Swipe / Evan Angler
Thomas Nelson (April 6, 2012), ISBN 978-1400318360
MS Grades 5-8 Rating: 5
Evan Angler writes a dystopian novel suitable for middle school students – one that is surprisingly engaging and features young teens as the main characters.
Swipe, the first of a trilogy, introduces the reader to a world where thirteen year olds are “marked” to participate in society, enjoy new freedoms, and become legal citizens. For Logan, who is approaching his thirteenth birthday, it is a time when he begins to wonder what really happened to his sister five years ago when she went for her Mark and never returned. Logan is afraid of the dark and fears he is being watched – and he is, but why?
Erin meets Logan after her dad moves them to Spokie to accept a job with DOME, a government agency responsible for tracking down a group rebelling against the system — the Dust. Erin is unaware of her dad’s actual work until she uncovers some documents. When Logan resists being Marked, Erin helps him by stealing classified information. Logan and Erin meet the Dust when they try to kidnap Logan. Do they want to harm him or protect him from being Marked?
Angler does a good job of creating suspense (with a dash of paranoia) in telling the story. Even his author’s note was written in the third person as if to warn the reader to be very careful in reading this book or talking about it. Swipe will appeal to reluctant and eagers readers alike.
Unlike some dystopian novels, this one is not too dark for its target audience. There is some violence but nothing graphic or inappropriate. There is no obvious faith element (even though the publisher is Thomas Nelson) — the characters do not acknowledge God, but there is a struggle between good and evil, and between government vs. personal choice. Swipe is a thought-provoking novel.
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Carol R. Gehringer