BOOK CLUB: Rogue

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Author: A.J. Betts
ISBN: 9781760556440
RRP: $16.99
Publication Date: 25 June 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Rogue by A.J. Betts and published by Pan Macmillan, is the second and final novel in a dystopian YA series, which began with the book Hive. I hadn’t read the first book, so before starting Rogue, I quickly nabbed a copy to familiarize myself with the world of Hive. And I am very glad I did.


The main character, and chief beekeeper, 15 year old Hayley lives in a very structured, hive like community where much like the bees she tends, everyone knows their place and function. Each person fulfills their designated role, seemingly without question. Everyone that is except Hayley. Naturally curious and questioning Hayley needs to know more. However in doing so Hayley jeopardises her very future …

Rogue picks up from where Hive ends, with Hayley, escaping the only world she has ever known. In ‘going rogue’, Hayley discovers that her community has actually been living underwater. She emerges into a huge, unknown world with land and sea and sky as far as the eye can see!! It is Australia, 100 years in the future. But it is a country drastically changed by global warming, and government control. This is an Australia where many plants and animals are now extinct and there are no longer bees. Scavenging and survival are now the way of life.

As the story continues Hayley discovers what happened and why and how her confined Hive community came to be.

Hive and Rogue are both very engrossing reads that I enjoyed very much. They cover a number of interesting and newsworthy topics including refugees, governmental control, population regulation, the environment, plant and animal extinction, as well as what it means to be a family. I Highly recommend it.

This guest review was submitted by Lyn, one of our long-time Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Lyn.

A.J. Betts can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Rogue is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Rogue so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below. I can not wait to hear what our readers think.

11 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Rogue

  1. Rogue by A.J.Betts follows the story of a 15 year old Hayley, who lived in an underwater village, known as the vault where every person has a specific role. Hayley was the resident bee keeper until she was ejected from the vault by her friend Will into the ocean above her home. Hayley is now exposed to the world above and is interacting with many of its components for the very first time. From meeting a new family, finding out bees are extinct in the new world and running from the laws that exist to categorise people.

    The author links the reader directly from the content in the first book Hive but does not assume that the first book has been read. As I had not previously read Hive, I was worried that I would find it difficult to understand the context previously developed. However, in Rogue, A.J. Betts has set up the key points from the original book to allow for anyone to pick it up and be instantly connected to Hayley and her journey.

    Rogue surprised me, and I found myself picking it up every free moment I had wanting to learn more about Hayley and her new world. I will be purchasing the first book to read and look forward to more books in this series.

  2. Rogue by A J Betts is the sequel to Hive. Readers are able to follow Hayley from the world she has always known to a new “world”. I was fascinated by this “world” that Hayley enters as described by A J Betts. It is our future world, but personally not one I hope to be living in. This new world is segregated by force and human choice seems to be fairly low, there are no longer trees or animals on mainland Australia and people are confined and “managed” in huge cities. There is some animals and vegetation though left on Tasmania and small islands near its coast. Hayley struggles to learn or understand this new place and wonders if her enquiring mind in the Hive has not led her to a far worse place and life outside of the one that she has previously known. AJ Betts describes well the different relationships and feelings Hayley has to those people she does encounter and the adversity she faces in this unknown world. I would certainly recommend this as an appropriate and thought provoking YA novel and I also enjoyed it as an adult reader too. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Bookclub, Pan Macmillion Australia and A.J Betts for the opportunity to read and review Rogue.

  3. What a great book is ‘Rogue’ by author A J Betts. A Young Adult thriller that thrilled this mature adult also.

    A modern story set in the future, an imaginative story line which on first impression reminded me of The Little Mermaid. Main character, Hayley lives in an underwater bunker with 300 other residents, after fleeing the onslaught of an impending asteroid hitting earth in 2020. The year is now 2110 and with the help of friend and caretaker Will, she is set free from her sheltered world via a capsule. Landing on an island near what we know as Tasmania, now referred to as Terrafirma, she begins her education of an unknown world of beauty, pleasure, fears and terror. Hayley’s inquisitive, free spirit sparks encounters with strange people, immigrants (‘drifters’), untrustworthy traders, a world tightly controlled by government blood-coding residents and all things totally foreign. So begins her adventures.

    It is a book really well written, very descriptive of the characters emotions and their surroundings. It is gripping, continually keeping the reader guessing. It is thought provoking, imaginative and surprising.

    Suitable for young and old readers, I am looking forward to seeking out the author’s previous book ‘Hive’.

    A big thanks to Beauty & Lace and Publishers Pan MacMillan for supplying a book which was a pleasure to read.

  4. Rogue by A.J. Betts is the excellent sequel to Hive.

    Although set in a future Australia/world, the links to today can be seen in climate change, refugees, and increased laws and monitoring of the populace.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Hive and was extremely happy with the sequel which is rare as, like movies, sequels often don’t stack up.

    You don’t need to read the first book to understand what is happening in Hive as the author skilfully updates you as you read.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace and Pan McMillan for a great Aussie read.

  5. AJ Betts has written a two part book series – the first book titled Hive, the second book titled Rogue – which is what I read as part of the book club. I was not familiar, nor had I read the first book in this series, however I did find myself thinking it would have been a good idea to have read the other first so I could get a good grasp on the story and be fully immersed in the series.

