A Nothing Named Silas

Steve Westover. Cedar Fort, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-46211-165-7
Westover shifts gears from YA fantasy (the Crater Lake series) to dystopian science fiction with a Mormon gloss. Falling somewhere between The Hunger Games and Ayn Rand's Anthem, the book follows the adventures of disgraced aristocratic youth Silas. Drafted into the menial Labor Division after failing a crucial athletic contest, Silas is brutalized by its Regent, Taelori. He's also initiated into a rebellious conspiracy led by the mysterious Gideon, and falls in love with Taelori's daughter, Kezziah. Under Gideon's haphazard tutelage, Silas learns the dark secret underpinning his society, and he comes to trust only his own skills and instincts. Silas is frequently helpless or undeservedly arrogant, rendering him an uninspiring hero and narrator, and the other characters exist either to torment him or explain things to him, never developing real personalities themselves. Overloaded with lengthy exposition sequences and undercut by slapdash worldbuilding, the story becomes a heavy-handed screed that only those sharing the author's political and religious views will likely enjoy. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Children's
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