Reviews for Deviants
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In a post-apocalyptic world filled with dangerous dust, orphan Glory struggles to protect her paralyzed brother, Drake. The siblings are mutants in a society built upon regulations and conformity; is the promise of family, danger, and life outside the dome worth the risks? While the characters are not fully realized, McGowan offers enough adventure to keep readers' attention.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
This first installment in an interesting new post-apocalyptic dystopian series finds the Earth choked with dust that creates paranormal abilities in some humans. Sixteen-year-old Glory has hidden her paraplegic little brother Drake from the tyrannical authorities in their domed city for three years, ever since her father murdered their mother. Glory has the ability to kill by merely looking into the eyes of her victims, making her a Deviant and therefore, an outlaw subject to death by expulsion from the dome. The population of Haven comprises mostly "employees," who live on meager rations, and "Management," who enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. When Glory's longtime heartthrob, who has just joined the cruel authorities, shows up with his new colleagues outside her tiny, windowless apartment, Glory and Drake escape with Burn, a rebel sent by her dreaded father. They must fight their way through the deathtrap surrounding the dome to get to uncontaminated lands Glory never knew existed. McGowan keeps the suspense throbbing throughout most of the novel, with new challenges constantly confronting the teens. In the opening scene, Glory hunts rats for food, bringing her bleak world clearly into focus. Glory's ever-present mistrust, while understandable, begins to grate as she continually makes poor choices that increase the danger long after it becomes clear to readers that Burn is one of the good guys, but her contrition helps to set up the sequel. Exciting, if hardly groundbreaking. (Dystopian suspense. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February
Gr 9 Up--When asteroids collide with the Earth, they bring with them a nearly fatal dust, killing much of the population and altering the lives of the survivors. To protect the remaining citizens, a large dome is constructed, keeping the citizens in and the dust out. Glory, 16, has spent her entire life within the confines of Haven. Like most members of society, she trusts the prevailing government, whose purpose is to ration resources, sustain life, and protect the people from Shredders (subhuman creatures that feed off the dust), Deviants (those with genetic mutations resulting in powerful abnormalities), and more. However, as time passes, Glory realizes that both she and her brother possess deviant traits-a realization that causes her to question everything else she has come to believe. Like most dystopian heroines, the teen transitions from semi-trusting citizen to hero of the have-nots. All of the typical YA components are here: the book fits the genre of the moment, it features a female heroine, and there is a love triangle. Despite following the playbook, McGowan misses the mark. While the narrator speaks and thinks at a middle school level, the graphic nature of many scenes makes it a poor choice for that age group. Paired with the dull cover art, this makes Deviants a tough sell for any age. In addition, teens are likely to see too many similarities between Deviants and others of its kind, specifically Veronica Roth's Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) and Ally Condie's Matched (Dutton, 2010), both of which are better choices.--Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, Pendleton OR [Page 108]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2012 December
Asteroids have collided into the earth, leaving it blanketed in a dust that mutates human DNA. Government has taken control and formed a stratified society protected from the Outside under a dome. The rules are enforced by Compliance Officers controlled by Management. Food is rationed, information is controlled, and resources are scarce. Fear of anarchy is widespread, and those thought to be Deviant or opposed to regulation are sent to be expunged in a ceremony broadcast to all to instill the control Government strives to keep in balance. Shredders are altered humans with superhuman strength who kill incompliant humans in the arena. Orphaned siblings Glory and Drake, hidden from society due to his handicap, live in fear of having their Deviance exposed and try to maintain their normalcy in order to escape execution--until the day they are discovered and forced to flee to the Outside, ridden with Shredders and contaminated by the dust they are taught to fear McGowan's concept, while not unique, is inspired; however, the story falls flat. The characters are weakly developed, and the plot line is told through exhaustive narrative with little dialogue, which contributes to the lack of dimension. The conflict in the plot is described in detail, yet the antagonists seem overly embellished, which only serves to perpetuate the element of conflict the protagonists are trying to overcome, not to provide a well-rounded plot line in which there is a tangible victor. The action is fragmented and disorganized and reads like an outline of ideas rather than a crafted chronicle. The effect of these shortcomings is a book that is amateur and unrefined. The series title is aptly named Dust Chronicles, as it will inevitably and unfortunately collect dust on the shelves.--Susan Redman-Parodi 1Q 3P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.