The Divinity Bureau (The Divinity Bureau #1) by Tessa Clare (2017)
YA/NA Fiction | Dystopia | Romance
“The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.
Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has led to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he has accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity. That is until he meets April McIntyre.
April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. However, he is also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they are thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all.”
pooled ink Review:
I was excited to have been invited to review this new dystopian adventure! Dystopian fiction can be pretty hit or miss for me and this one managed to fall somewhere in the middle.
On one hand it has plenty of adrenaline-filled conspiracies, action, romance, and other goodness that made this story come alive in a fresh way, but on the other hand it didn’t quite sing to my soul. But that’s just me. Although it didn’t quite captivate me or call me back like a siren song I do honestly believe that Clare has written a really cool book that I can absolutely see being made into an epic movie.
I really liked how this book was told from two alternating POVs: Roman and April. As this is a dystopian romance, this really helped me get to know them better and root for their relationship throughout all the chaos of politics that threatens them. Roman is a nerdy I.T. guy who is way too smart for his low-paying job, but he works in the Divinity Bureau and if he wanted he could know its secrets with a few nimble keystrokes. April is the daughter of a wealthy politician who was killed under the Divinity Bureau’s orders but it reeks of conspiracy. I really loved how Roman and April’s relationship centered around who they are as people and didn’t rely on plot convenience or external forces pushing them together (although yes Roman did find her because he saw her name on the Bureau’s list).
The whole concept of the Divinity Bureau is not a new one but the way Clare wrote it was its own beast. With the world suffering from overpopulation as well as the technological capacity to grant people immortality the Bureau was formed to randomly select a list of names to be killed. There simply isn’t the room or resources to allow everyone to live forever especially not with procreation still on the table. But of course one often wonders just how random these list generators are. And here comes the conspiracy that ignites the plot of this book.
Although it starts a bit slow for me the story takes you on several twists and turns, balancing conspiracy with romance, so if you’re a fan of dystopian fiction then you should consider checking this book out. Clare has got a flair and I can’t wait to see what else she does. If this book whisks you away then you’ll be dying to know what happens next.
A dystopian society that brings together an overlooked computer geek and a powerful politician’s daughter, not only will romance bloom but conspiracies will start to bleed. Filled with action, twists, betrayal, and a world suffering from the costs of greed and immortality, The Divinity Bureau is an exciting hook into a future far too familiar.
Meet Tessa Clare!
Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.
Born in 1992, she began her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a manager for Vacasa, whose business model and revolutionary marketing strategies would later inspire the groundwork for Asset Creative House.
The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world. It was released in 2017.