There are only a handful of humans remaining after the Nuclear War decimated what used to be the world as we know it. Only for those of us left, we don't have any memory of that world. All we have are the lessons we study about the world that once was. We are segregated by generations and in my Pod C, there are only about thirty of us. Each of us has a talent that only we alone possess. For me, Thalli, I am a musician. I can read and create music as though that was all I was born to do. For my roommates they have their own special skills, cooking, inventing, designing and even logical thinking. We are kept away from the other Pods B and A, as they are another generation ahead of us. We have no parents and we don't even consider those of us dwelling in this Pod as friends really. We just go about our days like we're supposed to only for me, I am considered an anomaly, because I think. I ask too many questions. I wonder why more than I just accept things like my Pod mates. My only ally is Beck who is a wonderful scientist and who sense there is more to me than I am supposed to be.
Whenever illness comes, we are removed and never seen again. They call it annihilation and we cease to be. Thanks to a group of scientists known as The Ten, we are able to live and find ways to grow food beneath the ground. We can't go above because the air is toxic and we would simply die. So for now, we continue to work on finding a way to survive in this existence, but if they learn that I am not all I am supposed to be, it will be my turn for annihilation. Only scientists are allowed to ask questions and to wonder why. I am simply to create music. However when I am asked to play an old piece of music left behind by the world before us, I can't hide the emotions that the song brings out in me. Now I am moved to isolation and the experiments begin to see if I possess anything that can be useful before I am annihilated.
But will the world I believe is my home turn out instead to be a virtual one? A simulation so real that all of my senses are engaged and I can not longer differentiate from what is real and what is not? What is my true calling in this life? Is there hope for something more than simply what I was created to be? How much longer will I be allowed to live before I am no longer a viable option?
In the novel Anomaly by author Krista McGee, Thalli is a young girl who begins to wonder if there is something more than what she has been lead to believe her whole life. She knows nothing of parents, love or God other than what she is reading about through her history lessons on her learning pad. This calls into question what would happen if just a handful of humans remained on the earth after a horrible nuclear war. How would they survive? What would they do to maintain law and order in their society? This is just that premise that Krista breathes to life in this dystopain fiction that sounds like a futuristic version of Lord of the Flies. I absolutely LOVED all the shifting of realities and soon found myself questioning what is real or isn't in this wonderful science fiction young adult novel. For anyone who loves this type of genre, you will not be the slightest bit disappointed.
I received Anomaly by Krista McGee compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Knowing how quickly we are creating our own virtual reality's in video games, this one really took me by surprised and wondered just how far along are we really. This really does create a sense of what if, when you read this one and makes us question just how beneficial is technology in the future. How will this world survive if we found ourselves in the situation Krista created in this novel. This is definitely a novel that makes you wonder how you would handle creating a lasting remnant if given the chance. How much freedom would you allow people to have? I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and there's even some discussion questions included for book groups or small group study.
Courage, Conviction, and Conformity=GREAT YA READ!
July 8, 2013
My rating is 4.5 Stars
On front cover: QUESTION. FEEL. BELIEVE.
This is the definition for the word anomaly: deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule. I really like that definition and it fits Thalli so well. Thalli lives in a world that is underground_.she has no knowledge of what Earth is like, she has never seen the ocean, and taking turns to see the moon is a rare privilege. She is 17 years old and the underground, called the State, is run by scientists. There are 10 scientists and they in turn are training the next generation of genetically engineered human beings to take over when the time is right. There are no more families, no more children, no dust or sickness, and everything is controlled, measured, or rationed according to each population. There is no more emotions, no more belief system, and no more love. There are different pods separated by age group/generation and each person in these sections has been engineered to master one thing. Thalli is a musician; there is also a dietician, historian, mathematician, horticulturist, etc. She loves music and can play any instrument. She expresses herself through music and analyzes her feelings for others through music.
One night Thalli's pod, Pod C, is schedule to view the moon, but something goes wrong and they must be rescheduled. Thalli gets suspicious because nothing ever gets rescheduled, things in her world never go wrong. That's about to change.
At some point Thalli is sent to the music room to play a piece she's never seen before. While she is playing she loses herself in the music and she is caught sobbing uncontrollably, that is when it's decided she will be annihilated. Scientists believe that if anything not engineered shows up within the State, that this could be contagious or cause disorder. Also, once someone no longer serves a purpose for the greater good of the State, they are annihilated. The characters in the plot define anomaly as rushing through lessons, curiosity, arguing, having emotions.
Will Thalli survive what these scientists have in store for her? Will she discover the truth in time? As the scientists realize mistakes that have been made along the way, will Thalli be able to help them find answers?
Thalli herself is kind of childish at first, but there is such an innocence about her and she has an amazing heart for being a genetically engineered person with brilliant potential. Then she meets John and he teaches her about the real Designer and opens her mind to impossibilities beyond what she has been taught or trained to believe.
