I received a copy of SWIPE by Evan Angler from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. It is juvenile fiction – a mixture of middle grade and young adult. As I read, I couldn’t decide which age group it leaned toward, but I think thirteen and up would be best. Some of the topics, such as the oppressive government, might be too mature for children, even though nothing in it was really inappropriate.
In SWIPE, whenever someone turns thirteen, the government gives him or her a Mark. This Mark, imprinted on their body, allows them to be “free.” For example, they can buy ice cream. Logan, however, is dreading his Mark – when his sister, Lily, was Marked, the government told his family she’d died. Now, he’s petrified of the dark and feels that something is watching him. Enter Erin, a Marked girl who recently moved to the city. Her dad works for the government. According to Erin, as soon as her dad solves his case, they can go home. The case leads her to Logan and the Markless, those who strive to live without the Mark.
The story explores an interesting take on a futuristic world. Most of the country is hard to live in and the West Coast has been destroyed by an Earthquake. The world leans toward a Global Union. Although I don’t normally read dystopian novels, this kept my attention from the first chapter to the end.
While I did enjoy SWIPE, a few points felt awkward. The prologue was confusing and didn’t really pique my interest. After reading the entire novel, the prologue made much more sense. Some sentences felt too 2012, such as “That’s neat.” I would have liked to see more futuristic terminology. Also, the kids in the story seemed too old for thirteen, or almost thirteen.
I recommend SWIPE to dystopian fans, as well as youthful readers. It offers an interesting take on what the world might become.