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Anomaly Paperback – July 16, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Anomaly Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Thalli has spent her whole life in Pod C. After a nuclear war decimated the world aboveground, 10 scientists created a contained life called the State. Thalli, along with her peers, is a genetically engineered human who is supposed to be free of emotion. However, she is an anomaly and has always thought and felt differently from everyone else. For most of her life she has kept this secret, but one day while playing Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," she bursts into tears from the sheer beauty of it. Thalli is scheduled for annihilation. While waiting for her punishment, she comes across a childhood friend, Berk, who is training to be one of the Scientists. He manages to have her destruction postponed, but she becomes a test subject for one of the Scientists, and they hatch an escape plan that could cost them their lives. The story is captivating, with unexpected plot twists that keep readers on their toes. While the characters are occasionally difficult to relate to, and the dialogue's formal, clipped language can be off-putting, but the story has appeal. Though at its heart a science fiction novel, there are a lot of references to the Designer-Jesus-and the book will appeal mostly to fans of Christian fiction.-Kristyn Dorfman, The Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Thalli, a musician, has always known she is different from the others in Pod C—a group of teens created by The Ten, scientists who escaped nuclear annihilation. The Ten have created a perfect world underground: no love, no marriage, no faith, no emotions, which are all considered “primitive” because they do not directly advance the state’s agenda. Yet Thalli can neither contain her curiosity nor fail to grieve as her friends are removed from the Pod. Asta is scheduled for annihilation because she has a cold; Berk is to become one of the scientists. Thalli herself is scheduled for annihilation when she breaks into sobs upon playing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Before her annihilation, however, the scientists wish to experiment on her brain. While the reader cannot fail to perceive the underlying faith agenda, this is the first in what has the potential to be a fascinating trilogy of general appeal. McGee’s simple narrative belies the novel’s complexity, a factor that will make this intriguing book accessible to a wide variety of teen readers. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn
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Product Details

  • Series: Anomaly (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401688721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401688721
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Holy twist Batman!

I was so not expecting that ending, not even a little. Anomaly by Krista McGee follows 17-year-old Thalli, an anomaly, in the new "world" that was created by scientists to live in the wake of a nuclear disaster. The plot of this story is incredibly unique. I've never read anything like it before, but I do have to say I was expecting something a little different.

I enjoyed how inquisitive Thalli was and the connection she had with Berk. I also really liked how descriptive McGee was with the pods and the underground world they had created. Having people born for a specific task is an interesting idea. Knowing that people who are "different" or question the state get annihilated is super intense.

Anomaly was well written, powerful, and different. I like all the twists and turns that were thrown at the reader, especially in the end. We got a chance to see the characters grow as people and questions things they were taught not to question. I really loved the music tie in and all the neurological talk was really interesting.

I'm not sure what I liked most about this story, I think it was the connection between Thalli and Berk. It was nice seeing how much he cared about her even though he wasn't supposed to. Anomaly was definitely an interesting read, and while I wasn't a huge fan of the creator parts of the story, the plot, character development, and meat of the story kept me reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book because I was selected to review an advance copy of book two in this series, and it's hard to write a good review when you start a series midway through. I explain that so that you understand I had no preconceived notions whatsoever.

Thalli is one of the residents of Pod C, a community of survivors ruled over by the scientists who escaped the apocalypse into the underground bunker they designed. The life populating the community was engineered by these same scientists to have a purpose, to not deviate from that purpose, and to be free of all that illogical, inconvenient emotion. When Thalli, who was designed to be the Pod's musician, experiences overwhelming emotion at the introduction of some "ancient" music (Bach, to be precise), she is considered defective and begins a fight for her life.

I'll start with what bothered me about the book: the Christian theme.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who is so anti-religion that I cannot enjoy a story that incorporates it. (Much like I've always scoffed at those people who dislike the idea of, for example, homosexuality so much that they refuse to read a book with a gay character because it "glorifies the lifestyle" or some such baloney.) No, my problem with the religion used in the book is that it was so heavy-handed. Thalli was steered to a religious conversion in a way that seemed ham-fisted. She accepted religion with a very inauthentic-seeming aplomb. (I mean, the girl had a small stroke at watching a movie, but she smiles and nods over the idea of a god??) Especially when you figure that she's not sure the old man telling her about God is even sane.

I also didn't care for the fact that science was very clearly put on the block as the "bad guy.
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Format: Paperback
What an amazing read! I don't often read books like Anomaly - and this is my first book by Krista McGee - but, wow, what a wonderful, amazing experience this book was! The character were engaging and the story plot was very intriguing. It was such an easy read - I found myself flying through the pages effortlessly. My favorite aspect of Anomaly was how much it made the reader think - how much this scenario makes me appreciate the knowledge I have now. Very thought-provoking!

Thalli was a beautiful character. I loved her simplistic honesty about her feelings, her desires to live, her attraction to Berk...everything about this girl was beautiful! Even her self-sacrificing attitude. She had a lot of characteristics that give readers a great role model to look to. Even with so many facts and details hidden from her, she embraced the knowledge she did have and tried to live to the fullest. I loved the peace that she had when the Lord opened her eyes. It was so beautiful, and so wonderfully portrays how it is for a Christian when God opens their eyes to His grace and forgiveness.

As I mentioned, I've never read anything by Krista McGee, but Anomaly was a great introduction to her writing. I don't know if this is how her normal writing style is, or what she just used for this book to portray Thalli's simplistic and to-the-point thinking, but it worked SO well for this book! It really helped put me in the mind of Thalli and to experience things from her point of view. McGee did an awesome job with this novel! I don't know how young the intended audience is for Anomaly, but I would image young teens would find this an easy - and highly enjoyable - read!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book from cover to cover!
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2 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Anomaly is a 2013 young adult science fiction novel by Krista McGee. Here, in a post-apocalyptic eugenics lab, a girl is singled out for execution because she experiences emotions.

Anomaly is reminiscent of a number of books and films, including The Hunger Games, The Island, and THX 1138. The problem is not that Anomaly ever feels too derivative, but that it never really carves out its own niche. A little more setting and world building would have gone a long way toward making the book more immersive and giving it a distinct identity.

Anomaly follows all the traditions established by The Hunger Games for the currently popular female-protagonized dystopian young adult sci fi genre, no matter how forced, such as writing in the first-person present tense and including the obligatory two love interests, regardless of how believable. This doesn't help Anomaly's quest for identity, either.

Anomaly turns out to be an overtly Christian book, and McGee does a nice job of presenting the Gospel accurately and exploring faith in the face of death. Unfortunately, the Gospel presentation itself feels forced, like McGee has an agenda, and this contrivance saps meaning from Thalli's obviously inevitable conversion.

Contrivance, which turns out to be widespread throughout the book, is Anomaly's biggest problem. Things happen because McGee needs them to happen, perhaps leading the reader to ask things like "Why on earth don't they ever lock Thalli's door?" "Why doesn't anybody seem to care that she has constant access to John?" and "Who the heck is responsible for the cameras around here?" (never mind questions like "Why do they call them `the Ancients' when this is like two generations later and at least one is still alive?" and "Why don't they ever kiss?").
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