By Krista McGee
Thomas Nelson Publishers
09 July 2013
My best friend, an atheist, asked what I thought of Anomaly shortly after I’d started it. I said something like, “Well, there’s not a ton of God-stuff to wade through yet, and I’m almost a hundred pages into the story. That’s pretty good compared to the overload of God-stuff I usually get less in than ten pages when I read books from this publisher.” He looked suitably impressed. He knows I keep a relatively open mind when it comes to Christianity—I was raised in the faith—but I’m not a Christian, and an overabundance of “God-stuff” is usually a pretty big turn off for me.
That said, I really liked this book. I liked so much that I didn’t have any problem finishing it; I wanted to see what happened to Thalli, Berk, Stone, and the other characters. Utopian/dystopian stories—1984, The Giver, The Hunger Games, and others—have always managed to hold my interest more easily than other types of fiction. It’s asking what could be—and what could change—that intrigues me.
Thalli, the main character, was born with emotions and curiosity in an underground world where such attributes are looked down upon and misunderstood at best and downright dangerous at worst. She lives in a Pod with other young people her age who have all been genetically engineered specifically for the mutual benefit of the whole group. The post-nuclear-war world is run by a group of scientists called The Ten, and they quickly schedule her annihilation when her ability to feel emotion comes to light. Luckily, Thalli’s childhood friend, Berk, a scientist-in-training steps in and convinces the The Ten that they can experiment on her instead of simply putting her to death. While she’s living in the scientists’ Pod, she meets an old man named John who tells her of a Designer—the Designer—who is even more powerful than The Ten.
Thalli’s response to learning of the Designer is similar to my response: she treads carefully with curiosity and skepticism. Maybe she’s so receptive to the ideas John presents to her because she has no knowledge whatsoever of any evil that has been done in God’s name, but I found it difficult to continue her path with her after she decided that she believed. The “God-stuff” became overwhelming for me near the end, but by that time I was too invested in the rest of the story to feel put out by the overt religion. I’m still interested enough in the story that I hope I’ll remember to pick a copy of the sequel, Luminary, which comes out July 2014.
For another excellent review of Anomaly, read thepaxdomini’s thoughts.
DISCLAIMER: I received Anomaly free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.