Authors: Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman
Publisher: Select Books
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
From the publisher—
In the future there is no disease. There is no war. There is no discontent. All citizens are complacent members of the Global Governance. But one summer is about to change everything.
Keeva Tee just turned fifteen. All of her dreams are about to come true. She’s about to make the trip to Monarch Camp to be imprinted with her intended life partner. One day they’ll have perfect kids and a perfect life. But in her happy, carefree life in the Ocean Community, something weighs on her mind. She hears whispers about “anomalies”―citizens who can’t be imprinted. No one knows what happens to them, but they never seem to come back.
When Keeva arrives at Monarch Camp, her worst nightmare becomes a reality―she is an anomaly. After imprinting, the people she loves change, and she starts to doubt everything she’s ever believed. What if freedom and individuality have been sacrificed for security? And what if the man who solves all the problems is the very man who’s created them―and what if he isn’t a man at all?
When Keeva finds a warning carved under a bunk bed she begins to understand: nonconformity will be punished, dissent is not an option, insurgents will be destroyed.
Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook from someone asking if the wave of young adult dystopian fiction is over, has run its course. It isn’t surprising that the question would be raised since the dystopian subgenre of science fiction, often blended with post-apocalyptic, has been extremely popular for quite some time, especially in the young adult field. As we know, very popular trends in fiction often wear themselves out, becoming sort of faddish and trendy, and we readers get tired of them in direct proportion to how many authors and publishers jump on a particular bandwagon.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Anomalies by Sadie Turner and Colette Freedman, I can comfortably say there are still very good YA dystopian tales to be read.
The concept of one omnipotent world leader is certainly not a new one—the Bible’s Antichrist has been pictured in such a role many times as have other characters that usually have very nefarious intent—but it’s always interesting to me to see how authors will develop such antagonists. Ms. Turner and Ms. Freedman did a fine job of bringing Sobek Vesely to life with all his hidden menace and he definitely caused the creepy crawlies for me. Sobek is a cult leader of the future.
Keeva is a young teen who finds herself strangely at odds with the way things are supposed to be and her growth as a resister to conformity comes naturally. I loved watching this girl grow up almost overnight because she had no choice and some of her companions are equally as engaging
Worldbuilding is as strong in this novel as I’ve seen in quite a while and I had a comfortable grasp on how humanity came to be in such a situation, the divisions of work communities (labor), the arranged partnerships that come about through Monarch Camp and the devolvement into a Stepford-like mentality once the people reach the age of citizenship.
There are threads of religion mixed in with science fiction but the message that comes across most strongly without being too heavily intrusive is the need for people to recognize when conformity has gone too far. Certainly that can be said to apply to teens coping with rampant conformity in high school but adults can easily fall into the same traps and it’s our tendency towards conforming that makes Anomalies such a compelling read. The second book can’t come fast enough 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2016.
About the Authors
SADIE TURNER is a Los Angeles-based producer and writer originally from Brighton, England, who works in business development with several Hollywood entrepreneurs. She has various projects in development, and also teaches yoga.
COLETTE FREEDMAN is an internationally produced playwright, screenwriter, and novelist who was recently named one of the Dramatist Guild’s “50 to Watch”. Her play “Sister Cities” (NYTE, 2009) was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews. It has been produced around the country and internationally, including Paris (“Une Ville, Une Soeur”) and Rome (“Le Quattro Sorelle”). She has authored fifteen produced plays including “Serial Killer Barbie” (Brooklyn Publishers, 2004), “First to the Egg” (Grand prize shorts urban shorts festival), “Bridesmaid # 3” (Louisville finalist 2008), and “Ellipses…” (Dezart Festival winner 2010), as well as a modern adaptation of “Iphigenia in Aulis” written in iambic pentameter. She was commissioned to write a modern adaptation of “Uncle Vanya” which is in preproduction and has co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie Collins, the play “Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies”, which is gearing up for National Tour. In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she sold the thriller The Thirteen Hallows, to Tor/Macmillan, which came out Dec 6, 2011. She sold the novel The Affair to Kensington and is shopping her YA series The A+ Girls.
Follow the tour here.
“This book makes spirituality exciting and vibrant.
I predict it will be so successful that we’ll all have to
learn how to pronounce ‘anomaly’ correctly.”
—Russell Brand, comedian, author, actor
“Anomalies leaves you thinking about human
nature and what makes us who we are. Bravo.”
—Jason Segel, actor, author, producer
“[Anomalies is] a fast-paced story which champions
individuality and truth. Keeva is a compelling
heroine who is relatable and strong.”
—Pamela Anderson, actor, author, producer, activist
“A compelling read which confirms we must
fight for what makes us each special and unique.”
—Randy Jackson, music producer, American Idol host