What I liked: I really liked the world-building that is done here, it's a world that's rebuilding after a terrible nuclear war. Somewhat like Divergent, there are several different groups of survivors, the State where Thalli and her friends have escaped order and logic was valued and Thalli and nearly all the people she knew were created by the Scientists. Now they've escaped that world to come up to the surface and have found a peaceful group at New Hope. Unfortunately, New Hope has violent neighbors who rule in fear and deceit. So there are lots of differences between them all and I found it really interesting. For me things really got interesting when Thalli went to Athens, the ruling monarch there was terrible, but interesting as were the situations that the characters get into. It was there that I enjoyed this book and the characters most.
What I didn't like: Sometimes Thalli's character got on my nerves a little, I know that she's supposed to be a bit nave having been raised only knowing what was allowed and it's shaped the way she thinks but it was still a bit annoying. I also got a bit bored in a few spots, I think that the beginning needed a bit more desperation as it took me well over a year to come back to this book and restart it after not finishing more than a chapter or two last year when I started it. There were a few other things that resulted in my enjoying this book but not loving it. Those would be just little things like something being a bit cliche or some parts of the story or character development not being enticing or something that I particularly liked.
Overall, I enjoyed this book once I was able to get into it a bit more. The beginning was just a bit slow, it does pick up by the end however and you're left wishing you had the next book on hand to read more. It's a growing plot that draws you further in with each chapter and there were some good parts to this book, don't get me wrong. It certainly wasn't terrible and it wasn't amazingly awesome either. I also think it's great to have this addition to the Christian YA group, most of the books are fantasy or contemporary. It's nice to see some Dystopian as it's a genre I enjoy and I could recommend this to friends knowing it would be completely clean and have Christian values. :)
I was given a copy to review by the publisher and the views I've expressed are my own.
This sequel to Krista McGee's award-winning novel "Anomaly" feels at war with itself. It wants to continue the threads of the plot begun in the previous book, deepening the relationships and raising the stakes for the characters. But there's an entirely different, very intriguing story about the friction between authority and autonomy in the greater world outside. These two threads needn't clash but often do, making for a choppy read. There's a genuinely good story here; unfortunately, it's hampered by the structural needs of a trilogy's second act.
"Luminary's" opening begins immediately after "Anomaly's" close, attempting to recapture a sense of urgency. I say attempt because, having a few months between the two books, I never quite experienced the adrenaline rush McGee clearly wanted me to feel despite the rapid (almost dizzying) succession of obstacles she put in the heroes' path. Nor could I appreciate Thalli's emotional crisis, given how it zeroed in on one of fiction's most tired tropes: a misunderstanding leading to an argument leading to a love triangle.
Once the characters encountered more people the story really picked up, one not as encumbered by the need to serve as a direct sequel. The main plot about the challenges of leadership and governance proved far more interesting than the Berk/Thalli love problem, which fortunately ebbed in focus and returned the better for the distance. Here the book returned to form, exploring a new world through Thalli's unique perspective, allowing her to grow by not only making decisions but facing the consequences of them.
The Prince of one of the cities they encounter could easily have become just another extension of the aforementioned love triangle, yet he grew far beyond that into a complicated individual who at once despises brutality but is shaped by it, desiring love but afraid of its pain. Thalli's true talents blossom again in his world, including her musical gifts (the best part of "Anomaly") and a deep desire for truth above mere comfort.
I found the style of writing more enjoyable the previous go round, given the stark utilitarian setting. I'd wish Thalli's growth as a character were mirrored by development in the narrative form, giving more scale to her journey. Also, while I could accept the bizarre escapes in "Anomaly" given the setting and premise, Thalli's hijinks in the world outside are at times harder to swallow. They're never completely unearned but the erratic pacing harms the delivery, and the novel's resolution is abruptly subsumed by the necessity of a series cliffhanger that feels completely unearned.
