please excuse this terr Thanks to Lee Matthew Goldberg, Atmosphere Press and NetGalley for giving me access to this book for review. First of all, I was already intrigued by the cover, really, is stunning, but then the summary was the cherry on top. In this book we follow mainly Graham, who gets offered an opportunity like no other, go to live in The City, a place where the past doesn't matter and people get a second chance. The City is ruled by this mysterious figure (or should I say disfigured, please excuse this terrible pun) called The Man, extremely tall and with definitely spared arms. But, of course, not everything is as good as it seemed. I'll keep everything vague so you don't get spoil, cause it really is worth a read! The mystery was really well crafted from the beginning, I found myself thinking about the book while I was supposed to be studying for finals. The pace works also great maybe struggling a bit towards the end, when everything felt a little bit rushed. Besides E and Graham I didn't really feel a lot for the characters, often finding myself feeling more sympathetic towards E than Marlena, but we may discover more in later installments. I'm used to dystopias being quite dark but I wasn't expecting this one to be so brutal, especially with its treatment of the main characters. The use of colors and Pow! was magnificent and probably my favorite part of the story along with The Man. I play a lot of video games and for some reason this part kept reminding me of the reboot of Devil May Cry and the demon in the soda factory. Overall I really enjoyed the ride though I have to sadly say that the end didn't really click with me, especially the reveal about Graham, still I really would love to get back to another City! The final rating is 3.5 stars rounded up to a 4.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Belmont

    As soon as I recieved my copy of Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg, I couldn’t wait to jump into it. The cover is so intriguing and then the blurb drew me in. This is a book you should go into without any spoilers. The mystery is fantastic. The pacing kept my nose buried in this book. This dystopian is not only dark, but also brutal, and it has intriguing concepts I haven’t read in others of this genre. I like that the blurb calls this a mashup between 1984 and Lost. This is very true, which mig As soon as I recieved my copy of Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg, I couldn’t wait to jump into it. The cover is so intriguing and then the blurb drew me in. This is a book you should go into without any spoilers. The mystery is fantastic. The pacing kept my nose buried in this book. This dystopian is not only dark, but also brutal, and it has intriguing concepts I haven’t read in others of this genre. I like that the blurb calls this a mashup between 1984 and Lost. This is very true, which might be why I loved it so much. I just thought it was a cool read that kept me invested from page one. Overall, I enjoyed Orange City and would recommend giving it a shot. *I received a free copy of this book from R&R Book Tours to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Received as a review copy, this is an honest review. This gripping and haunting dystopian story a hidden city where criminals are chosen to get another shot at living in the City. The cost of receiving this freedom is high under the ruling eye of the mysterious and dangerous The Man. For Graham Weatherend, working put the life back into Pow! soda finds himself addicted to the powerfully flavored drink, that he becomes increasingly mentally troubled by the drink's affects but what he truly sees a Received as a review copy, this is an honest review. This gripping and haunting dystopian story a hidden city where criminals are chosen to get another shot at living in the City. The cost of receiving this freedom is high under the ruling eye of the mysterious and dangerous The Man. For Graham Weatherend, working put the life back into Pow! soda finds himself addicted to the powerfully flavored drink, that he becomes increasingly mentally troubled by the drink's affects but what he truly sees around him is far more a dark prison than he could imagine. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Wife murderers, liquor store robbers, and parents of deformed children can get a second chance from The Man in a secret dystopian hidden city. A Joseph Stalin meets 1984 wet dream. If chosen, you get a new identity and the works as long as you conform and stay loyal. If you are disloyal, you get sent to the zones where your limbs will mysteriously disappear and die of hunger or dehydration. The zones are starting to fill up and The Man needs to find a way to better control the population so rebra Wife murderers, liquor store robbers, and parents of deformed children can get a second chance from The Man in a secret dystopian hidden city. A Joseph Stalin meets 1984 wet dream. If chosen, you get a new identity and the works as long as you conform and stay loyal. If you are disloyal, you get sent to the zones where your limbs will mysteriously disappear and die of hunger or dehydration. The zones are starting to fill up and The Man needs to find a way to better control the population so rebrands a soda that makes you feel different moods and heightens colors depending on what flavor you drink. Instead of becoming a Sunset Overdrive monster, one man decides to fight back and kill the Slender Man looking ruler and fight for freedom. Full of creepy weirdness and fever dreams, this is definitely one of the more unique urban dystopian stories out there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tam

    Wildly imaginative! Great, multi-faceted characters. Very unique plot. Vivid descriptions. A solid, interesting read! *I received a complimentary ARC of this book in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David

