Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Swipe, Evan Angler, Thomas Nelson, Dystopian, April 6, 2012, 288 pages.


Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong? 
Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn’t even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.  
The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It’s almost Logan Langly’s 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn’t been able to shake the feeling he’s being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back. 
When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers? Find out in the first book of this exciting series that is Left Behind meets Matched for middle-grade readers.

My thoughts: I've had quite a range of thoughts while reading this book. At first, the slow pace told me the book would be boring, but then it took off. Then....it lost me in slow movement again, and later recaptured me. While the storyline was fickle this way, the characters never made it far. Because of this, it was quite tempting to shut the book whenever the pages halted for the red light known as attempted pre-teen conversation. Swipe would have been better if it were filled with more constant action, while still making the point addressed next.

What changed my mind about not recommending this book (because I do, for some) is the originality and surprise of the plot. While I expected Angler to use a Biblical standpoint of the Mark and Pledging, he never did. Instead, he showed logical, secular reasons that the G.U. (Global Union) was immoral in using it to "weed out" those who would not "unify" the world. I am impressed by the skill he weaves this reasoning into the reader, no matter their views.

*This book was provided free by the publisher, in conjunction with Team Novel Teen. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 3 stars

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  1. I thought it was slow too in the beginning and it did pick up and am looking forward to Sneak. Even though there wasn't much about God in it, I think there were times that were hinting to people with a faith, though conseled, that will come up in later books.

  2. This is a really good review, and reflects my own views on the books. But I also have to hand it to Angler, on the way he weaved in the moral issues. I expect there will probably be more on the mark and the Christian aspects and outlook of it later in the series, as I noticed several of the characters fingering necklaces with "strange symbols" on them. (Crucifix, anyone???) I also found myself getting curious about why Peck's "warehouse" had a steeple and colored windows. (Church... duh! :D) I have a feeling that Angler will probably make the christian theme more evident in later books, but for all that, I'm really happy with the fact that he kept it so extremely subtle in this first one.

    Once again, great review. :D Thank you for sharing. ^_^

  3. I loved how Angler handled the Mark and the Pledge! There's a lot out there from the "Biblical standpoint" so for me it was refreshing to see the "logical secular reason[s]" used so well. Not that I have anything against the Biblical standpoint, mind you, but it shows that Angler is really thinking outside the usual box on this subject. I can't wait to see what happens in Sneak!

  4. Me too with Sneak!

    I loved this book. Not every book needs to start out in the middle of the action, and I think that Angler needed to build his characters slowly to reveal his incredible storyworld. And if he slammed the Christian stuff in book one, I don't think it would be as powerful as I suspect it will be later. I can't wait until book two!

  5. Hey, Noah! Guess what? You've been tagged/awarded: http://teenagewritingrocks.blogspot.com/2012/07/two-awards-one-blogger-and-eleven.html

  6. Wow, thank you! Going to look at it now...heheh.