Anomaly by Krista Mcgee had me hooked within the first few chapters! It has an amazing plot with plenty of heart stopping drama. The book takes place into the future decades after the nuclear war... that left the world inhabitable for any life. But deep underground a handful of scientists known as The Ten built a secret compound that was meant to keep life going after the end of the world as we knew it. The only catch was the scientists have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won't threaten their lives again. They believed emotions was the root of destruction. But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli's secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead trying to save her life. While in the scientists' Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods. If the ten found out that Berk, the young scientist soon to be one of the ten, was lying to save an anomaly instead of his loyalty to the State, the punishment would be his life as well as Thalli's.
While she is trying to stay alive she hears rumors of someone called the DesignerÃ¢â¬âsomeone even more powerful than The Ten. What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of the scientists much larger plan for her then she could have ever imagined. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she's been looking for all along.
Thalli's situations were written so well the emotions she felt and experienced leaped off the pages and made me feel the same way as if I were right there beside her! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves nonstop adventure that leaves you breathless! I can not wait for the next book in the series to come out! Though I have to say that the genres of fantasy/scifi and the genre of Christian fiction in this book did not mix well. For the kind of plot this book was about it sounded like opposites. It felt forced and just did not quiet go together.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. The opinions are my own.
Anomaly is a YA dystopian, post-nuclear war survival story. Yes, I hear your sigh. Another one?
But guess what. This book was GREAT! The plot was well-developed, the characters believable, the concept possible, if not probable. And there was a twist at the end that left you wanting to know MORE! This absorbing read for YA enthusiasts has a strong Christian worldview that doesn't overpower or come across as preachy. Krista does a wonderful job of being inside Thalli's head as she blossoms into the creative, emotionally charged human The Designer meant her to be.
I was really intrigued by the secondary world Krista develops in this story, and how compromised standards were intentionally presented as attractive options. I can't say more without a spoiler alert, but isn't that how sin is often presented? A subtle shifting of lines, quiet agreements, compromise.
I highly recommend this to YA readers, and I look forward to reading the next book when it comes out.
NOTE: I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.
Seventeen-year-old Thalli has been scheduled for annihilation. She is the Musician for her pod, her group of peers, and she feels emotions, something the post-apocalyptic society she lives in has attempted to remove through genetic engineering. Berk, her childhood friend, is now a Scientist and persuades his colleagues to save her for study. She is given a reprieve, but as the experiments start, she soon starts to wonder what is real and what is not.
Krista McGee's last three books were contemporary YA chick-lit romances, stories of young women finding God and finding love in the hot-house of reality television (so perhaps they were actually fantasy?). Anomaly is YA Christian sci-fi, which is both a dramatic departure from her earlier books, and a small but growing niche in Christian fiction. That was a surprise: not only that an author with a following in YA romance would move into such a different genre, but that she'd do it so well. This is good. Really good. Read-in-one-sitting good.
Anomaly has similarities to many other sci-fi classics I read as a teenager or as an adult (most of which I can't remember the names of but The Giver, TV shows such as Jeremiah, and movies like Logan's Run do spring to mind). Anomaly paid homage to some of these classics with its post-apocalyptic emotionless society living deep in the mountains of Colorado, a society that assigns children into roles at birth and terminates those who don't fit in. It has a definite Christian take on that future society, from John as the remnant to the concept of a Designer.
It wasn't perfect: I do have some questions, like why a small science-driven society that genetically engineers people to serve a specific purpose saw the need for a Musician, and how John's son has such different values and beliefs to those of his parents. But these are small niggles. The sequel (Luminary) is due out in January 2014, and I'll be looking forward to it.
Recommended for those who enjoyed books like The Giver and The Hunger Games. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Within the State, productivity is paramount. To this end, emotions, curiosity, and relationships are not only frowned upon, but they have been mostly eradicated through DNA manipulation of the generations. However, Thalli is considered an Anomaly; created to be her pod's musician, she pours all of her illicit emotions into her music. The creators of the State, the Ten Scientists, watch Thalli closely, and when it becomes obvious through her reactions to an ancient piece of music that she cannot function within the confines of the State's rules, they schedule her for annihilation. Removed from her Pod, with only her childhood friend Berk, now a promising Scientist, fighting for her survival, Thalli meets John who speaks to her about the Designer. What is Thalli to believe now? Is there more to life than the Scientists allow? Is there a purpose to her "malformation"? Is there any hope for her to escape death? Does she even want to, or is death really only the beginning?
I was very excited to get this book for review - I really enjoyed Krista McGee's first trilogy, First Date, Starring Me, and Right Where I Belong. This book did not disappoint. Although a departure from the author's initial genre, delving into dystopia, her characters are just as well developed, and her fictionally generated world draws the reader in, making it easy to imagine living in a world where the earth's surface has been eradicated and the only remaining civilization is contained underground. Eerily possible, too, is a world where the Scientists controlling such a world have erased any emotion or connection to God. Yet, even there, there is a remnant of God's faithful, a sole believer who has survived to teach others of His existence. This portion of the story really drew me in - as Thalli not only had to learn of a God she never heard of, but also concepts like love and marriage that were foreign to her.
Although the levels of manipulation within the story toed the line of implausible, the story was still well done, and I enjoyed it very much. I was excited to see that it's the first in a trilogy, but heavily disappointed to see that #2 isn't due out until next summer!
I give this book 4 stars, and I can't wait to see where Ms. McGee takes this story!
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers, as part of their BookSneeze program, in exchange for my honest review.
Anomaly is the first in a trilogy of what happens after a nuclear war across the earth. Thalli is raised underground knowing only about the bad things that happened on the earth and that the State will take care of them. Everything is logical, there is no emotion, but for Thalli, she questions many things and learns to hide her curiosity. When Asta, a fellow member of Pod C, falls sick and is taken away, Thalli is devastated. Then a few years later, her best friend Berk is taken away to be a Scientist, and will not be allowed contact again. Thalli's hidden emotions finally appear when she is asked to play a piece of music that survived the nuclear fallout and is touched by the answers within the music. As Thalli lays on the floor in tears, she is declared an anomaly and sentenced to annihilation. Thalli learns of a Designer and her world is opened up and filled with love and hope. If only Thalli can convince the Scientists to allow love back in their lives again.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that likes a sci-fi style writing. I was most impressed with the author's ability to bring God and Jesus into the front of the storyline rather than keeping it in the background like many such books. I look forward to reading the next two books in this series.