    A dystopian future after the War to End All Wars. Reminiscent of Huxley and Orwell. Emotional addiction, the conflict between capitalism and authentic humanity, autocracy and freedom. And POW! soda. #netgalley #orangecity

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie Porter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoilers: Lee Matthew Goldberg's previous novel, Slow Down was an ironic title of a book. It was a fast paced almost hallucinatory drug trip of a novel in which Noah, a young ambitious screenwriter gets involved with a creepy director's film project which involves several actresses becoming addicted to a drug called Fast which turns them into homicidally violent. So in this, his fifth novel, Orange City has Goldberg taken the predecessor title's advice and slowed down? Well, no. Instead he just h Spoilers: Lee Matthew Goldberg's previous novel, Slow Down was an ironic title of a book. It was a fast paced almost hallucinatory drug trip of a novel in which Noah, a young ambitious screenwriter gets involved with a creepy director's film project which involves several actresses becoming addicted to a drug called Fast which turns them into homicidally violent. So in this, his fifth novel, Orange City has Goldberg taken the predecessor title's advice and slowed down? Well, no. Instead he just has a wider more imaginative arena in which to explore these strange, bizarre, terrifying worlds. Orange City is set in the future in a dystopian city called, original name, The City. The City is ruled by an omnipresent figure who is literally called The Man. (Thankfully, the common nouns used as proper names device ends there. So we don't run into other characters called The Woman, The Boy, The Girl, The Dog and don't encounter The Bar or The Restaurant.) The Man is a creepy figure. He wears the same black suit and is fed a strange orange liquid intravenously, so he doesn't eat. His legs are distorted because of surgeries to make him taller. He has several arms connected to his body that are thin and branch-like giving him a spidery appearance. His red eyes are able to cyberoptically view the entire city. He has spies, technology, and a psychic seeming intuition that allows him to keep everyone and everything in the city under his watch and control. Anyone who disobeys can lose their appendages and end up in The Zone, the homeless district, or The Man's Scouts can send them to The Outside World, the area outside The City. The Man's appearance and demeanor are sort of like what would happen if 1984's Big Brother decided to retire and give control of Oceania over to Slenderman. Underneath The Man's control are the Finances, districts with CEO's that control the banking, business, and advertising. In one way or another everybody works under The Man's ultimate direction, so yes they are in fact slaves to The Man. One of those workers is Graham Weathered, a meek little man who works for the advertising firm of Warton, Mind, and Donovan. Graham has been living in The City since he was 19, a scared abused former foster kid from The Outside World. He was given the option, as all convicted criminals are, to remain in the desolate war torn Outside World or start a new life with a job that promises benefits and constant surveillance in The City. Naturally, the naive Graham chooses Option B. Years later, Graham is given his first real assignment. Warton, Mind, and Donovan are promoting a multi-flavored soda called Pow! His boss, E, wants him to test the various flavors and let them know what the results are. Graham needs some recognition from his employers, would like to get ahead and does not want to be sent to the Zone. Plus, Graham has the spine of an amoeba and the nerves of a terrified toy dog, so he agrees. The only problem is that Pow! is addictive, really addictive, and it produces some strange side effects. It alters a person's emotions depending on the flavor. Orange City is a brilliant novel that is a tribute to the Science Fiction Dystopia genre and a satire on advertising, greed, and corporate control. As Graham drinks the Pow! flavors, he takes on various facets of his personality. The orange flavor makes him passionate and sexual. Lime green makes him jealous and ambitious. Blueberry makes him depressed and thoughtful. Cherry Red makes him aggressive and homicidal. All of the emotions that a lifetime of abuse and constant surveillance and control have repressed have finally broken through and overwhelms him. This book is a wonder to imagine and is one of the few that I would like to see become a movie or limited series because of how impressive it would look. One of the more visually captivating images are the constant changing colors around Graham. Each time he drinks a specific flavor, his eyes zero in and focus on that color on the walls, neon signs, and on people's clothing. Each time he is attracted to women wearing those specific colors or is invited to a club or a bar with that color name (The Citrus Club, Lime Lounge, Blue Moon, and Red Rum.) It would be neat to see any potential filmmaker engage in some interesting details like the walls in Graham's apartment changing color or the neon lights blazing in the background, unavoidable like stars. Goldberg clearly had a lot of fun writing the process of Graham and his mood swings and the shifting environment around him. Besides setting, Goldberg also creates a memorable protagonist in Graham. Similar to characters like Winston Smith, Guy Montag, Offred/June, or Bernard Marx, Graham just accepts the System at first. He thinks that if he plays along and doesn't cause trouble, then he will live another day, without realizing that it doesn't matter how much he plays along. If that System sees those under them as less than human, they are expendable and completely disposable. They will be killed or exiled anyway, because they have no value as a human being or an individual. Graham follows the Man's orders, even temporarily accepts a higher position, more luxurious apartment, and larger stipend to be the Pow! spokesperson/product tester/guinea pig. When he becomes hopelessly addicted and characters appear and reappear to monitor him, even appearing in lucid dreams is when he starts to question what he got into. He also learns some revealing things about his past and what The Man's real goals are towards That's when he can no longer remain a passive participant and slave to The Man. He becomes an active rebel and fighter against those that have controlled him for most of his life. Orange City is a book with a terrifying premise that questions how much advertising, corporations, and our own self interests control us. It could be as real as tomorrow. That thought is enough to scare the colors out of the Reader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Charles Garaud

    Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. It was my first attempt at a novel from Lee M. Goldberg, who has here been drawing a dark totalitarian world. The story describes a world split between The City, an hidden town led by The Man, an all knowing and seeing dictator, which is the home of exiled outcasts. For reasons only discovered at the end of the book “E”, a scout, sent by the Man (against the promise of a better Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. It was my first attempt at a novel from Lee M. Goldberg, who has here been drawing a dark totalitarian world. The story describes a world split between The City, an hidden town led by The Man, an all knowing and seeing dictator, which is the home of exiled outcasts. For reasons only discovered at the end of the book “E”, a scout, sent by the Man (against the promise of a better position) to retrieve out of prison, Graham, a man he had been torturing while he was still a child with the assignment of becoming his Manager in an advertisement company. In the course of this mission “E” is also supposed to enroll one of his female scout colleague, Gayle, whom he abuses sexually. In this story nobody does anything of his free will, blackmail and deception are the rule of the game. Graham having been freed of prison, Gayle for other personal reasons, carry hope that going to the City will mean an improvement of their situation. Everything really starts moving when Graham, a rather bland bachelor, shy and introverted, sharing his time between work and his cubicle of an apartment is chosen to lead a project for a new advertisement campaign for a brand of soft drinks…. Testing the various tastes of soda lead him to come out of the shell of his life and experience adventures with women. Graham go through these new relations with feeling pulses which lead him to wonder if everything is real or just an illusion wondering if he could be the victim of a plot. It is a well written novel, portraying interesting characters caught in a world they cannot evade from, a world with a specific tangible heavy atmosphere to it. I would advise reading it and would like go further with the characters of the story if not in this world in the next novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    P.J. Sky

    Don’t let this book pass you by, drink up! Graham Weatherend is a man down on his luck - a petty criminal who seems destined for a miserable life, probably behind bars, until he’s offered an opportunity that seems impossible to refuse. A fresh start in a new kind of city - one perhaps tailor-made for people exactly like Graham. Only, is it really? Orange City’s set in a horribly familiar future, where the past and future are obliterated and its citizens live in a perpetual present dominated by gov Don’t let this book pass you by, drink up! Graham Weatherend is a man down on his luck - a petty criminal who seems destined for a miserable life, probably behind bars, until he’s offered an opportunity that seems impossible to refuse. A fresh start in a new kind of city - one perhaps tailor-made for people exactly like Graham. Only, is it really? Orange City’s set in a horribly familiar future, where the past and future are obliterated and its citizens live in a perpetual present dominated by government-aligned corporations that market short term thrills as a distraction from their long hours toiling in soulless office jobs. And Grahame is perfectly aware he’s woefully under-qualified for his own soulless office job, to develop a new advertising campaign for Pow! Soda - one that poses the enigmatic question, what is the secret ingredient? Will he loose his job and be banished to The Zones, a fate worse than his office cubical? Or, will he find out first hand just what the secret ingredient really is? This is a novel about characters and ideas that show us elements of our own world in a new light. Like Zamyatin’s We, Orwell’s 1984, or Huxley’s Brave New World, the real pleasure of Orange City is in following Graham down the rabbit hole into the murky, hallucinogenic world of Pow! Soda where nothing and no-one is quite what they seem. Before long, Graham has no idea who to trust, and his quest for answers leads him all the way to the top of who’s really in charge of Orange City. As humorous as it is disturbing, well written, and full of strong, colourful characters and well-crafted world-building, Orange City leaves us with plenty to think about. Events reach an action-packed climax, but it’s the final scene that leaves the strongest impression. The book is the first part of a series and I’m intrigued as to where the author will take us in Book 2.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Justin Bowers

