“Access Restricted:” 1984 Meets The Handmaid’s Tale

in Pop Culture by

Access Restricted (Harlequin Teen) is the gripping follow-up everyone has been anticipating from Gregory Scott Katsoulis after his original hit All Rights Reserved. Katsoulis takes us on another top-notch dystopian adventure using the same important themes of power and censorship from his first story.

All Rights Reserved took us far down a topsy-turvy technological rabbit hole to a society overpowered by lawyers and led by the formidable Silas Rog. Allied in corruption, this tight group of Affluents put copyrights on all expressions of speech in a WiFi bubble.

The consequences of speaking without having the money or power to do so in this society resulted in painful eye shocks or for those with greater debts, lives of indentured servitude. Speth, as hero for freeing the city of Vermaine from this suffocating rule, is now expected to carry the society into a new age of freedom and progress. A heavy burden to bear for someone only 15 years old.

In Access Restricted, Speth is pleased to have spearheaded change in her corrupt society, but also wrestles with a great deal of guilt. Her parents are sold into indentured servitude as a repercussion to her rebellion. But Speth’s problems don’t stop there. Although Silas Rog is displaced from power, a new villain in the form of his sister Lucretia has taken over the family’s evil business ways and is determined to capture Speth.  Access Restricted places many important missions in the hands of our young heroine. She must fulfill her personal quest to free her parents, traverse the dangerous land to Crab Creek with her friends and finally spread the spirit of revolution to other parts of the country that are under oppression.

Dystopians are a dime a dozen nowadays, and you may be thinking what separates this series from the rest? The answer is eerily simple. The Word$ series has connected with so many people already from the first book because of its timeliness. Companies can pay money to have their messages reach more followers via social media advertising, certain prime air times on television and radio stations are bought by the same groups of people over and over again, and large monopoly holders and media influencers can effortlessly have their messages spread and marketed to the world with a wave of a hand. We know this in the back of our minds, but the grand majority of us can do very little about it.

Like All Rights Reserved, Access Restricted shows exaggerated but highly pervasive fears in our current political and social climate. Katsoulis is a visionary for being able to capture these fears and weave them into an immersive, entertaining story, while still preaching the dangers when this kind of corruption is left to its own devices. The fast-paced Access Restricted will leave you feeling oddly satisfied with a great story and at the same time angry at the greater powers at work in our own society.

Access Restricted is now available to purchase.

ABOUT GREGORY SCOTT KATSOULIS:

Image courtesy of amazon.com

Gregory Scott Katsoulis is a writer, photographer, composer, lapsed cartoonist and, generally ridiculous.

Rebecca hails from Connecticut and returns to her home state to pursue her favorite subject of all time, books! She completed her undergraduate education at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island with dual degrees in English Literature and Global Communications. She is one of the Editorial Assistants at BookTrib and looks forward to connecting people with great authors.

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