The City Center : The New Agenda

  • by Simone Pond
  • Narrated by Sarah Zimmerman
  • Series: The New Agenda
  • 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ava didn't want to be right. Not about her city. Not about their leader, Chief Morray. But when Joseph gives her a secret journal from the past, the truth is revealed. She escapes with Joseph to the Outside, sending Chief Morray on an obsessive pursuit to retrieve his property. Ava has to decide if she should keep running, or return to the city center to save her people.
Gold Medal Winner Dystopian Fiction - Readers' Favorite.


What the Critics Say

"This story is decorated with familiar things, and at its heart contains thrilling characters and heroic journeys." (RevolutionSF)
"The power of this novel actually comes from the world building and the action." (Smart Girls Love Sci-fi)
"The revelations before the conclusion are properly shocking and quite insidious." (SF Crowsnest)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pond has beautifully crafted a bleak future

Several hundred years in the future, an elite group of humans live in a sheltered and controlled society. Protected by a dome from the outside poisonous air and toxic radiation from the sun, the inhabitants live out their 36 years in the rolls they were engineered for. At the end of this brief period of labor, they retire to “Red Haven” a paradise of leisure.

Ava, along with a handful of others, have been bred to live at the top of society called the royal court. At 18, as the most beautiful and perfect of all engineered beings, she will be queen. But she suspects something is wrong with society and with their creator, Chief Morray.

City Center often follows the classic, “Brave New World,” with its story of an engineered working class and its bred-to-perfection ruling class. Though it eventually departs, the parallel is obvious and perhaps meant to be a nod to Huxley’s masterpiece. There is also the feeling of the perfect society on the surface, but something terribly wrong brewing underneath.

Pond has beautifully crafted a bleak future, the toxic landscape spreading across the earth, with only the protection of the City Center dome for those lucky few born into its cocoon. The mood is established immediately and well.

The protagonist Ava starts off promisingly enough, a strong female character, who at only 18 takes incredible risks with her life to save those around her; but later seems to devolve into a victim, dependent on the stronger males around her. This was somewhat disappointing, and an opportunity missed in this reviewer’s opinion. You may decide otherwise. It is a detail and the book is enjoyable, none-the-less.

The story is read beautifully by Sarah Zimmerman. She has a clear strong voice that conveys the mood and dystopian landscape, author Simone Pond has so lovingly crafted.

Pond has taken the idea of genetic manipulation to organize society, now nearly 100 years old, and made it her own. As we move into real genetic engineering of human beings, the idea can and should be continually explored; especially for its moral implications as Pond has done. City Center is part of a series, but wraps up nicely, feeling like a completed novel with just a bare hint of what may come next. It is a thoroughly entertaining book that deserves a listen.

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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If you could sum up The City Center in three words, what would they be?

Fabulously well written!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The City Center?

The end, when Ava stands up for the people!!

Have you listened to any of Sarah Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think so, but I would, she nailed it!!!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Ava first realizes she has been lied to her whole life...I felt very bad for her..

Any additional comments?

** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

I loved this, I am a fan of dystopic society books...and this is one of the better ones I have listened too! I love the concept of a society being manufactured and re-uploaded into pre-made bodies over and over again....This society is a cross between old style because of the monarchy and new style because everyone is micro-chipped.... Ava has never felt she belonged, she has feelings and emotions...and most people do not because of the way they were wired, so to speak...well Ava comes across an outsider who gives her a book, and thing from there become clearer and clearer to her...she helps this man escape before he goes on trial...and her whole world changes....


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- anne "I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-21-2015
  • Publisher: Simone Pond