    ** This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review ** It’s been a wee bit since I delved in the world of urban dystopian fare, but Orange City delivers it in spades. Imagine Man in the High Tower (with a Stalin slant) mixed with Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and Max Barry’s Syrup . That’s pretty much what Mr. Goldberg deftly delivers in Orange City . The basic premise of the book is that there is a huge secret city ruled by “The Man,” a seemingly monstrous ** This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review ** It’s been a wee bit since I delved in the world of urban dystopian fare, but Orange City delivers it in spades. Imagine Man in the High Tower (with a Stalin slant) mixed with Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and Max Barry’s Syrup . That’s pretty much what Mr. Goldberg deftly delivers in Orange City . The basic premise of the book is that there is a huge secret city ruled by “The Man,” a seemingly monstrous oligarch who leads over the corporations and keeps the citizens working and cowering in fear of being cast out into the Empty Zones of the Outside World. Everyone in the city has a role to play, and that is where our protagonist, Graham Weatherend comes into play. Graham was snatched to the city a decade ago to be put in the position of advertising executive. When his company gets the account for Pow! Sodas, everything starts to change for him: mostly chemically. Mr. Goldberg finds a very unique voice and builds a terribly frightening world in Orange City , and I just could not get enough of it. The absurdity of this society under the fist of a potential madman combined with a seemingly endless supply of color themed entertainment venues with all of the decadent vices you can imagine really paints a fantastic picture of a “work, play, die” ethos. This is a city where people go from the top floors of industry to being limblessly cast out onto the streets of the Zones in a matter of hours. A city where there is not even the precept of individual privacy. I enjoyed Orange City because of the insanity of it. Page after page unveiled new facets of what I can only describe as mild terror. Much like Graham, I can’t wait for the next flavor.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mab

    Goldberg’s novel depicts the ever-present modern issue of human need versus corporate need, the ever-pressing question of just how far one is willing to climb the next rung of the company ladder. The story takes place in a dystopian America, following Graham Weathered, a spineless employee in an advertising agency in a hidden city filled with criminals and outcasts. Graham is given an opportunity to product test for a new client and jumps at the chance to get ahead. As he drinks this soda, he ex Goldberg’s novel depicts the ever-present modern issue of human need versus corporate need, the ever-pressing question of just how far one is willing to climb the next rung of the company ladder. The story takes place in a dystopian America, following Graham Weathered, a spineless employee in an advertising agency in a hidden city filled with criminals and outcasts. Graham is given an opportunity to product test for a new client and jumps at the chance to get ahead. As he drinks this soda, he experiences shifts in his mood based on the flavour he’s consuming and becomes more paranoid as the testing continues. Eventually, Graham snaps and finds the secret behind the sodas, and its source goes straight to the top of the City. Graham must decide whether it can look the other way and accept the comfortable life the ‘Man; gave him, or tackle the issue head-on and take the master of the City down. The book portrays an exciting concept of a city developed for rehabilitation in a dystopian America. The real reason for this place appears to be human testing, and people who don’t comply or perform as expected are discarded to the fringes of society and barely survive. The feeling I got from reading this novel was how far we are willing to keep our place in the corporate structure. There are parallels from America’s heavily influenced business culture and how many are eager to sell their lives to companies and live in the moment and beyond our means once the ‘9 to 5’ drain is completed. It’s an interesting concept, or possibly even an alarming awakening, and worth a read. If you've enjoyed my review, please visit my blog, Mab's Musing

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. This dystopian fiction has a really interesting concept - a secret city run by 'The Man' who controls everything, sees everything etc. The idea is interesting, particularly the idea with the limbs (keeping it spoiler free), but the ending was a bit flat. I felt it was escalating and then suddenly it finished. I know there's a sequel but I just didn't feel satisfied. I scrapbook all of my 5 star books over on my Instagram: @ Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. This dystopian fiction has a really interesting concept - a secret city run by 'The Man' who controls everything, sees everything etc. The idea is interesting, particularly the idea with the limbs (keeping it spoiler free), but the ending was a bit flat. I felt it was escalating and then suddenly it finished. I know there's a sequel but I just didn't feel satisfied. I scrapbook all of my 5 star books over on my Instagram: @green_wonderland_home

  15. 5 out of 5

    Clinton Sites

    Oh my aching mind! The author of this novel has such a deviously beautiful warped vision of a future that I could barely follow the machinations of the multiple threads that make up City manipulators. The layers upon layers of manipulation remind me of the complex novel themes from the greats I've read before - Brin, Brunner, etc. He has created a massively complex world and leaves you contemplating our world and our buttons - who is pulling strings and for what purpose. Put simply as I can - I am Oh my aching mind! The author of this novel has such a deviously beautiful warped vision of a future that I could barely follow the machinations of the multiple threads that make up City manipulators. The layers upon layers of manipulation remind me of the complex novel themes from the greats I've read before - Brin, Brunner, etc. He has created a massively complex world and leaves you contemplating our world and our buttons - who is pulling strings and for what purpose. Put simply as I can - I am bafferglasted! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janis

