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18 January 2010

Veracity by Laura Bynum: A Book Review

Title: Veracity
Author: Laura Bynum
Publisher: Pocket
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN: 9781439123348
Genre: Science Fiction/Dyspotia


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 Review:

Imagine if a democracy was replaced with tyranny, an existence without free thought or expression, and a society where every citizen's actions and words are constantly monitored and recorded. An existence where one is given a profession at the age of 18 and free will is no longer optional. This is precisely the world in which Harper Adams lives, a survivour of the great pandemic, she tells her tale in alternating views as a child before the world changed, as a student in 2010, to an adult in 2045 and how her actions led her to become part of the resistance. Bynum takes the reader through an intricate web of power, deception, and deceit through the eyes of Harper Adams, a girl born before the pandemic, which was taken away and groomed by the higher powers to become the Alpha Sentient. The reader is taken back and forth through Harper's life, to understand what was, what is, and what is meant to be. I found Bynum's dystopic novel to have quite a believable, at times frightening story line, an endearing cast of characters and vivid descriptions of people, places and events throughout time. While science fiction novels are not my preferred genre I was fascinated by Veracity and was unable to put the novel down. The strength of a mother's love, the courage of those yearning for freedom, the need for truth to prevail, makes this novel one well worth reading.

About the Author

Laura Bynum was born in Springfield, Illinois (Land of Lincoln) in 1968. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois, and earned an MA in Mass Media and Interpersonal Communications from Eastern Illinois University. She has extensive experience in marketing, corporate training and public relations. In 2006 she attended the Maui Writer’s Conference and was awarded its top prize—the Rupert Hughes Prose Award—for an early draft of VERACITY. She is currently at work on a second novel. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Virginia.

I received a free copy of Veracity by Laura Bynum from Simon & Schuster as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



"And so our stories go..." said...

Great book review. I love to read.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an exciting sci-fi book - and maybe a warning about apathy too. Food for thought as well as entertainment. A timely idea.
Jackie Griffey

ParaJunkee said...

This was such a great book. I really enjoyed reading it and glad to hear that you did to. I think more people should read this one, it might open people's eyes a bit.

Lorri Jeanne said...

I enjoyed reading your review!

Sue Jackson said...

Wow, this sounds great! Thanks for the in-depth review -


Michelle said...

I've read about this in a few other places. Sounds amazing. I'll have to get a copy soon!

Jill said...

I was surprised by how much this book drew me in because I sometimes have a hard time getting into sci-fi. It was nice to read another persons thoughts on it!

Kristi said...

I thought this was one of the best books that I had read in awhile!