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

Posted January 6th, 2014 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 12 comments
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Anomaly Series #2

by Krista McGee

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Jan 7, 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Christian Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC (320 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)

She was an anomaly with a death sentence. Now she’s free.

Thalli was scheduled for annihilation. She was considered an anomaly–able to experience emotions that should have been eradicated by genetic modification. The Scientists running the State couldn’t allow her to bring undue chaos to their peaceful, ordered world. But seconds before her death, she is rescued.

Now Thalli is above ground in a world she thought was destroyed. A world where not even the air is safe to breathe. She and her three friends must journey across this unknown land, their destination a hidden civilization. It’s their only chance of survival.

Broken and exhausted after an arduous journey, they arrive in New Hope, a town that survived the nuclear holocaust. When Thalli meets the people there–people actually “born” to “families”–her small world is blown wide open.

Soon after their arrival to New Hope, the town comes under attack. She has escaped imminent death, but now Thalli is thrust into a new fight–a fight to save her new home. Does she know enough about this world of emotions, this world of chaos, to save not only herself, but the people she has come to love? 

At A Glance
Loved the story, hated being preached at.

The Good
I loved Luminary even more than Anomaly. I was really blown away. It had everything I look for in a good dystopian: a messed up world, characters who question and fight, and never-ending stress. lol. Come on, you know dystopians are freaking stressful. But I love that tension, those butterflies in my stomach because I am scared of what is going to happen next. Well, Luminary is no exception.

Thalli really came alive in this book. She did things I never thought would cross her mind. She puts herself in horrible situations to protect her friends. And she has made a lot of friends. After Thalli and the crew successfully escaped from the horrible Scientists and their underground nightmare, they have found an aboveground town that fits them perfectly. They are gentle folk that live a simple life. Then invaders come to steal from them and hurt them. And that’s when Thalli makes a decision that will change her life. I was so shocked that Thalli volunteered herself for the mission she did. It was freaking crazy but she has become both tenacious and optimistic. Yeah, I never would have thought that of the Thalli of Anomaly. I loved the confusing but insightful journey Thalli went on. She is finding out what is right and wrong, what should be fought for, and when peace is the answer. She is learning what it’s like to be a free human. And she has brightened because of it.

I loved the addition of Alex, Prince from the rival town. He seemed like a bad guy in the beginning, but he was much more complex than I first thought. He wants to do the right thing but it’s hard when his father, the King, is so evil. He agonizes over his loyalty to his father and loyalty to human beings in general. How much tyranny is too much? What would you be willing to do to stop an evil ruler? Alex had to ask himself these questions and made decisions no one should ever have to make. I really am excited to see more of him in the next book.

It ended on a cliffhanger and it was excruciating. OMG, I am chomping at the bit to get the next book. I really hope our little group gets a HEA. They deserve it. The mystery was well done and the writing was good. This book also gets very dark in places but it was interesting to see how bad some people can be.

The Bad
I knew that there was going to be Christian elements in this book because I was already surprised by that in book #1. I am not into Christian fiction but I already fell in love with this story and I had to know what was going to happen next. I figured I could handle a little Bible talk again. Boy was I wrong, because this wasn’t like the first book, which had religious elements that made sense to the story, this was an all out preach fest. I actually started to feel uncomfortable because I think some of the religious talks between John and Thalli were not sending the right messages, but that’s just my opinion. I think anyone who believes in the Bible 100% would be okay with what was taught in this book though. I would have felt more comfortable if the level of religion in this book matched the first book, but it didn’t. It is growing and now I just feel like I am being taught a moral/religious lesson instead of a reading a good story.

The Snuggly
We have moved into the love triangle phase. I don’t mind it though. The first book was about Thalli and Berk, and I loved them together. But now Thalli is feeling detached from Berk and is starting to have feelings for Alex. I think both have good and bad qualities. But I find myself liking that Thalli has options. She deserves to have options after her upbringing.

No sex, very YA.

Final Thoughts
If not for the heavy religious element, this book would have been 4.5 stars. The story was that good. But I really think you have to be religious or Christian to love this book. I only recommend this book or series to people who can handle a preachy book.

“I met Rhen. She is something.”
“Something what?”
“I mean something.” Dallas spreads his hands wide. “As in…really cool.”
“Cool?” I have found the atmosphere here to be quite warm.

“Drugging people so you get what you want without argument is a sign of a good ruler?”
“Thalli, what do you expect me to do?” Alex’s gaze drills into mine. “He is my father and the king. We have laws.”
“So did the State.” I stare right back at Alex.
“But their laws condemned me to death.” I look toward the door. “Yours have done the same.”
Anomaly Series:
Book #1: Anomaly
Book #2: Luminary
Author Bio

Krista writes for teens, teaches teens, and more often than not, acts like a teen. She and her family have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Her current hometown is Tampa, FL.

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

  1. Kristin @ My ParaHangover

    I’ve got no problem with christian aspects to books but man, if it felt preachy, then it probably was. UGH! The story can be christian and still not be preachy. Oh well… I think I’m over dystopians anyways…. they are all the same anyways, right?

    Fabulously balanced review!!!

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    I am a Christian, but I disagree often with other people’s ideas of what is the only way. I don’t know if I’ve ever been preached at in a book. I guess I would really just have to read this one and make up my own mind to see if that bothered me or not cause it could really go either way. I love that the story is so exceptional that the bad was pretty overpowered. Excellent review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      It is so awkward for me to say I didn’t like the religious part because I have nothing against religion, it’s the way the book brought up the topic that bothered me. Over and over again.

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