Book Review

January, 2013 - Sneak Book Review



Sneak (Swipe Series)

Sneak is the 2nd book in a series of Christian dystopian fiction aimed at middle schoolers & teens.

Swipe, the first book in the series, is a story where, during the recovery of a global war and famine, citizens of the "American Union" are required to get a tatoo on their 13th birthday. The mark is required for everyday functioning. You need it to go to the grocery store, get a job or use public transportation. Logan is set to get his mark, but something just doesn't feel right about it.

Sneak picks up with Logan on the run and on a mission to rescue his sister, unraveling truths about what's going on behind the scenes of a society where receiving a mark is the easy road full of comfort and benefits. It's a little chilling actually as people gave up their freedom(s) in exchange for the "good life" and "safety". It makes you think...what are people willing to give up to trade for what they percieve as improvements to their lives? Sometimes trading a few liberties for comfort or security seems like a small price for many people to pay (especially after a global war and famine - as portrayed in the first novel)...and yet, in reality, they don't really realize what they traded away until it's too late. It reminds me of the current debate about gun control after the tragic school shooting in Newton, Connecticut. Emotions are calling for more regulations (and even bans) on firearms. People are willing to trade a liberty for security. It's not so far off to read about a society trading even more for the same, in the Swipe series. Anyway, I digress. :-)

I don't want to ruin the twists and turns of the plot so I won't write any more about that other than to say that the 2nd book draws a few Christian connections for the reader as Logan receives a banned book: The Bible... and begins to understand a bit more about what is going on with the government's control. Christian elements are used sparingly so I don't think non-Christian readers will be turned off by it. It's not a book that's preaching. It's just a good old-fashioned adventure tale wrapped up in a futuristic dystopian package with very subtle Christian references.

I gave both of these books to my 8th grade son and while he instantly devoured Swipe, the first book in the series, he had a harder time getting into Sneak, probably because it just jumps into everything (with very little "review" of the first book) and it had been a little while since he read the first book. There is very little "review" of the previous book. Now that they are both out, it would probably be best to read them consecutively.

The Swipe series is a great, page-turning novel that is clean, free of teen angst and appropriate for middle schoolers and up (even adult readers of Y.A. titles may enjoy it). I recommend it if you are looking for a great read for this age group.

*Note: I received a free copy of Sneak in exchange for my honest review.


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