Monday, June 25, 2012
Team Novel Teen Book Tour: "Swipe" by Evan Angler
Logan Langly is just months away from his thirteenth Birthday – the absolute BIGGEST day of his life. That is the day he will finally get the Mark. The Mark works like a credit card/driver’s license/birth certificate/social security card/everything-in-between. Once he has the Mark, he will be able to get a job, buy things, use public transportation, and do a thousand other things he would never be able to do without it.
It’s not mandatory to get the Mark, but who wouldn’t? If you had the choice between having a way to support yourself and your family for life in a semblance of peace, or living off of the garbage and leftovers of a broken society, which would you choose? To many people, the choice seems clear; the mark is the way of peace and prosperity, hope and world unity. It is the very sign of freedom. Those people without the mark are dumb creatures, lower than dirt, not even worth spitting on – the trouble makers of a world well on its way to eternal peace and structure. They shouldn’t even be left to live, the filthy trash!
There’s no reason why Logan should be afraid of being Marked. Every thirteen year old kid looks forward to it – the day when they are finally considered an adult; the day when they can finally take care of themselves by themselves, without their parents’ help (if that’s what they prefer). But Logan isn’t so sure that the Mark is such a good thing. Five years before, his sister went off to be Marked on her Thirteenth birthday, and she never came back. It changed his family forever. Now Logan’s mom barely gets through each day, depressed, barely responding to the life around her, while Logan’s father tries to make up for it in his own ways.
And Logan… well, he can’t seem to shake the feeling that he’s being watched. He’s absolutely sure that someone is out to get him…
And he’s not far wrong.
When I first picked up this book, I was apprehensive. The truth is, I had just finished reading a rather mediocre to slightly negative review about it by a reviewer that I trust, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
On that account, the book surprised me. I found myself immediately drawn into the writing style, and rooting for the MC, Logan Langly. I really, really wanted him to be able to defeat the bad-guys and come out on top.
Logan is a likable MC. A bit paranoid, but that’s something you come to expect of him, and soon enough you (as the reader) begin to turn suspicious of even the smallest details… much like Logan. He’s smart… but he’s also nervous. All the time. And many times his nervousness masks his bravery.
Which brings me to one of the things I had trouble with about the book. There were times when Logan’s bravery would come out suddenly and totally surprise me, and then a second later he would be the timid little nervous creature I knew him to be from earlier on. The same thing happened with him being smart. There was one scene in the book where he was talking to the New Girl in town, Erin. They were working together to trace a group of unmarked kids through the slums of the Old City, and Logan predicted something to Erin about their motivation and where they would try to go next. It was a very intelligent prediction, and a little surprising, but it made me like Logan even more. However, a second later, when Erin pointed out something obvious – something that I felt Logan should have had an intelligent answer for, especially after what had happened only a few paragraphs before – he instead acted as if he wasn’t sure of himself, and his answer was vague and not thought through.
Now, I know I’m being vague about where and what this scene is in the book, but that is because I want you, the reader, to come up with your own conclusions about the story itself and its characters. However, I did notice that Logan portrayed similar character traits throughout the book… one minute he would seem cowardly, the next surprisingly brave, and then a second later he would be a nervous little boy again. Out of the entire book, that was the probably the biggest problem I had with it.
Besides that however, I did find the book quite interesting. It was a relatively fast read, but engaging (though not particularly a story I would call “outstanding”.) It was a good read, though. Clean, wholesome, and I liked the fact that it was set in a dystopian future with lots of neat gadgetry. The author was able to explain the gadgetry well, and his descriptions were vivid enough that the world came to life in my mind’s eye as I read – something that I find extremely valuable within a book. :D Even now, thinking back to a few of the scenes, I can picture the author’s world clearly in my head.
I was able to guess at few elements of the story that I suppose were meant to surprise the reader, but I believe I was only able to do that because I am a very avid book lover, and a writer myself. :D And besides that, there was a VERY important surprise near the end of the book that I never saw coming at all.
I’m going to give this book 3 stars out of 5. I didn’t find it particularly compelling, but it was engaging. To me, it was one of those books that is not hard to put down, but that you like to pick up again. :) And besides that, this first book ended on a note that makes me rather curious about the second one in the series. I look forward to getting the chance to read “Sneak” when it comes out this September. :D
Here is the author's website, for those of you who would like to look into the book "Swipe", or it's sequel that will be coming out soon, "Sneak": http://www.evanangler.com/
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