ARC Review: Anomaly by Krista McGee (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted July 8th, 2013 in Blog Tour, book review / 21 comments



by Krista McGee

Publisher: Thomas Nelsin (July 9, 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Christian Fiction
Format: eBook (312 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour host for honest review
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

At A Glance
I’m still not sure how I feel about Anomaly. I didn’t know about the Christian elements in this book until after I jumped in. I do not like religious books but I found myself transfixed to the very end.

The Good
Though I did not like the religious and spiritual elements, I have to say that Anomaly really blew me away in many ways.

Anomaly kept me scared out of my wits the whole way through. The world Thalli lives in is just straight up frightening. If you show any sign of emotion, you are eliminated right away. The Scientists can’t have people mucking up their plans, whatever they may be. They don’t need people asking questions. But all Thalli has is questions. Especially when this spiritual man comes and tells her about The Designer. God and religion has been eliminated from society. But as Thalli learns more about this spiritual entity, the more she feels like she has a purpose. And her growing feelings for Berk only further justify her emotions as a good thing, no matter what The Scientists say.

I really did enjoy watching Thalli grow as a person. She has always felt different. She isn’t like people around her. She wants more out of life. She wants to be able to enjoy things, ask questions, even…love? My heart went out to her the whole book. The Scientists really mess with her and it was sickening to watch. Even her her old friend Berk, who is training to become a Scientist, could only help her so much. But Thalli took risks for her friends not matter the consequences. She was far braver than I would be in that situation.

We didn’t get to know Berk as much as I hoped, but his feelings for Thalli were obvious. He does everything in his power to save Thalli from experiments and even death. Berk is the kind of guy you know you can trust.

The twists and turns were often shocking and chill-inducing. I still get the creeps just thinking back to this story. The utter disregard for human life was mind-boggling. This is an intense story that will leave you breathless.

The Bad
Truthfully, if I had known that this book had a lot of Christian elements, I would have never read it. I don’t like being preached at. And yes, this book does get a little preachy for me, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Would I read this book again, no. Would I read the next in the series, maybe. My reasoning is not because it was a bad book, it’s just for the simple fact that I don’t like books with heavy religious elements. Also, Anomaly really sells the idea that God is good and science is bad. I get that it’s a piece of fiction but it kind of got on my nerves.

This is a very slow book. I wasn’t necessarily bored, I just found myself wanting to skip ahead. I think things were too dragged out.

The ending was just silly. Wasn’t believable to me. Yes, the twist was interesting, but I just don’t think it was plausible.

Thalli’s acceptance of death because she believed in heaven and God annoyed me to no end. Fight for your life, dammit!

The Snuggly
This is very much a young adult book. Very minimal touching. I actually can’t even remember if Berk and Thalli kissed. They might have near the end. But they do have a deep connection that builds throughout the book that I found so innocent and adorable. These people don’t know about love or sex, so the lack of affection made sense.

Final Thoughts
Do not read this book if you don’t like religious books. But if all you care about is a thrilling concept and intense story, then Anomaly may be for you. It all depends on your tastes or reading preferences. I can’t say I would recommend this book to many people, but I can say that despite the God heavy concept, I had fun reading Anomaly.

Berk closes his eyes. Then he places his hand on my elbow and walks me away from where the light can find us. This feels very different from when Monitor touched my elbow. This feels wonderful, like his fingers contain heat that drips into my bloodstream, making my arm tingle, my heart race. When he removes his hand, my arm feels like ice.

“What are you doing to me?” The water is giving me some strength. I pull against my restraints. If I can get up, I can fight this man. I can escape.

John removes his hand from my shoulder. “I am not your captor.”

He speaks with a strange accent. Almost musical.

I look at him again. “Then who are you?”

“I am like you.”


John laughs. The sound of it hits the walls and echoes back in my ears. I have only heard laughter a few times in my life. I like the sound. “No, my dear. We are not malformed.”

Author Bio
Krista McGee’s passion to see teens excited about serving God is a driving force behind her novels. Ever since college when she spent a summer working at a youth camp, McGee knew she wanted to invest in teenagers. Since then she’s been involved in a variety of youth ministries and currently teaches at a Christian school in Tampa, FL.

McGee broke into the writing world during her time in Spain. A friend encouraged her to submit an article to a Christian girls’ magazine, and it got published. Once her family moved back to Tampa, she got the idea for her first novel, First Date, a modern take of the story of Esther. Her subsequent books, Starring Me and Right Where I Belong, are based on Rebekah and Ruth.
When Krista McGee isn’t living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher and coffee snob.

Learn more about Krista McGee and her books at Readers can also become a fan on Facebook (krista.a.mcgee) or follow her on Twitter (@KristaMcGeeYA).

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21 Responses to “ARC Review: Anomaly by Krista McGee (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I agree. An author can write a book with religious elements and many people will love it if done the right way. This book borders on the “right way.”

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    hmm this sounds interesting and i do not mind religious elements if a message isn’t forced on you and well this kind of sounds like it does, great review and I am glad you enjoyed elements of it.

  2. Ashley

    Aw kind of a bummer about the religious element. I don’t like religious books either, so now I’m kind of put off!

    I’m glad you still liked some parts of the book though and that it really hooked you in.

  3. Jovon Tucker

    even with the what you thought was bad points in the book, I think ANOMALY really appeals to me! I don’t mind books with religious elements! This book sounds totally amazing! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    My email: Mrsjtucker2012[at]gmail[dot]com

    • Jovon Tucker

      I try and enter the giveaway an I just realized it’s not counting them. Your page freezes up then i refresh and it’s not showing I did them entries but I have twice. Any idea why?

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Sorry, this isn’t my giveaway. It’s from the blog tour. I just put the code on my blog. Usually if you come back in a little while the bug is fixed. Let me know and I can contact the blog tour host if it persists.

  4. Jaclyn Canada

    Hmmm…I’m touch and go on the religious aspects of books. I guess it does all depend on how it comes out in the writing whether it appeals to me or not so I couldn’t say whether that would bother me in this one. The story-line does sound interesting and intense so I think it’s worth a second look for me. Thank you for the great review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  5. Sarah Elizabeth

    ICk – silly endings.
    I read a book the other day that suddenly the main character started going on about how god didn’t love her and I was like what? where does it say that this is a christian book?

  6. Ashley Robertson

    The blurb sounds good and and it definitely makes me curious. My hesitation was the preachy write up part of your review. Such a unique book could’ve easily been 5-stars with that storyline. It does have me curious to see where this author may have gone wrong. I have two different books that feature angels and demons in them. Thankfully my reviews have been favorable.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I love angels and demons as long as someone is not trying to push God onto me. Again, the author is borderline pushy but not bad either. That’s why I am so conflicted.

  7. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader

    Hm, I’m certainly torn on this one. I avoid Christian-themed fiction at all costs as, like you, I hate the often sanctimonious tone that seems inherent in the genre. I do love the premise on this novel and it does prompt some interesting questions but unfortunately I think I’ll be passing on this particular novel given what you had to say about the state of the ending and the fact that it could often be quite ‘preachy’.

    This was a wonderfully insightful review, Jennifer 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      It’s so hard. I don’t want to make people view this book the wrong way, but I could only be honest. So yeah, I think this might be a little too preachy for you.

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