Author: Krista McGee
Publisher/Year: Nelson Thomas, Inc. 7/9/13
Length: 320 Pages
Series: Anomaly #1
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.
Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world was decimated by a nuclear war. But life continued deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. There they created genetically engineered human beings who are free of emotions in the hope that war won’t threaten the world again.
Thalli is an anomaly, born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far by hiding her differences. But then her secret is discovered when she’s overwhelmed by the emotion of an ancient piece of music.
The Ten quickly schedule her annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk—a scientist being groomed by The Ten—convinces them to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the Scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance.
As her life ticks a way, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who to trust, before her time runs out.
I’m Intrigued and somewhat impressed that there were more twists to the story than i thought we’d get in this first installment. What we have here is our usual post apocolyptic story of life after a nuclear war, but the interesting spin on this one is that there are a few spins.
Backing up – our story takes place about 40 years after the world was destroyed by nukes – and in preparation for that war, the government began to develop an underground habitat where the select few (politicians and the sort) would be able to live. Of course, the war came when most people weren’t prepared, and only The Ten – a group of scientists were able to get to the safe place and they began to set up what would the plan for the next generation.
As part of the evolution, they decided that they needed to genetically create people – no longer were people allowed to have natural children – they were all created in labs in specific generations, with specific roles, all to help the community survive and thrive. Of course we know there will always be those that don’t conform – they believe or feel things that they weren’t designed to- and that makes people scared.
That’s exactly where Thalli finds herself – she begins to question things more than she should and she feels emotion, and this brings her onto the scientists radar. When this happens, they decide that it’s more humane and safe to kill those ‘Anomalies’ off and Thallis on the list.
As eluded to in the summary, Berk saves her or tries to. They have a past – they have been the closest of friends and there’s even a little something more between them however they aren’t programmed to know what ‘love’ is so they haven’t defined it yet. It’s only when Thalli is under the care of the scientists and is sent ‘above ground’ that she begins to understand what love is and what it can be.
Things aren’t always what they seem though, and what she sees above ground – the reconstruction of the world from a community trying to thrive in the remnants of the nuclear fallout – she’s quick to wonder if it’s for her, and what it will mean for her.
The theory is that life is still not possible on Earth – and seeing Progress- the town above, she begins to question things.
That’s where twist 1 comes – and i was partially expecting it, but hoping that it wasn’t the case – since a few others that i’ve read in this genre have had similar stories – the world being dead and people can’t survive, yet a few folks go up and figure out a way to live.
Unfortunately, the story twists again even from this point, and it’s the epilogue that surprised me the most. I think that where the story was ending was a really good jumping off point for book 1 into book 2, but the last chapter, well that threw me for an unexpected loop and i’m really intrigued and excited to see where it goes. so…now i’m off to find book 2 since i’m sucked in and i hope you guys have either read it already or are with me on picking it up. Enjoy!