    What would you do if you found out that the government was putting chemicals in your favorite drinks to change how you feel? If it's 2020, we might welcome it! Welcome to The City, a place for second chances but at a cost - keep your head down, do your job, and don't speak out. Will you speak out and protect the people of the city or broker a better life for yourself and watch everyone else fall into nice little lines. Very reminiscent of 1984 with a psychedelic twist. I received an advanced revi What would you do if you found out that the government was putting chemicals in your favorite drinks to change how you feel? If it's 2020, we might welcome it! Welcome to The City, a place for second chances but at a cost - keep your head down, do your job, and don't speak out. Will you speak out and protect the people of the city or broker a better life for yourself and watch everyone else fall into nice little lines. Very reminiscent of 1984 with a psychedelic twist. I received an advanced review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Giana Leiva

    A pretty good dystopian novel. The concept is interesting and different. It’s a city in the middle of nowhere controlled by a sufficiently gross and creepy villain; he watches everyone all the time. People always feel like they’ve gotten into some exclusive club when they first arrive, but they gradually become disillusioned and the reality that they will never be allowed to leave really sets in. The protagonist, Graham, is chosen as the guinea pig for a new soda. The soda is used very creativel A pretty good dystopian novel. The concept is interesting and different. It’s a city in the middle of nowhere controlled by a sufficiently gross and creepy villain; he watches everyone all the time. People always feel like they’ve gotten into some exclusive club when they first arrive, but they gradually become disillusioned and the reality that they will never be allowed to leave really sets in. The protagonist, Graham, is chosen as the guinea pig for a new soda. The soda is used very creatively to control and manipulate the population. I thought the various effects of different flavors and their corresponding colors was cool and well explored. Character development was weak, but it is going to be a series so I imagine they’ll be given room to grow. The two women were so similar that I for the first half of the book I got them confused several times. The way they were written they could literally be the same person. Other than that I don’t really have much criticism; the ending was strong and set up the next installment very well. I would definitely read the next book. I received an advance copy for free from BookSirens, and am leaving this review voluntarily.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nathan McConville

    Orange City is set in a dystopian future where the city and "The Man" provide criminals with a chance of redemption, as long as you do as your told! The citizens of Orange City are monitored 24/7 by cameras and sometimes other civilians. Graham is given his chance by becoming the new face of Pow! soda. Along the way discovering they are controlled by more than "The Man" and also his own life is/was not what it seems/seemed. Orange City is set in a dystopian future where the city and "The Man" provide criminals with a chance of redemption, as long as you do as your told! The citizens of Orange City are monitored 24/7 by cameras and sometimes other civilians. Graham is given his chance by becoming the new face of Pow! soda. Along the way discovering they are controlled by more than "The Man" and also his own life is/was not what it seems/seemed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason Kenny

    We are told in the blurb to expect a mash up of Lost and 1984 but I’d go further, I’d bring in more contemporary comparisons such as Jeff Noons Vurt, William S Burroughs naked lunch (less contemporary but more apt I’d say) and the TV series The prisoner. The author builds a dystopian world that is all to easy to believe, in this era of Trump and the pandemic it could be said that we are living in a dystopian future already and in Orange City we find a world we can recognise or at least recognise We are told in the blurb to expect a mash up of Lost and 1984 but I’d go further, I’d bring in more contemporary comparisons such as Jeff Noons Vurt, William S Burroughs naked lunch (less contemporary but more apt I’d say) and the TV series The prisoner. The author builds a dystopian world that is all to easy to believe, in this era of Trump and the pandemic it could be said that we are living in a dystopian future already and in Orange City we find a world we can recognise or at least recognise as a possibility if society continues to focus on consumerism and to look out, rather than within. I found the book easy to read, compelling (we are supposed to say page Turner...) and reminiscent of Jeff Noons aforementioned Vurt, it delights in its inventiveness and entertains as we share in the main characters spiral into madness and back again...maybe... I’m very much looking forward to the sequel!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Lee Matthew Goldberg delivers great suspense and mystery in this new Sci-Fi thriller Orange City. Set in a dystopian future on an island ran by a mysterious multi-armed individual known only as "The Man". The island is mainly composed of those who have done wrong or committed crimes in the "Other-World" (or all life outside of their city island state). The Man sends his scouts to take them in after making them sign a contract to avoid years to sometimes life in prison. Graham, our main character Lee Matthew Goldberg delivers great suspense and mystery in this new Sci-Fi thriller Orange City. Set in a dystopian future on an island ran by a mysterious multi-armed individual known only as "The Man". The island is mainly composed of those who have done wrong or committed crimes in the "Other-World" (or all life outside of their city island state). The Man sends his scouts to take them in after making them sign a contract to avoid years to sometimes life in prison. Graham, our main character, encounters a run in with the law after committing a crime. He is approached in his waiting room by a few of The Man's scouts and the offer Graham his "four-leaf clover moment". He signs his contract and is on his way to his new life on thee island. Getting a decent job, he lives on the Island, early passing by, for 10 years. He is summoned into his bosses office and offered a last ditch proposal to maintain his position. All he has to do is taste some sodas, how hard can that be? Well, these aren't just regular sodas, and Graham is sent onto a journey to uncover what is really going on on the Island, and just what sinister plans are in place, and just who may be pulling the strings. A great thriller that I read all in one sitting. If you are a fan of dystopian futures and sci-fi, you will love "Orange City". Needless to say, I am extremely excited for "Lemonworld" to come out!

