Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Aberrant by Ruth Silver

Aberrant (Aberrant #1)
by Ruth Silver
Published: April 28, 2013

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 didn’t know what to expect before reading Aberrant. Actually, I always don’t know what to expect when I decide to pick up indie books. I don’t mean to sound choosy. I love a lot of books written by indie authors. It’s just that they always surprise me given as how I usually don’t hear much about them. It doesn’t matter to me if a book is not popular or it has a lot of negative or positive reviews. Yes, book reviews play a great part in choosing my next read but more importantly is if I find the story line to my liking, negative reviews aside. I’m not saying this book has a lot, it actually falls to the haven’t-heard-much-about-it category but reading the book’s summary, I can say that it interested me even though I’ve had my fair share of dystopian books lately. In the end, I really did enjoy reading Aberrant.

The book wasn’t very long so I finished it in one sitting. It’s your typical dystopian setting where the government has every control of the society in a closed community that has existing rebel groups inside and outside of it. Olivia is a part of the graduating class that consists of 16 girls and 16 boys, all 18 years of age, where they will be matched to someone chosen by their governor to marry. It reminds me a lot of Matched by Allie Condie. The difference though is that every married couple can only have a child through lottery because of the side effects of a vaccine years ago that caused every woman to be infertile and can’t conceive naturally. A second child is not allowed so if ever a couple won the lottery again, the child will be given to another family.

Aberrant was direct to the point and fast paced. It started with Olivia and her childhood friend, Joshua’s, matching day that proceeded to the conflict of the story. It was too abrupt for my liking and I was looking for a little more back story, though. The description on how everything originated was a little vague and doubtful and I got confused in some parts but otherwise had a great time reading Olivia and Joshua’s exploit of the Gravelands after learning the secret about Olivia’s true identity, and finding themselves in the middle of an alliance intent on saving humanity. I liked how it doesn’t dwell too much on certain parts that I felt would be unnecessary to the story. The romance wasn’t cheesy or insta-lovey or annoyingly cute. It actually doesn’t have much of it but more friendship which is another thing I liked.

Looking back, I realized I liked a lot of things in Aberrant. It did not end with a cliffhanger but it was enough for me to look forward to the next book.

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