Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swipe by Evan Angler

book cover
by Evan Angler

ISBN-13: 978-1400318360
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: May 1, 2012

Source: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program.

Book Description, Modified from Publisher's Website:
North America is struggling to recover after famine and global war. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship. The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping.

It’s almost Logan Langly’s 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn’t been able to shake the feeling he’s being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back. When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers?

My Review:
Swipe is an Middle Grade adventure novel. It'll appeal to both boys and girls, but it was written in such a way that I think Middle Graders will be the ones that love it the most. It's very exciting, with non-stop action as two kids get in over their heads trying to solve the mystery of who is watching Logan and why. The adults don't believe Logan really is being watched, but the kids have a good reason to believe some of the Markless have targeted Logan to kill him. In the process of investigating, the kids get in trouble with their parents and the government. They have to make some rather weighty decisions at the end, and I was delighted that their decisions weren't exactly what I expected (though very believable).

The first twelve pages were written in a very distant fashion, and I couldn't tell when we were in a flashback or not. However, after that the writing settled down and got progressively better. I began thinking that the 14-year-old girl I mentor might really enjoy this story. By the end, everything was coming together, and not only was I was enjoying it but I was looking forward to reading the next book.

The setting was vividly described, though the technology seemed a bit far-fetched. For example, despite of all the natural disasters, houses were built in tall columns on narrow bases. They sounded like they'd fall down in a mild earthquake. This was to save fertile soil for farming, yet no farmyards were described in this area. And why build on the fertile ground, anyway, if you could build sensible housing on the infertile ground and quickly travel in to the fertile ground to farm?

There was no sex. There was no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to Middle Graders who like books like Matched.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.


Laura Fabiani said...

Sounds like a great dystopian novel for middle-grade kids. My daughter might enjoy this since she loved The Tomorrow Girls.

Genre Reviewer said...

The main girl character in Swipe is very clever , and she does get point-of-view space, so I think girls will enjoy this novel.

I should have mentioned in my review that this novel comes from a Christian publisher. While the premise is loosely based on Bible prophecy about the future, the first book doesn't have anything obviously Christian about it. I suspect that future books might bring in some Christian characters, though.