Hi there! And welcome to my stop on the LUMINARY blog tour, hosted by YA Bound Blog tours. For other stops on the tour, click here. Today’s book is a Christian Speculative/Sci-Fi YA novel by Krista McGee. It’s the sequel to Anomaly.
Thalli was scheduled for annihilation. She was considered an anomaly–able to experience emotions that should have been eradicated by genetic modification. The Scientists running the State couldn’t allow her to bring undue chaos to their peaceful, ordered world. But seconds before her death, she is rescued.
Now Thalli is above ground in a world she thought was destroyed. A world where not even the air is safe to breathe. She and her three friends must journey across this unknown land, their destination a hidden civilization. It’s their only chance of survival.
Broken and exhausted after an arduous journey, they arrive in New Hope, a town that survived the nuclear holocaust. When Thalli meets the people there–people actually “born” to “families”–her small world is blown wide open.
Soon after their arrival to New Hope, the town comes under attack. She has escaped imminent death, but now Thalli is thrust into a new fight–a fight to save her new home. Does she know enough about this world of emotions, this world of chaos, to save not only herself, but the people she has come to love?
In this sequel to ANOMALY, we follow the escape of Thalli and her three companions from the State, an underground civilization created following a nuclear holocaust. Berk, a young Scientist, is Thalli’s pseudo-boyfriend. Rhen is Thalli’s logical BFF. And John is a 90 y/o man who is a devout Christian. Throughout this dangerous journey John is seeking help from the Designer (God) by means of prayer and spreading the Gospel.
The risks of death are high on the 900-mile trip to the nearest above-ground settlement. They are set upon my animals and injured, and their solar-powered transport fails taxing their physical and supply resources to the stretching point. But they make it to New Hope, a peace-promoting agrarian colony managed by escaped Scientists Kristi and Carey. They are welcomed in, and begin to really experience the love they had all been denied in the emotionally-sterile State, all without the knowledge that the State is monitoring their whereabouts. The State Scientists need these four intrepid (?) travelers to locate missing Scientists who *might* to be pressed into service to solve the State’s oxygen-problem. As to that, they are (somehow) running out of oxygen in their underground compound. [Methinks it could be solved by opening a vent at this point, but I’m getting ahead of the plot…]
A neighboring settlement, Athens, attacks New Hope. See, Athens is a militaristic settlement ruled by a despotic king hellbent on subjugating the peaceful and prosperous New Hopeians. King Jason always has his way–and maintains order through the liberal use of mind-control drugs. Thalli, in total meltdown over her jealousy of Rhen and Berk’s friendship, volunteers for the suicidal mission of being a spy in Athens. As an escapee from the State, she has technology secrets the King would desire.
Of course, she didn’t expect to be drugged, or named as Prince Alex’s bride-to-be. Now the murder and mayhem truly begins. Berk arrives to save her and they both end up condemned and blamed for a royal assassination. Throughout, Thalli is focused on prayer to the Designer, which brings about nearly instantaneous, miraculous, results. During this time of uncertainty, Thalli and Alex develop a bond–good, because she tests that bond repeatedly to save New Hope from destruction.
The bond between Thalli and Berk is tested as well. Especially when State Scientists return and Thalli and Berk are separated–perhaps for the final time.
For a YA Sci-Fi romance, LUMINARY is devoid of any intimate physicality. Which is in-line with the overt Christian theme of this novel. It also fully discredits science and the uber-villainous Scientists who ran the State. Which is in-line with the overt Christian theme of this novel. Nevermind that science and technology is constantly exploited. I had a bit of trouble with the plot of ANOMALY, and this one was not without issues, but the action made more sense here. Thalli’s raging jealousy was hard to take, at times. I kept having to remind myself that emotions seem to simply be stronger in her. Also, I was rather shocked at how much murder actually happens in this book. The psychotic slaughter would undoubtedly receive a nod from MacBeth, or The Dark Knight’s Joker, IMHO. The strong anti-science message is hard for a lifelong scientist (moi) to recommend, but I feel like this type of book already has a staunch audience to which it will appeal. It also has a super cliffhanger ending to whet one’s appetite for the final book in this trilogy.
The publisher made both ANOMALY and LUMINARY available for me to read through NetGalley. My review of ANOMALY is posted on Goodreads if you wish to know more about how this dystopian adventure began.
About the Author
Krista writes for teens, teaches teens, and more often than not, acts like a teen. She and her family have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Her current hometown is Tampa, FL.
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Best of luck, and as always, keep reading my friends!