Parts of "Luminary" shine, quite enjoyably so, and delve into a good discussion about how to effectively provide true leadership. Other parts were muddled, dimmed by a desire to throw too much too fast into the reader's path. I'm still interested in reading the third book; I'm just not as excited as at "Anamoly's" end.
Luminary, the second book in the Anomaly trilogy, by Krista McGee was awesome!
After escaping an underground annihilation chamber in the State, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John find themselves fleeing across the former United States, aboveground for the first time. As the defectors cross the forgotten landscape, the three youths see things they had only read about on screens: horses, rain, real booksâ€”and a colony of unsanctioned survivors living the ancient way in a town called New Hope.
But a city close by to their village, called Athens, is threating their lives by raiding New Hope to steal the people's crops without regard to their injuries and suffering. And is ruled by an extremely violent murderous king who will stop at nothing to claim the land of New Hope by war.
So to save the village she has come to know and love she volunteers for a mission to be a spy for New Hope's violent neighbor, Athens, to make peace. But her confusion mounts as the supposedly ruthless Prince Alex turns out to be kind and charming.
The time for her to decide what to believe is now . . . because the State is closing in.
In my opinion it was way better then the first book, Anomaly. It started out really slow, and her mood in the very beginning was a little annoying because she was extremely pessimistic. And I felt she was being a bit exaggerated about the whole thing. After all everyone is there to help each other and she was still alive because her friends saved her. I think it would have been more fitting if she was at least a little more grateful.
But in the middle it really picked up speed so much I could hardly put it down! And when I had to stop reading I could not stop thinking about it! It had a lot of drama and you will have a hard time guessing which way the story will go. There are also a few new characters you will not soon forget, and will love each and every one! And I love how the author expresses the characters facial expressions making it feel as if you are really there seeing them for yourself.
Though I still feel the author portrayed Thalli's prospective of faith overly elaborated. But I do love how John is strong in what he believes and helping Thalli throughout the books- it was just overly done by the author.
I can't wait to read the conclusion of the trilogy, Revolutionary, which is due July 2014!
I have received this book from Booksneeze, now Booklook, free for reviewing it and giving my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
The second book in the Anomaly series, Luminary, continues with the escape of Thalli, Ber, John, and Rhen from the State. They find their way to New Hope and begin to adjust to life above ground and away from the State. Then, the nearby city of Athens attacks New Hope to take food back to their city that focuses on scientific advancements. Thalli goes to Athens to learn what she can about their vicious king and see if she can negotiate peace, only to end up drugged and promised in marriage to the prince! Throughout the book, Thalli remembers what she has learned from John about the Designer and learns to put her trust in a higher power.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys science fiction. It is just believable enough to think that it could happen in our society and constantly keeps you guessing as to what will happen. The twist at the end will make you ready for the third book!
The world that Krista Mcgee has created is interesting and detailed and keeps expanding with each book. In Anomaly, we only see a small amount of this world with the State. Now, we get to see what is left of a world ravaged by a massive war. Though desolate, the people are strong. In these two communities, there is so much that is different. In New Hope, they live as a community with their elders. In Athens, they are ruled by a king and his line and fear is the driving factor of submission.
We have several questions answered in Luminary which was great! Instead of waiting till the end to have all reveled, these revelations helped move the story along. It also offered a an opportunity for Thalli to learn from and question what she already knows. As the story progresses, her emotions and her knowledge grow, and you are able to watch her morph into a stronger person, both mentally and spiritually. Thalli has many questions and she does her best to find answers.
With Thalli, we have the return of Berk, Rhen, and John. Each offers much to the story. John is a sweet older man who just wants to share his faith. He has hope and is thankful to be free from his prison. Rhen, even though is still the quieter one of the group offers more in Luminary. She is slowly coming out of her submissive state and is offering her knowledge and help on her own and taking a little more of a lead. Berk is still strong and determined to lead and protect this little group, however when he is faced with physical injury, his intelligence can't seem to help him with Thalli determination to help.
I can't wait to see how this trilogy will end. The ending of Luminary left me with even more questions and I can't wait to find out the answers!
Thank you to Booksneeze, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.