Guest Post for Juche 1-4 Box set by Adria Carmichael 


Juche 1-4 Box set by

Adria Carmichael 



GENRE: YA Dystopian



Just when Areum – daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson (North Korea) – thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family is taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears, and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then: her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in the face of mounting evidence that he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.



Note from the author:

Have you ever wondered what the world looks like when seen through an indoctrinated mind?

This is a topic that has intrigued me for as long as I can remember, so when I came up with the idea to write a book many years ago, I decided to create it from the viewpoint of a victim of indoctrination… which in the end became Areum (the protagonist of the story).

What I try to explore in this story is how deep the indoctrination of a 14-year old girl can run and how much “reality” it can be exposed to before breaking… if it will break at all. As a comparison, the defectors from North Korea who arrive in South Korea are isolated for three months in a de-programming facility called Hanawon before they are allowed to join society where they go through this process in a more controlled (and less brutal) way than Areum.

I hope you will enjoy this slightly different take on the dystopian genre!


Background of the book


The JUCHE series, which so far consists of four books, is set in North Korea at the onset of the famine that ravaged the country between 1994-1998. It follows a brainwashed and bratty gymnast who lives a privileged life in the capital and whose biggest problem in life is that she hates her family. That changes quickly, however, when her entire family is arrested and sent to a ruthless re-education camp in the mountains and they have to join forces to survive the starvation, hard labor, and constant executions.

I chose to write on this topic because all of this is still happening in North Korea today, and I chose to make the protagonist a victim of the state propaganda so that the reader can experience her transformation through her eyes and her mind. I got the idea for this when doing research for the series. In one of the documentaries about North Korea that I watched, there was a young woman who had succeeded in escaping to China but had to leave her family behind. The documentary team then helped her to get her sister out as well, but when they had their happy sister reunion in the apartment in China, the younger sister was so indoctrinated that she didn’t believe anything negative the older sister said about North Korea, its regime, and the Kim family. It ended with her getting on a bus and going back to the border to sneak back in. This really astounded me because I had never seen indoctrination trumping family in that way before, and I decided to make that the theme of my story.

I think this is an important topic to write about because I believe it’s just as important now as it ever has been to understand the destructive power of indoctrination. It’s happening before our very eyes in Russia in regard to their invasion of Ukraine where people who tell the truth risk 15 years in a Siberian prison camp. And it’s happening within Qanon and other conspiracy theory groups. What’s dangerous – which is the same for my fictional protagonist, Areum – is that no indoctrinated person knows that they are indoctrinated. They firmly believe that they are the defenders of the truth – and many would do anything to fight for it.  


Excerpt One:

Cranes sang songs of joy from the mountain tops. 

Double rainbows appeared in the sky. 

The aggressors from the west were defeated. The invaders from the east were expunged. The traitors from the south were put at bay. 

The people of Choson were finally free to create their own destiny, and so a hermit kingdom of people’s rule rose from the ashes, and the doors to the enemies of the outside world were closed, never to be opened again. 

The world around them moved on. Years passed. Decades passed. Peace and prosperity spread throughout the world, and nothing was heard from the secluded hermit paradise. 

Then one day, people started emerging from its closed borders. The stories they brought with    them were, however, not of a paradise on earth. Instead, what they depicted were horrors so vile and cruel that they almost exceeded human comprehension. 

Little had the people of the kingdom known when they closed its doors to the outside world, that the vilest beast of all was still lurking among their midst, and as soon as the curtains had been drawn, the beast unleashed its reign of terror upon the people, not stopping until it had crushed and enslaved every soul within its reach. 

The beast now rules the kingdom from a throne of human misery and agony. 

No one alive has ever encountered this beast, but everybody knows its name.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Adria Carmichael is a writer of dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind. 






Amazon Buy links:

Juche 1 – The Demon of Yodok: 

Juche 2 – The Weeping Masses: 

Juche 3 – The Storm of Storms: 

Juche 4 – Freedom or Death:

Juche 1-4 Box Set:



One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

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