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 Jeramiah, 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. You can find out more about Krista McGee at her website.