Thursday, May 22, 2014


Title: The Only Boy
Author: Jordan Locke
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Genres: YA, Dystopian
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received for review from author
Ellen’s rating: 4/5


Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.


With so many dystopian novels out there, I was a bit skeptical about reading The Only Boy. Was I pleasantly surprised? Oh yes! Not only does this book have an original and refreshing plot, it also doesn't use a world power or controlling government system as the power source that makes the world a dismal place for some to live in.

This time ‘The Cleansing’, thought to be an epidemic, hit the world and killed off the males of all species. Women, however, could also get sick, causing small groups of people, of which 99% women, to gather trying to make a living and protect themselves against the infection.

Mary, and what is believed to be the only boy, Taylor, meets in Section One where the Matriarch conducts her despotic rule in order to protect the women in her care. Together they face the evil Matriarch with her numerous hidden agendas, and the rather barbaric Earthers, while inciting rebellion.

I read through this book in one weekend. Moving forward all the time, The Only Boy is a page-turner in the true sense of the word. As the point of view changes rapidly between Mary and Taylor, the reader is always aware of what is happening to both protagonists. Their memories of loved ones and friends give a clear picture of their back stories.

The action and adventure in this book is carefully balanced by some tender romance as well as some instances of heart rending self-sacrifice. Said self-sacrifice may be a reason for sensitive readers to keep the Kleenex close by.

For a thrilling, refreshing, and relaxing book, I recommend The Only Boy as a worthwhile and fulfilling read.



Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.

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