May 7, 2013
Storm by Evan Angler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.
Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.
In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it's difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren't sure if Logan's sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis' army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.
This somewhat controversial story is about so many things it is hard to discuss even a fraction of them in a short review. Government control, loss of personal freedoms, trust, abuse of trust, loyalty, conforming, brain washing, a higher calling just to name a few ....
Storm is set in the future where the markless rebels struggle to survive against a one world government which controls all resources, even the weather. The government places tracking devices (the mark) in all of the people at a certain age. A person can refuse the mark, but be forced to live as an outcast barely above a criminal and be put through mind washing techniques if incarcerated. The book is full of action packed and thought provoking sequences of events that will keep your mind locked in and begging for more.
The World Government is portrayed as having two equal rulers, one in Europe and one in the USA, for the sake of world peace. The markless (as the people who refused the government mark are called) can barely survive. Because of a previous massive war, the weather is even controlled by the government and without a mark to scan when making purchases, the markless struggle to live while trying to gain basic freedoms back.
I received an advanced copy of this book before it was released to the public for an honest review. I loved this book and it presented a clear and horrifying possibility even thought it is not the first book in the series. The book does not give a lot of back history on many of the characters, but a full and compelling story is achieved just the same. Enough situation and character information is provided to set up a good foundation. Some of the more important trials, successes, & failures are highlighted as the characters move forward in Storm. The actual word "Storm" is used in varying circumstances in the book and acts as yet another "reference" that can be taken & played upon in different ways. (a whole report cold be written on that alone.
The thing that struck me most about this book is that EVERYONE truly thinks they were fighting for what is right and best for the citizens of the world, but they find themselves against each other again & again. Some are secretly fighting from the inside, acting as if they are complying with the government control and loss of freedoms, while others openly refuse the mark and protest. This book demonstrates that their is a time to fight, to follow, to lead, and a time to just shut up & listen to gather accurate information. There are also characters who feel as if they are being lead by a higher power.
There are so many levels of right, wrong, & people trying to achieve the same goal in so many different ways this book will definitely give many teens (and adults) a lot to think about. Sometimes we see someone as an enemy, but we honestly may not know their reasoning behind a certain situation. We may also see someone as an honest ally yet be totally deceived even though they have helped because of a hidden agenda. What one sees as trying to destroy the foundation, might actually have been done in the best interest. Judgments are always hard to make without all of the circumstances and private motives known.
This book is a realistic look into the world around us. Good, evil, confused, deception for good, deception to get ahead, greed, ... what can happen if one fights against something without knowing all of the circumstances vs. the dangers of not fighting at all. Fighting openly vs. fighting behind the scenes to gain more info. The well written story shows how easy it is for people to have misplaced loyalty when they do not have all of the details. When people's lives, and the lives of their family are in danger they often panic and accept help from the sources who orchestrated the whole catastrophic event that put them in that desperate situation giving more control to the "bad guy". In Storm, the majority of the population has conformed to the wishes of the government and received the mark thinking conforming would make them safe. As has happened in the past, the citizens conforming to the government wishes can still backfire. The citizens' loyal obedience is actually used against them when it is needed for a leader to get more control after a while. Sacrifice a few for the good of the many.
This was an amazing read and it will help many teens (& adults) see things from many points of view. I believe I read this book is, or is going to be, an AR book teens will read in school. I think reading Storm will further educate teens about things not always being what they seem. Books like these will help our young people (even though fiction) to try to look at things from more than one view point & to not always believe in the media, government controlled ideas pushed upon society daily, and portrayed as freedom of choice. Learn to think for yourselves and pick your battles carefully or you might just play into the hands that you thought you were fighting against.
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