Dystopian YA sci-fi with a Christian bent. That’s what we have here, and for all of that … it mostly works because author Krista McGee knows how to tell a story.
Thalli is a teen female at some time in the future when The State controls everything about a person, including when they should die. Thalli’s time is up and she’s ready to accept her fate. But Thalli is different. She’s an anomaly. Thalli actually feels things. The doctors want to study Thalli and see why she’s so different. She learns some truths about human-kind and man’s history. She has a gift for performing music and the music ‘moves’ her. All of these are strange feelings. Feelings she is not supposed to have. She keeps these feelings secret from those monitoring her because she’s knows it’s still dangerous to be too much of an anomaly. But with feelings now, Thalli no longer wants to die.
This book has all the necessary ingredients for a typical YA novel: a female protagonist; no parents; the entire world against her; one friend that she must trust and confide in; her life in danger. And even though this is pretty typical YA with a cookie-cutter plot (see previous sentence), Krista McGee manages to make it interesting and engaging.
I’m definitely a sucker for books that manage to weave art and music in to the story-line, making it an integral part of the story or characters and so I was an easy mark for this book. Thalli appreciation for and understanding of music and art is really well done and McGee gets a special round of applause from me for this. It is not usually the case – when done at all – that an author can capture the soul of music through words.
Please note, however, that this is Christian fiction. This means that God/Christ will come into play at some point. I wasn’t aware of this when I began the book (I did not notice the publisher when I started reading) so it did take be my surprise when Jesus or Christ was first mentioned. I don’t mind this, if the story is well-told and the religious overtones come through the story naturally. Some authors do this well and McGee is one of them. Still … it will limit readership. At the same time, this book will reach out to those who look for Christian fiction but still want something that could easily stand on its own without the religious overtones. This is one of those books.
Looking for a good book? Anomaly, by Krista McGee, is a well-written YA dystopian novel with Christian overtones that may turn some readers off.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Krista McGee
series: Anomaly #1
publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
paperback, 312 pages