Cover Image: Golden Dreg Boy, Book 1: The Slums

Golden Dreg Boy, Book 1: The Slums

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Member Reviews

This book started out a bit on the slow side as we get introduced to all of the main players and there's a good amount of world-building that sets things up. After the quarter mark though, things heat up considerably and it becomes a very interesting. Just when I would drift off focus, Daily would bring me back into the brutal world that serves as the backdrop.

The interesting side characters in and around the landscape gave the story an added dimension for me. Speaking of characters, they are top-notch with dialogue that is frequently infused with sarcastic humor and wit throughout. I especially liked the interactions. You can sense that they almost have a frienemy quality about them but when the chips are down, they seem to have each other's backs. This book had so many elements that I found enjoyable. The story is so compelling.
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Golden Dreg Boy is a post-apocalyptic YA sci-fi that takes place in near future San Francisco. It's set in a society wiped out by highly deadly diseases; an unfortunate premise in the current world, as even the casual reader is suddenly an expert in pandemics and herd immunology. As it was, some suspension of disbelief was required to get through the book.

The society is divided into two to the golden, who have money and power, but have lost their immunity to diseases (the science behind this seems to be based on the author’s faulty understanding of vaccines and immunology), and the poor dregs who have somehow acquired congenital immunity to all diseases in basically a generation. Even if you accept the idea of hereditary immunity, which I don’t, the result of this divide would most likely be that the totalitarian regime described in the book would force the dregs to breed with the golden to boost up their immunity. Instead, the two are segregated and if a dreg manages to pretend to be golden, they are instantly sentenced to death. For their part, the dregs would have a bartering chip with their genes they could use to get themselves better living conditions. None of this happens. Fiction is fiction, but I’d like it to make sense within its own world.

The main character is Kade, a teenager from the top of the golden hierarchy—and there is a hierarchy. Everything is going well for him until out of the blue—and it’s truly that—he’s arrested as a dreg infiltrator and sentenced to death without a trial. To his shock, his family isn’t there to rescue him, but the dregs are. He’s given a new life among them and in a true manner of YA fiction questions everything he’s known to be true and learns he’s been living in a lie. The betrayal of his family makes him eager to help his new people to bring down the golden. The book is a bit too long for its plot, but well-written enough to help through the slow bits.

I didn’t like Kade much. He came across like a condescending teenage jerk in the beginning, and I couldn’t get over the initial impression. Other characters were a bit two dimensional and their presence didn’t improve him, and I couldn’t fathom his fascination with Saya. It says a lot about my feelings that I sort of rooted for the twist that happened in the end. But it helped him to get over himself, so maybe he’ll be more interesting in the next book.
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this was a really unique read, I enjoyed that this start to the series was really strong. The characters were great and I really enjoyed the plot. I look forward to more in the series.
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Golden Dreg Boy, Book 1: The Slums is a fine entry into the dystopian YA adventure/romance genre; playing it safe with many of the usual tropes with a few little twists to add some color.  Daily's writing is age appropriate - the characters sound and act their ages, lending some realism to the narrative.  The worldbuilding is dripped to the reader, avoiding the heavy-handed exposition you often find in these type books.  All in all, it's not a bad entrant into the genre, it's just nothing groundbreaking or new.
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With everything going on right now in 2020 this book is hitting a bit too close to home, an earthquake rocks the world which spreads disease and the world going into quarantine.  100 yrs later and the world is split into the haves and the have not's to extreme. I started to read it and enjoyed a bit of it however I felt like the "oh she's the most beautiful" right in the beginning kind of turned me off, but I need something that is not so close to home with what is going on today so I've had to stop. I hope more people take a chance on it but I can't continue at this time.
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After the world quake that killed off half of the population, the survivors categorized themselves into two classes: Golden and Drag. Goldens were given every privilege as Dregs could be arrested or executed for almost anything (even just talking to Goldens).
Kade longs for a live other than the one he is being pushed into as a Golden. But to do anything less than his family's and society's expectations of him could lose highs Golden status along with the security, wealth, safety and comfort it gives.
Kade is a seventeen year old who not only craves thrill and adventure but is also empathetic to the lesser class, the Dregs, even though most Goldens hardly think of them at all.
When an unauthorized party goes from bad to worse, Kade's Golden status is revoked and he is sentenced to execution. The day before his death he is resumed by a group of Dregs... but why?
After bonding with the Dregs, Kade sees just how unfair the class systems is. With the world on the verge of war, Kade must decide if he will fight for what is right amongst his new friends, or fight with the Golden's in order to reclaim his status he secretly wants back.

I hope that, even though this book is a work of fiction, it will open our eyes to the world arounds us and the injustices that are being done. If we are not careful and do not fight for the rights of all human kind, I fear that this cruel dystopian world will become our reality.
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