  21. 5 out of 5

    MG

    A weird, trippy cautionary tale about where technology will lead us. So good.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lee Goldberg

    "In his compelling novel, ORANGE CITY, novelist LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG, has crafted a unique dystopian thriller that manages to reveal our greatest fears about emerging technology and our anxieties at what the future holds." - Raymond A. Villareal, Author of The People's History of the Vampire Uprising. "In his compelling novel, ORANGE CITY, novelist LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG, has crafted a unique dystopian thriller that manages to reveal our greatest fears about emerging technology and our anxieties at what the future holds." - Raymond A. Villareal, Author of The People's History of the Vampire Uprising.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Book Reviewer

    Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg is an exciting dystopian thriller and pretty much a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s about Orange City: a bizarre place where its inhabitants are kept firmly under the control of the Man. Here they toil away for faceless organizations and use petty distractions to not drown in the misery of their jobs. Here, Graham Weatherend is placed in a unique position– he has to decide whether he will work for a dangerous and addictive new product, innocuously named Pow! So Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg is an exciting dystopian thriller and pretty much a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s about Orange City: a bizarre place where its inhabitants are kept firmly under the control of the Man. Here they toil away for faceless organizations and use petty distractions to not drown in the misery of their jobs. Here, Graham Weatherend is placed in a unique position– he has to decide whether he will work for a dangerous and addictive new product, innocuously named Pow! Soda or whether he will take up the more risky path of finding out exactly what is going on in a world where he can trust few. Graham is an introverted and humorous character with neat tricks up his sleeve in the most unlikely situations. His quest is to find out the truth about the soda while avoiding being banished to The Zones. All the while navigating the unexpected effects of Pow! Soda. There are some other difficult topics also addressed in this book– especially surrounding Gayle’s situation. The abuse of power and free will are central to the characters’ motivations and behavior. I kept trying to anticipate the next twist of the plot but I could never guess where this book was going to go- the book is not only a few steps ahead of me, it simply does not follow regular science fiction rules. Which is not a bad thing at all- I was strapped in for a fun romp and ended up with a substantial and thoughtful novel. There’s probably thousands of science fiction books and movies in the world but the best of the lot have always been the ones that are adjacent to reality. The sweet spot in the uncanny valley where if the universe were merely a few degrees askew the characters’ lives would be our lives. This is what happens here. The writing is sharp and cool- it has a neo-noir thriller vibe to it that wouldn’t be out of place in a movie where a tortured Ryan Gosling runs around town saving people while being drenched in moral ambiguity. Meaningful prose and intense drama ensues. Orange City is a great read for anyone who enjoys science fiction thrillers or just cool and atmospheric books in general. Just be prepared to have a mini-existential crisis about where our world is headed!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg Graham Weatherend considers himself a lucky one. He committed a crime and was offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be sent to a secret island where all of the criminals are given a last chance to change their ways and start fresh. E is a Scout on the island. He has been in Graham's life before, doing as The Man demands. He was a foster father for young Graham who, on The Man's request did everything in his power to beat down the poor boy. The child only wanted Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg Graham Weatherend considers himself a lucky one. He committed a crime and was offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be sent to a secret island where all of the criminals are given a last chance to change their ways and start fresh. E is a Scout on the island. He has been in Graham's life before, doing as The Man demands. He was a foster father for young Graham who, on The Man's request did everything in his power to beat down the poor boy. The child only wanted and needed love, but he got only pain and agony from E. Now, that Graham is an adult, his life is getting ready to coincide with E's life once again. The Man is a controller. He owns the island and enslaves everyone on it. Everything they do is for him. He has had some surgeries that have given him spider-like arms, mechanical, yet fleshy. The Man has invented a new way to control his population, to get them to work for him in the ways that he wants. Graham thinks at first, that he has been given a bonus, to get to be a guinea pig to try out a new beverage Pow! for The Man. He realizes as time goes on, that there is a madness to the different rainbow colors and flavors of the new Pow! There is an addictive quality to the beverage and you can't stop, once you get your first taste. What can he do? He rebels. Many thanks to the author Lee Matthew Goldberg for the complimentary copy I was under no obligation to post a review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Nieman

