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Blog Tour: The Block by Ben Oliver


Luka in a prisoner once again. But this time it’s a fate worse than death. In the Block, he must toggle between enduring an Energy Harvest for twelve hours of the day and surviving complete immobilization. The only semblance of relief is the Sane Zone, created to keep prisoners from going completely mad. In this virtual reality, the prisoners live out their fantasies of life outside. But for Luka, it’s different. 

Happy is determined to find out the location of his friends, who disappeared after the Battle of Midway Park. But can Luka battle the descent into madness long enought to stop Happy’s manipulation tactics and keep his friends’ location safe? 

Another prison break is the only chance to protect the Missing. And as reality becomes increasingly scrambled on the outside, it’ll take an army to stop Galen from carrying out his plans.


As this is the second book in the series, I will try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, just in case you have yet to pick up book one. If you’d like to hear my thoughts about The Loop you can check them out here. The short version is, that I loved the thrill ride and was relieved to be able to pick up book two straight away! I had a fair idea of what to expect in The Block, but it’s safe to say that Ben Oliver really racks up the tension, and throws in even more horrifying moments than the first time around!

The Block is reference to the adult prison where Luka now finds himself. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a worse place than the Loop, but it turns out such a place exists. The Block takes away what little luxuries Luka once had. There is no more outdoor time, no more chatting with your cell neighbour through a wall, and no more reading (that’s the one that really hits hard!!) Instead he is left in a state of paralysis for half the day, where he is tortured with life like visions, unsure what is and isn’t real. The rest of the day is spent being physically tortured, drained of all his energy and unable to escape. If that doesn’t sound horrific to you, then I’m not sure what would! I found myself both wildly sympathising with Luka, but also constantly admiring his strength to carry on, always thinking about his escape and the safety of his friends, despite his perilous situation.

It’s safe to say that Oliver isn’t afraid to shock, and there are some fairly unpleasant situations and moments on offer in The Block. The worst of which, for me, involved eye gouging, and that’s probably all I need to say about that! Just like last time, you are fully aware throughout that no character is safe, and anyone can be erased at any point. It keeps you fully on the edge of your seat. There is also some new, often terrifying, technology at work throughout this one. I love the little nods to the technology of the ‘past’ that are strung throughout the pages, my favourite of which was a reference to classic horror video games.

Character wise, there are a bunch that you’ll be familiar with from book one, and some new friends and enemies are also met along the way. For me, there is one true standout, the hero of the piece if you like, and that was Apple-Moth. We all need a little flying robot to follow us around, telling awful jokes and reminding us that we are great. I think my favourite moment of the book was when Luka finally accepted that there was no escaping Apple-Moth’s friendship and treated him like the hero he truly is! As previously, you never know who you can trust, and there are some lovely unknown’s thrown into this one with the introduction of two doctor’s, both of whom seem slightly sinister.

Of course, The Block leaves off with a bang, making me want to pick up book three immediately. The sad news is that I have to wait until 2022 to find out what happens next, which feels aggggges away. If you’re a fan of thrilling reads, dystopian futures and sitting on the edge of your seat, do yourself a favour, and definitely pick this series up! If not for me, do it for Apple-Moth, the most precious flying droid who you need to meet!!

Big thanks to the publisher for the chance to join the tour and for my review copies. All thought are my own.

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