VERACITY By Laura Bynum
About The Book:
Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one-half of the country's population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, the Confederation of the Willing, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and a device called the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a Red-Listed, forbidden word is to risk physical punishment or even death.
But there are those who resist. Guided by the fabled "Book of Noah," they are determined to shake the people from their apathy and ignorance, and are prepared to start a war in the name of freedom. The newest member of this resistance is Harper -- a woman driven by memories of a daughter lost, a daughter whose very name was erased by the Red List. And she possesses a power that could make her the underground warriors' ultimate weapon -- or the instrument of their destruction.
In the tradition of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Laura Bynum has written an astonishing debut novel about a chilling, all-too-plausible future in which speech is a weapon and security comes at the highest price of all.
My Thoughts: When reading the back cover of this book, it described the story as reading like a modern-day '1984' and 'Fahrenheit 451'. I have to tell you that this set me on edge a little, as both those books are old favorites of mine. So to say I was geared to be a tough critic, is putting it mildly.
The story is about Words. We use them daily, take them for granted, and abuse them without thought. Veracity plunges its readers into a time when Words are a controlled substance, and some words, the Red Listed ones, are denied altogether. The kind of governmental change that brings this eradication of the basic freedom of speech is horrifying. The 'Pandemic', as described, is so possible it raised the hairs on my arms like they were little soldiers standing at attention. Scary, thought-provoking, thoroughly entertaining, are all descriptions that fit this book.
If there were a down side for me, it was the way the story was formatted into flashbacks and forwards. This may not be a factor for most readers, but it robbed me of some of the enjoyment, as I had to several times pull myself out of the story in order to readjust myself in the proper time frame.
"There is a cutoff age, the man tells us. Four. I'm two years older than that but don't look it. Could pass for four. My mother says this is a blessing. And the Confederation has lost my records or they'd have known about my special abilities, too. Another blessing."
A complimentary review copy of this book was provided by Pocket Books