    I found it easy to connect the dots as to what was happening, and the writer did a good job to tie it together so I wasn’t sitting there fully confused. The story is a futuristic concept with very strict guidelines, and it follows the main character Hayley as she traverses her way through this world and questions society and the worlds ideals. She lives in a very tight community, and the underwater element was a good twist.

    I liked the characters and the way the story took the reader, and what a great addition that it was an Australian setting. Big thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan McMillan for the opportunity to read Rogue by AJ Betts. I think young adult books can still reach a wide audience, and I’m glad to have given this one a read.

  6. So, firstly let me say that I chose the book Rogue to read this month because I’m a massive Star Wars fan, and the title reminded me of the movie of a similar name.

    Rogue by @ajbettswrites was astounding. It provided intrigue, suspense, action, and romance. The story tells of a girl, Hayley, who leaves her home to find new lands she’s only heard about in legends. It presents a futuristic view of Australia and its surrounding islands post a devastating meteor strike. People are judged on their blood, and “original humans” with clean blood are much sought after.
    Hayley is cared for and protected by a generous family that respect her past and teach her about her new environment – both the wonders and dangers.

    I’m keen to read Part 1, titled Hive, that might give more meaning to some of the history of Hayley’s original existence.

    A big thank you to @panmacmillion and @beautyandlacemag for the wonderful opportunity to read and review this novel.

  7. I have been looking forward to following Hayley’s journey after meeting her in the first book of this series ‘Hive’. A. J. Bert’s has done an amazing job of imagining a world as it might be in a hundred years if we continue along our current pathway.

    While the author does not lecture there are strong underlying themes about environmental protection, climate change, refugees, government profiling and consumerism that resonated with me.

    Hayley has emerged from an underwater seed vault where generations ago people fled to avoid disaster and protect the bees. Hayley’s natural curiosity made it difficult for her to thrive in that environment so she escaped but soon discovers the grass is not greener on the mainland.

    After being sheltered for so long she is not equipped to deal with many of the challenges now facing the world. It is an engrossing read to follow Hayley’s journey as she learns more about relationships, how to survive and herself.

    I would highly recommend this two book series and thank Beauty and Lace book club and Pan MacMillan for the opportunity to read both books.

  8. Rogue: The Vault Book 2, is a 2019 Pan Macmillan publication, written by Perth based author A.J. Betts. Rogue is the sequel to Hive, which was released last year. A thrilling, creative and imaginative young adult novel, Rogue completely immerses the reader in a  brave new world.  Rogue is an essential read for those who have previously enjoyed Hive, as it offers a propulsive conclusion to the Vault series.

    Rogue follows the intriguing story of Hayley, who is free from her previous sheltered life and is now ‘rogue’. Leaving behind the only life she known, Hayley struggles to come to terms with her new existence. This new world Hayley inhabits is free from her comforts, but it may offer her a sense of place and belonging. The second and final novel in this dystopian series comes to a heart pounding conclusion, as the lead of the story weighs up her options in this potentially hostile new world.

    A.J. Betts has collected plenty of praise and accolades since her groundbreaking novel, Hive, which  was released last year. Betts has an impressive list of awards to her name. I was pleased to see that A.J. Betts was shortlisted for a number of awards last year for Hive. Those who were able to indulge in the experience of reading Hive last year will really welcome Rogue, the two cannot be separated in my opinion. I know there are many out there that wanted some more answers and closure following the ending of Hive, which has made room for Rogue.

    Yet again, I found myself taken aback by the world Betts is able to present to her audience. I am a little jealous of the wild imagination and ability Betts has to transfer this dimension from her mind to the page, in such a vivid framework.  It takes great skill as a writer to transport the reader from the comfort of their home, to such a strange and eerie future. Betts has the skills and determination to make this work. I welcomed the water experiences in Rogue very much, and I am sure the striking setting will sit well with a wide audience base.

    I am familiar with the lead of this novel, thanks to my experience with Hive. In Hayley, Betts has released a character with many connective and positive traits, but there were times where I felt my age and distance as adult reader of a young adult focussed novel. I did observe that Hayley appeared to be a real hero and the reader will want to cheer her on, every step of the way. Surrounding Hayley is the community in which she inhibits, which is expressed well on the pages of Rogue.

    There are plenty of taking points in this Rogue, the concepts range from the treatment of refugees, displacement, belonging, acceptance, hope, friendship, the environment and evolution. For a young adult novel, Rogue has covered new ground. I’m keen to see what A.J. Betts conjures up next, I’m sure it will be inventive!

    *I wish to Beauty & Lace and the publisher, Pan Macmillan Australia, for a copy of this book for review purposes.

  9. I was really looking forward to Rogue, because I absolutely loved Hive. But this one didn’t quite meet my expectations. There were parts were I was completely absorbed and parts where I felt it dragged. It was a good follow up because I really wanted to know what was up there and I really liked the ending. I think it would have been better either combining the two books into one or not having a huge 12 month gap between them. Overall a good read, but nowhere near as good as Hive.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy in return for an honest review.

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