Thalli thought escaping to the surface would mean freedom. But is she any less of an anomaly aboveground?
After escaping an underground annihilation chamber, 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 books—and a colony of unsanctioned survivors living the ancient way in a town called New Hope.
When these survivors reveal the truth of what happened years ago, Thalli is left unsettled and skeptical of everything she’s ever been told. Can she trust anything from the State, including her own feelings for Berk? When she volunteers for a peace mission to New Hope’s violent neighbor, Athens, her confusion mounts when the supposedly ruthless Prince Alex turns out to be kind and charming. Although everyone in New Hope warned her not to, she can’t help but fall for him.
Meanwhile, John’s unwavering faith in the goodness of the Designer begins to make its mark on Thalli’s heart. But can Thalli really come to trust in a generous, protective Designer who rules over all things? Would that not be setting herself up for another betrayal?
The time for her to decide is now . . . because the State is closing in.
Published January 2014. Second book in the Anomaly series.
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 naïve 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.