Saturday 21 July 2018

Book Review: Hive by A. J. Betts

Title: Hive
Author: A.J.Betts
Series: Book #1
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 26th June 2018
RRP: $16.99
Format read: Paperback
Source: Publisher

All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.
Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn't make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.
Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast, and too many awful questions.

Hive is the first in a gripping two-book series by award-winning and international bestselling author A. J. Betts.

I’ve read quite a few reviews and heard a lot about A.J. Betts novel Zack & Mia so I was delighted to have the opportunity to read and review Betts’ latest novel Hive.

Hayley’s world consisted of 6 hexagonal houses each connected to a common room by corridors. Above these was a nursery and above that the Upper house for The Council. The Council was the ruling group which was headed by the Judge, a role that was inherited.
Much like a bee hive everyone has their designated role. There were those that nurture and teach, those that prepare meals, those that tend the gardens and those that work in the machine rooms with everyone working together for a common good.

Hayley is a gardener, she tends the hives, her voice is young and naive which is appropriate for someone brought up in a cult-like world where every part of your life is set out and controlled from birth to death. Chimes sound and are adhered to. They signal work times, meal times and sleep time where the people are locked in dorms. Made me think it was very similar to a prison.

No one questions their world, that is just the way it is, God’s way. If anyone questions why something happens the elders simply answer “God works in mysterious ways.”

Hayley is inquisitive and she can’t help breaking rules and asking questions and not accepting vague answers. But they have ways of dealing with people who ask too many questions.

Hayley was instantly likeable, so young and naive. She was inquisitive and strong. She quite often spoke her mind with dire consequences.
The story was like nothing I’ve read before. Note quite cult, not quite dystopian and not quite science fiction, but a mixture of the three.
 I had a lot of questions reeling around in my head while I was reading the story. Some were answered, others weren’t. But I must say I was totally sucked into the story shocked at how the community lived and accepted this way of living; but then I suppose they knew no better.

The ending left me holding my breath and eagerly awaiting the next book, Rogue, due to be released in 2019. Just to whet your appetite there is a one page teaser for the next book at the end of Hive.

An exquisite tale of a girl who asked too much.

Content: one graphic scene where a dead body is dismembered
Recommended 15+

4/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This review is part of the Beauty & Lace book club

This is book #18 in the Australian Women Writers challenge
And part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge

A. J. Betts is an Australian author, speaker, teacher and cyclist and has a PhD on the topic of wonder, in life and in reading.
She has written three novels for young adults. Her third novel, Zac & Mia, won the 2012 Text Prize, the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and the 2014 Ethel Turner prize for young adults at the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards and was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Award. Inspired by her work in a children's hospital, Zac & Mia is available in 14 countries.
A. J. is originally from Queensland but has lived in Perth since 2004.


  1. Great review, sounds like an interesting story!

  2. Reading the synopsis and your review made the book so intriguing. It's weird how it cannot be easily categorized under one genre. :)

  3. Great review. It sounds like an interesting read, though not sure that is is for me.

    1. It's good to get out of your comfort zone occasionally. :)

  4. This sounds like it would keep my attention. I was a little unsure what exactly it was about based off the blurb, but your review explained it well without giving too much away
    Great review!

  5. Fabulous review I have heard a lot about this book :)

    Sounds like a good one

    Have Fun


    1. Thank you Helen. I'm really looking forward to the next book.

  6. I've never heard of this book before. I really like the sound of it and that cover is gorgeous too.

    1. I think you will be hearing more about this book it was thought provoking. I think you will love it.

  7. I have to add this one to the TBR. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for the review!

  8. Thanks heaps for the review Veronica! I really wanted to write something that didn't adhere to the expectations of a 'genre'. I'm so glad you appreciated it :-)

    1. I loved that it didn’t fit into any box but all the elements tied in together so well. That ending absolutely killed me. Love it!

  9. PS, I've put a link to your review on my website. Hope that's ok?!

  10. Wonderful review! I am reading a lot of these dystopian type books at the moment. Can't wait to try it!

  11. I love that bees are having their moment in the sun, I'm seeing them crop up in books in ever-different and inventive ways ❤️ From the sounds of this review, Hive really echoes Brave New World in a lot of ways, which I find really interesting. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Bees have been a big force lately. I wonder what the next great topic will be? I noticed titles with the word secret in them have been popular.

  12. Great review, now I am really intrigued about this book and this is actually the first time I heard or seen about this book. And it really looks and sounds absolutely amazing and right up my alley to boot as well, thank you so much for sharing your awesome post and for putting this book on my radar.

    1. Definitely one to pick up Katiria. I'm eager for the next in the series.

  13. Great review and I'm glad you enjoyed this one :) I tend to agree with DJ - not sure I could handle this one LOL.

    Megan - Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest

    1. Thank you Megan. It's not for everyone but I think it will be a hit with the Young Adult audience.