cover image The Silenced

The Silenced

James DeVita. Eos, $17.99 (504pp) ISBN 978-0-06-078462-1

""We believe that the intermingling and tolerance of different religions, foreign cultures, or personal beliefs of the individual dilute the national character and moral foundation of our state."" That's society's mantra in DeVita's (Blue) bleak dystopia, inspired by the true story of Sophie Scholl, who, as a member of the White Rose group, engaged in resistance against the Nazi Party. The Millennium War is over, and the Zero Tolerance Party is in charge; officials and school teachers offer soothing promises of a new golden age, none of which ring true amid an ever-tightening net of cultural regulations and phobias. Marena's parents were demonstrators against the war, her mother killed in an attack by government troops; throughout the story, Marena rebuilds her memories of her mother. Party officials take over Marena's school, to get it ""back in line with the readaptive guidelines developed by the state."" Off to the north, resistance to the Party is brewing; frustrated by her father's apparent acquiescence, Marena decides to begin her own underground movement. To call this book heavy-handed is understatement, and DeVita spends too much time and detail on the machinations of his world. Ages 12-up.