    Imagine you are sentenced to a long prison term for committing a horrible crime, and then you were offered the chance to live in a secret location, be given a job, get paid for it, have a private apartment, but with only one catch - you can never leave. Would you take that chance? This is only a taste of what you'll experience in "Orange City," by Lee Matthew Goldberg; a well-written dystopian novel about a man named Graham who takes that chance to live in The City and be a functioning member of s Imagine you are sentenced to a long prison term for committing a horrible crime, and then you were offered the chance to live in a secret location, be given a job, get paid for it, have a private apartment, but with only one catch - you can never leave. Would you take that chance? This is only a taste of what you'll experience in "Orange City," by Lee Matthew Goldberg; a well-written dystopian novel about a man named Graham who takes that chance to live in The City and be a functioning member of society. Of course, not all is what it seems. When Graham is asked to test out a new product for the ad agency he works for, the layers of The City begin to peel away, and Graham sees the truth behind the apparent facade. Or, is it all in his imagination? Can he even trust his own eyes and ears? Is he going insane? The book was a page-turner for me. It's the fastest I've read a book in ages, and that's saying something. There are echoes of 1984, The Matrix, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games in this story, but it has a freshness all its own. The author keeps the pacing quick and never lingers before the next complication hits. It's a smooth read. A fun read. That is, if you like reading about worlds turned upside down, like I do. If you like sci-fi with a bit of an oppressive twist to it, "Orange City" will be your jam. It held me in its grip throughout, and I think you'll like it, as well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review A haunting and breathtaking sci-fi and dystopian novel, author Lee Matthew Goldberg brings a truly gritty world to life. The author does an amazing job of delving into the thin line between “good” and “evil” that many of these characters share, as morality within a society plays a major role in the narrative. The imagery used in this book does a great job of fusing the colorful and in-your-face advertising that has taken over our world over the last few decades with the action-driven a The Review A haunting and breathtaking sci-fi and dystopian novel, author Lee Matthew Goldberg brings a truly gritty world to life. The author does an amazing job of delving into the thin line between “good” and “evil” that many of these characters share, as morality within a society plays a major role in the narrative. The imagery used in this book does a great job of fusing the colorful and in-your-face advertising that has taken over our world over the last few decades with the action-driven and darker side of technology in our society. The pacing of the narrative really is what draws the reader in, presenting figures like E and the menacing ruler known simply as “Man” so that readers are instantly hooked and driven to delve into this fantastic world the author has built. The Verdict A shocking, intense yet engaging sci-fi and dystopian novel, author Lee Matthew Goldberg’s “Orange City” is a great start to this brand new series. Exploring themes of consumerism, addiction, and technology, this story does a wonderful job of creating a mythos that readers can really delve into nature, and makes this a must-read book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tanisha

    Thank you netgalley and the publisher for giving me access to this book for review. In orange city, we get to follow the perspective of Graham as he is offered to live in The City, where people get a second chance and their past doesn't matter. The City is ruled by The Man who has various arms. I liked this book. The character of "The Man" was really interesting. I somewhat liked the character of Graham and E, but there were some things that didn't go well for me. The pacing was a little weird fo Thank you netgalley and the publisher for giving me access to this book for review. In orange city, we get to follow the perspective of Graham as he is offered to live in The City, where people get a second chance and their past doesn't matter. The City is ruled by The Man who has various arms. I liked this book. The character of "The Man" was really interesting. I somewhat liked the character of Graham and E, but there were some things that didn't go well for me. The pacing was a little weird for my liking. I get that it was dystopian world, but the way females were viewed, it took me out of the story and was very uncomfortable for me. Not sure if I will continue or not.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Reading this book, I felt like I had been dropped into a conversation that had been going on for a very long time and I wasn't really sure what it was about or what was going on. This story was way outside my normal thought process. It all eventually came together, kind of and there were good guys and bad guys. Some were both. My head feels a little scrambled. I will have to give this more though. I could use a POW about now! Thank you NetGalley and Lee Matthew Goldberg for the opportunity to read Reading this book, I felt like I had been dropped into a conversation that had been going on for a very long time and I wasn't really sure what it was about or what was going on. This story was way outside my normal thought process. It all eventually came together, kind of and there were good guys and bad guys. Some were both. My head feels a little scrambled. I will have to give this more though. I could use a POW about now! Thank you NetGalley and Lee Matthew Goldberg for the opportunity to read this book in advance of its publication.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josie ❃The Bubbly Book Reviewer❃

