Book Review: Storm by Evan Angler

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Storm (Swipe #3)
by Evan Angler
Release Date: 05/07/13
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Paperback/e-book
288 pages

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StormStorm
Swipe #3
Evan Angler
Thomas Nelson, May 2013
ISBN 978-1-4003-2197-1
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it’s difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren’t sure if Logan’s sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis’ army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

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I’m a big fan of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction and it’s even better when I find both in the same books so Storm and its predecessors are right up my alley. It also doesn’t hurt that Evan Angler is a good writer and reading his work is no hardship. Besides being a more than decent writer, he knows what’s important in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel.

Plot and character development are crucial to good fiction but not necessarily equally, depending on the story. As examples, a good romance depends more on character than plot but a mystery really needs both. The element that’s so critical to speculative fiction, especially dystopian and post-apocalyptic, is worldbuilding, because the story revolves around a society or world that’s very different from our own. Evan Angler does his worldbuilding so well that I felt I was right there with Logan and everyone else. It should be no surprise that the Swipe series relies heavily on the biblical Book of Revelations; readers who avoid Christian fiction can still take pleasure in this, first because it’s a terrific action adventure tale but also because the author has a pretty subtle hand with the religious connections.  It’s interesting to compare what goes on in this book and the others in the series with changes in our own world such as the global economy that could easily evolve into one world currency and, eventually, one world government.

Taking things a step further, the author does not neglect the plot, which is full of twists and turns, nor the people we want to know. I already liked Logan and some of the others and now I’m really intrigued by Lily. I also appreciate the fact that both boys and girls are pivotal.

Some readers don’t like cliffhangers but I do, particularly with this kind of story. I’ve always felt that a cliffhanger can leave a reader with something to think about. After all, if we get all the answers in one book, how would we get excited about a series? Mr. Angler started out with a really strong tale in Swipe, then Sneak, and he hasn’t let us down with Storm.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2013.

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About the Author

Evan AnglerEvan lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon.
Storm is the third book in his Swipe series. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about it, and you didn’t hear anything from him. Don’t make eye contact if you see him. Don’t call his name out loud. He’s in enough trouble already.
And so are you, if you’ve read his book.

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