“The last thing Logan would want you to know about him was that he was afraid of the dark. … he’d stop you right where you stood and tell you it was for a very good reason.” ~ “Swipe” by Evan Angler (Thomas Nelson Inc., May 2012; 288 pages, $9.99, ages 8 and up)
Twelve-year-old Logan Paul Langly is paranoid. You would be too if you were being watched, and Logan has been, he is sure of it, ever since his older sister, Lily, died the day she went to receive her “Mark.” The Mark is one’s ticket to life in a rebuilt futuristic North America previously devastated by natural disasters and war. With the Mark people can get jobs, vote, shop and more. Now, only months away from his thirteenth birthday and receiving his own Mark, Logan can’t help shake the feeling that things are about to get a lot worse. Enter love interest and self-proclaimed investigator, Erin, her dad ,Mr. Arbitor (the real government “worker”), and a mysterious stranger named Peck, and Logan begins to realize his concerns about life in the American Union and its “Mark Program” may not be as unfounded as others have made him think.
“Swipe” is the newest in a genre of “New America” books, in company with the likes of Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy and Magaret Peterson Haddix’s Among the Hidden series. Filled with adventure, suspense, and topics that continue to question the consequences of living our modern-day lives as we are, “Swipe” is sure to be a hit with parents and children alike. It kept me interested and wanting more throughout the entire book, and definitely is one of those books you just can’t put down. And though the adults in this book lack substance, the kids make up for that and then some. Logan is a mousey, paranoid, confusing type of character who begins to find his strength and purpose towards the end of the book, and Erin Arbitor, the anti-Logan, is strong, confident, and assertive and believes the Mark Program and the new world government is doing just fine. The characters of Blake, Peck, Dane Harold, and Haley Phoenix are given a brief introduction that will leave you hoping to learn more about them in the upcoming Fall 2012 sequel “Sneak.” Overall “Swipe” is a must read —a perfect selection for the upcoming summer. You won’t be disappointed.
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