The main lesson I got from this story is how society trains us to believe untrue concepts that we buy into. Yes, we need authority and to respect order, but we also have to remember that as believers we are not of this world. We're here to fulfill God's purpose for our lives not to fit in or be like everyone else. Our minds, our bodies, and our purpose are not supposed to be conformed to what the world dictates, that's not where our identity originates from and it's not where our destiny is. This is a powerful reminder throughout the book.
I absolutely loved reading this book, but as a reader I also want to point out that nothing in the plot is what it seems. It's easy to read, chapters are short, and it can be read in one or two sittings, but things definitely get intense and the story grabs your heart through Thalli's journey. It's truly amazing what she endures, how she is constantly tested, and how callous/uninvolved the scientists treat her as they study her with every response (there is no relationship with these doctors and their patients, only acceptance and duty). Her innocence remains, but her growth and discernment steadily increase with her intelligence throughout the story. That to me was more interesting than all the technology, all the logic, and all that goes wrong with the scientists' calculations.
The movie this book reminded me of was The Island with Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor. There really isn't any violence in the story, but Thalli's mind gets played with a lot (sometimes that can be worse than violence, but nothing graphic or disorderly happens in the book). I absolutely loved Berk and was amazed at the risks and sacrifices he makes to protect Thalli. My main question for him was, "Did you get ANY sleep in this story?" I also liked Rhen, she reminded me of a female Spock from Star Trek. I truly look forward to the sequel, Luminary, coming early 2014! Check out this link for other releases coming up next year from Thomas Nelson: http://relzreviewz.com/coming-in-early-2014-from-thomas-nelson-part-2/
I want to thank Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson for the free review copy provided. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
I am a sucker for science fiction. When I chose to review Anomaly by Krista McGee published by Thomas Nelson Books, I didn't know what I was getting into except it was a scientific, dystopian world type novel. Anomaly is the first book in a trilogy.
This book is very, very well written. It is written for a young adult/teenager reader in mind so you will find short sentences and short chapters (I'll be honest , I like short chapters).
In this book we see a world that has been destroyed by nuclear war. 10 people survived and created an underground world.
Generations after the 10 people create an underground world, we find Thalli, a young girl who was taught to never feel anything. They tell her that she is an anomaly because she is beginning to feel things, experience things and they want to annihilate her because of it.
This book goes though many twists and turns and you never know what is real and what is in the mind of Thalli. You even find a little romance for all you romance fans out there.
I can't go through everything without giving away the plot. It is a very good book, where the gospel is shown throughout in a very creative way.
I recommend it highly for any reader and for fiction fans, and especially for all who like science fiction. If you are a young adult/teenager who loves to read or you know a young person who likes to read, buy them this book. They will fall in love with it.
After reading it they will not wait to read book 2 and book 3.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from booksneeze.com
I don't typically read books in this genre, though it's kind of funny that I've read two in the past month. I really enjoyed this story for a number of reasons. I think it's cool how the author used a dystopian and futuristic world to show the importance of what God created and how altering the divine order in our lives makes us a bunch of clones of each other. We all need a purpose for our lives and given the right conditions, we will all, at some point, long for something better. We all make choices that make us who we are. Without emotion and love, we have nothing. Since God is love, it all ties together. I found the way the author tied that all together quite fascinating. I would consider this a high concept novel, though the concept if firmly based in a Christian worldview.
I appreciated the deep point of view used by the author to show deception and how putting our hope in something that isn't real is kind of like falling in love with our sin. In the end it leaves us feeling emptier...worse than before. I saw Dr. Loudin as not just an antagonist, but also a "satan" figure in that his goal is not only to get the character to believe the deception, but he was willing to not only mess with her mind and her emotions, but destroy her soul to accomplish that. Very profound stuff. And the way the biblical truths were presented to the characters was emotionally moving. The insight and sense of a higher purpose because of the teaching they received from John touched my heart. The ending left me anticipating the next book. I can't wait to see what this author cooks up for book two.
Over the past couple years, the dystopian genre has exploded among young adult books. I have read many of these books, and I have also gotten quite tired of too many similar story lines and characters. But while Anomaly by Krista McGee may have a few similar ideas (lack of emotions, a controlling government of scientists, an almost love triangle, first person POV from a female narrator), this book dives into another side of the dystopian ideals.
The character of Thalli was interesting. She had an almost child-like curiosity and naivety to her. However, instead of making it obnoxious to read, I felt it added. It showed how the society of the State projected their residents. Also, her adoration for music was intriguing. The descriptions were beautiful.
While there was not a whole lot of action or heart-pounding scenes, this book was anything but dull. It delved more into the psychological aspects of both what technology and the natural world can do to a person. I thought this was a great twist on the normal dystopian genre.
This book kept me guessing and was filled with a lot of surprises, even up to the end. Just when I thought I had figured everything out, it would change. And now, I eagerly await the next book in this soon-to-be stunning trilogy.