Wednesday, February 20

Asylum (Book Review)

This book was an interesting reading experience. When I put it down, I itched to pick it back up and read more. When I picked it up, my (extremely critical-reader) brain automatically cataloged a list of things that I couldn't help but view skeptically.

The plot, in a nutshell, goes like this: newlywed computer expert Trista, member of a noble, faith-based and freedom loving rebellion (the Ghosts), gets kidnapped by the evil ruling empire (the Legacy). Legacy doctors scrub her brain and implant false memories as part of a medical experiment designed to take annoying, expensive prisoners and turn them into useful, willing servants.

Not surprisingly, her husband goes off the deep end when he finds out and obsesses with trying to save her. His mentors and friends try to temper his rashness and keep him from getting himself killed or captured, while Legacy doctors try to manage unexpected glitches in their new programming of Trista.

The Pros: The characters are very realistic, and both their suffering and their struggles of faith really come through.  The story has a good pace, and is written in such a way that you're not quite sure what comes next but definitely want to find out! The author established some very good bad guys that should serve her well in the upcoming books projected for the series. There's also some good discussion of the nature of revenge and forgiveness.

The Cons: I couldn't help but think as I read how completely inept some of the characters seemed to be. Chalk it up to Murphy's Law, Divine Providence, literary license, or whatever you like, but these guys just weren't terribly organized and effective as far as rebel/empire campaigns go (in my personal opinion). This was also definitely meant for an audience who appreciates humility, forgiveness and faith. If you're in the mood for vengeance and flamethrowers, this is the wrong venue.

I liked this, and will likely read the next book in the series when it comes out.

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