    You will find me at - https://www.instagram.com/bubblybookr... NEW RELEASE - OUT TODAY - MARCH 16 2021 You read the blurb and you imagine what this book is going to be about... You may be right on the mark, but there is so much more. Goldberg is a clever writer. He writes with excellent pacing, giving us pearls of information to fill in the picture of this city, how it is run and the characters in it. This book certainly makes you think about choices and what you would do to keep the status quo. I You will find me at - https://www.instagram.com/bubblybookr... NEW RELEASE - OUT TODAY - MARCH 16 2021 You read the blurb and you imagine what this book is going to be about... You may be right on the mark, but there is so much more. Goldberg is a clever writer. He writes with excellent pacing, giving us pearls of information to fill in the picture of this city, how it is run and the characters in it. This book certainly makes you think about choices and what you would do to keep the status quo. I would recommend this book as I got to the 80% mark and had to go out, and I really didn’t want to put it down. I certainly wanted to find out how this story was going to end. This book would be a fantastic book to use in the classroom for older/adult students. I believe the amount of discussion that would be produced would be enormous. Trigger Warning: Mention of past child abuse, to set the scene for the character in the present time. Thank you to NetGalley & Atmosphere Press for an advance copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pippa Reads Manga

    Orange City has all the subtlety of a thirteen-year-old boy. As the premise suggests, you won’t find good people in this story. The City wasn’t made for good inhabitants. Unfortunately, though the characters were left with are bad in the most generic and dull ways. In Part I, we are introduced to E who is one of the biggest losers I’ve had to read about in a while. He’s absolutely spineless at best, unwilling to take responsibility for any of his actions, and a complete narcissist at worst. Whi Orange City has all the subtlety of a thirteen-year-old boy. As the premise suggests, you won’t find good people in this story. The City wasn’t made for good inhabitants. Unfortunately, though the characters were left with are bad in the most generic and dull ways. In Part I, we are introduced to E who is one of the biggest losers I’ve had to read about in a while. He’s absolutely spineless at best, unwilling to take responsibility for any of his actions, and a complete narcissist at worst. While I understand that his character may suit the nature of the book, it’s not enjoyable to read from his perspective, and while the narrative may try to redeem him later on, he’s too far gone to deserve it. In Part II we are introduced to Graham. He isn’t like other boys in The City and it shows. He’s mostly depicted as a victim, struggling with PTSD and unable to cope. He’s forced to drink a peculiar soda by his boss/abuser, E, and the contents of the soda have strange effects on the consumer. For Graham, it’s like drinking toxic masculinity as a soft drink. This is a pretty interesting concept. Unfortunately though, if you’ve paid attention at all you’ll predict where this plot thread is headed too early on in the narrative. For most of the second part of this story we see Graham’s increasing addiction to this dystopian drink, and it’s too bad that we don’t see much of Graham’s personality before his addiction starts. Also, be aware that this section of the story gets a little repetitive. Part III is mostly exposition and the final showdown between Graham and The Man. Which goes pretty much exactly as you predict it will. The world-building in Orange City is fairly interesting although it doesn’t quite feel grounded. The City is a place for the “Selected,” a place for heinous criminals to get a fresh start at life. A lot of things seem to go wrong in The City, and the whole thing doesn’t seem like it could possibly function day-to-day. Who knew that evil people make for a bad infrastructure? The City is run by The Man whose evil eye is always watching. Think of any evil character from any thriller, and you’ve just pictured The Man. Unfortunately he brings nothing new to the table of villainy and therefore doesn’t strike fear as well as I think the author had intended. This story was pitched to me as being similar to Orwell’s 1984 and the T.V. show LOST. Engaging in either one of these alternatives would be a better use of your time as they employ similar themes as Orange City, but with a bit more tact and imagination. The best I can say about this book is that it is very readable. While it’s not particularly deep, the narrative has a good flow to it, and I read it in one sitting. I genuinely think this is a promising work, though as it stands if you are at all familiar with dystopian fiction, Orange City offers nothing you haven’t read before. Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.

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