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Sara's Review: Lawless (Lawless #1) by Tarah Benner


PUBLISHER: Blue Sky Studio, LLC

RELEASED: November 28th 2016

GENRE: scifi, dystopian

LENGTH: 262 pages

FORMAT: ebook, Paperback







When Lark was sentenced to twenty-five years behind bars, she thought San Judas was her lucky break. The primitive 16,000-acre community in rural New Mexico isn’t like any other prison. There are no cells, there is no warden, and Mother Mercy is the law. She didn’t realize she’d be fighting for survival on a daily basis — battling hunger, violent inmates, and Mother Mercy’s iron fist. Lark’s only friend is Bernie — an off-the-rails environmental activist doing time for arson — and a mysterious stranger who’s been sending her illicit messages from the men’s colony. Lark never thought escaping San Judas was possible until a message in a bottle changes everything: The guards outside the walls are disappearing, and the world as they know it is coming to an end.


I was looking up a dystopian romance and this book came up in the search. There are a few things I look for when I want to read this genre, the first being it isn’t a YA novel. Nothing against YA, I just prefer not to read it. The second, does it have a gritty original plot? Lawless peaked my curiosity because my all-time favorite book is the original version of Hold by Zannie Adams/Claire Kent; which is romance/erotica based on a woman being sent to a prison colony. So, I always look for books that are close to that theme to devour (there aren’t many).

Lawless puts a truly surreal look on prison colony life and the realities of only the strong will survive. The punishment of this primitive colony is a guise of an easier sentence when what it really is, is true hell.

“When an inmate was surrounded with nothing but suffering, she too suffered. And when her surroundings were primitive, she reverted back to her most primitive self.”

Lawless starts out in a prison where the inmates are forced to live in a primitive dictatorship run by thugs who have the most power and are the cruelest and most ruthless. The inmates are forced to suffer, fight, and break their backs for everything. There are no outside regulation, interference, rules or over site, no wardens or guards, it's a free for all.

Benner summed it up beautifully:

“it’s a story about survival. The series explores what happens when society collapses, focusing on the people who pull through when it all goes to hell.”

My husband and I have had this discussion many times (while watching TWD) what would happen to society at the end. I truly believe that only the strong would survive and people would be reduced to the base instincts of survival.

“People would do anything to survive- steal, cheat, maim, kill. It was human nature in its most base form.”

This is an excellent beginning to a very promising series. I haven’t read anything else by Benner but I am looking forward to continuing this series. I am giving it 5 Boundless Stars. I loved it!

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