Series: Aberrant #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication date: September 23, 2013
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Format: eARC, 250 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
I love dystopian novels. Admittedly, I’ve shied away from ones that aren’t in the mainstream. The world-building is so important in dystopian novels and I’ve been hesitant to read the less-popular ones because I’m afraid they would be lacking the spark that books like Divergent and Hunger Games have. Aberrant showed me that I just might be missing out after all.
Aberrant was a short and fast-paced. It was an engrossing read filled with lots of drama and the totally effed-upedness that I’ve come to expect from dystopian novels. The author jumped right into the drama with both feet. There’s very little build-up to the story, and that’s not a bad thing. It grabbed me from the start and held on through the cliffhanger at the end.
Olivia and her childhood best friend, Joshua, are assigned to marry each other by the government. They’re both relieved with this arrangement. Their relief is short-lived, however, as Olivia is arrested and Joshua helps break her out of prison. They go on the run and encounter one messed-up set of circumstances after another in this strange dystopian land. I won’t give anything away because the drama is so good, the situations so bizarre, that you just need to experience them for yourself.
The relationship between Olivia and Joshua is one of my favorite types: the friendship-first, slow-burn. (Or as slow of a burn as you can have in 250 pages.) They have been friends for years, but begin to see each other differently after their marriage and their time on the run. It’s sweet and real. I was able to connect pretty well with both Olivia and Joshua. I wish there had been a little more character-development though. I know it’s difficult to fully-develop an alternate world and characters in 250 pages, but I wanted a little more on the character end of things. That’s the only thing I found lacking about the novel.
All that said, I’m really glad I requested this book from NetGalley – and that I was approved. I have an ARC of Moirai, the second novel in the series, that I’ll be reading this week to review for a blog tour at the end of the week. I can’t wait to read it and see where Olivia and Joshua’s story goes next.
I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.