Hive by A.J. Betts is a compelling, melodic but oh, so chilling read. Betts has written a book akin to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale where control is largely imposed upon an unquestioning society.

Hive is the story of fifteen-year-old Hayley. Hayley lives in a different world. A world made of hexagons, and secrets and lies. A world with new meanings and assigned roles. A world where our world has completely disappeared from view.

Betts has created a new world order based upon the structure of a bee hive. Hexagons line up with hexagons and each pod plays a different purpose. Madness is abhored in Hayley’s hive. Hayley struggles to hide her head pains from the community for fear of being discovered as mad.

Hayley’s world is a world of order and confinement; where power is concentrated within  the hands of a few and where knowledge can be a powerful weapon. Hayley stumbles across the ‘drip’ and starts asking questions about its existence. Such questions place her life in terrible danger.

Hive is a well-constructed narrative and compelling reading. It is an easy-to-read book that will stay with readers long after you delve within its pages. My only complaint is I have to wait until next year to read the sequel, Rogue.

Bravo A.J. on a wonderful book. Highly recommended for YA readers and those who enjoy books which make you ponder the intricies of human society and relationships.

From the 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.


ISBN: 9781760556433

Format: Paperback

Pub Date: 26/06/2018

Category: Children’s, Teenage & educational / Thrillers (Children’s / Teenage)
Children’s, Teenage & educational / Science fiction (Children’s / Teenage)
Teenage & Young Adult Fiction / Young Adult

Imprint: Pan Australia

Pages: 272

Price: $16.99


About A.J. Betts

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.


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Book Review: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein

Book Review: Bonesland by Brendan Lawley

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