Series: Gods of Anthem #1
Published by Le Chat Publishing on April 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Zombies
Pages: 256 (8 hrs and 47 mins Audio)
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing - though there is an attempted rape, Language, Violence)
Oceans apart, a young musician and a “special” soldier embark on a perilous journey for home fueled by the unyielding pursuit of freedom from the Authority.
Sixteen-year-old prodigy, Liza Randusky, waits imprisoned, blamed for the undead plague that’s slowly destroying the planet. Banished to an island where she’ll never play her beloved piano again, Liza’s steadfast sense of justice and passion for music may have the power to change her destiny. But will it be enough...
To strike back at the new world order, the troubled son of a preacher, Thomas Ripley-Hatter, suffers unspeakable alterations by the Underground to join a secret Army. Tommy knows that all hope lies in human-weapons like himself, and that somehow he must cling to his sanity…while letting loose the monster to win.
The battle begins for the last-standing sliver of humanity: Anthem.
I’m a fan of zombie books, but it’s been a while since I’ve had my zombie fix. This book was the perfect solution to that problem. I especially loved that it had a unique angle on the genre – it wasn’t just life as usual and then the zombies hit. This was much more of a dystopia, with a controlling government willing to sacrifice its people and revolutionaries called The Underground who are fighting to regain any sense of liberty.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Liza. Right from the beginning, I liked Liza. First of all, since I was listening to this one, there was that British accent (I have to admit that I love British accents). Even though she was sent off to die and had sort of given up hope that she’d ever see a better life (or much of a life at all), she still fought hard to fight the good fight – especially for the sake of Mimi, a little girl who was on the island with her. She didn’t want Mimi to lose her innocence too soon. When Liza’s destiny completely changed (for reasons I won’t spoil), her journey became much more complicated, but she never lost that will to fight!
- Tommy. Tommy lived his life as a guinea pig for the Underground – a resistance force – and because of that, underwent painful procedures that turned him into a monster for the war – something like the Incredible Hulk. He was accompanied by other specials – one who could control minds (and who wasn’t Tommy’s favorite person), a 13-year-old vampire (who he protected at all costs), and a girl with healing abilities (a possible romantic interest). But Tommy was haunted – both by his monster and by the memory of the girl he regretted hurting. Tommy’s struggle was one of my favorite aspects of the book!
- The action. From the very start, the danger factor in this book was sky high. It started out with Liza on the island where cancer patients are sent to die, but things there weren’t pretty. She was attacked (an attempted rape) and then attacked again (this time by zombies). Tommy’s side of the story was filled with chaos as well, since he was sent off to train for war against the Authority. In this dystopian world, things were never easy!
- The climax. The climax of this book was a spectacular collision of events that ended up changing everything. I can’t wait to see where Keys heads with the story in the next book!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Separate stories. The book was told from both Liza and Tommy’s POV’s and their stories were completely separate almost the entire way through the book. This isn’t usually my favorite style because inevitably there’s one portion of the story that I end up connecting to more and then I get tired of the other “side” of the story. In this case, that wasn’t a huge issue – I actually think listening to the book helped this a bit because, while I did connect to Tommy’s story a bit more, I wasn’t bored with Liza (okay, I did think there were a couple of points where things slowed down a bit on her side). Since I was listening to the book in spurts anyway (a half hour here and a half hour there), the disjointedness didn’t seem as noticeable. Still, I was eager to see how Liza and Tommy’s stories intertwined – and I definitely had to wait to see it!
- The romances. Both stories had a romance in them (one side more than the other), but I wasn’t completely invested in either. I didn’t dislike the romance element – I just wasn’t overwhelmingly excited about it either. Since there was A LOT of other things going on in this book, that was fine with me.
The narration for this book was really tough because there were SO many accents! Liza was British and Tommy was American, but then there were also characters with other accents – New York, Jamaican, Irish, Hispanic, maybe even more that I’m forgetting. I thought that Rhiannon Angell did a really fabulous job with it, (there were a couple of times that I thought I caught tiny inconsistencies – but, honestly, I would have had to go back and listen to those parts again to even be sure, and it wasn’t important enough to me to do that). I would definitely listen to more books with this narrator.
Overall, an intense and exciting first book in the series. (I have no idea how many books there will be. So far, Keys has just said that there will be a sequel.) I easily give this book 4/5 stars!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the author via Audiobook Blast! in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Logan began writing horror and poetry early in life but she says young-adult dystopian is the next best thing. She’s currently living on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii with her husband, daughter, and fur-child Lola. Even though it’s a tropical setting, her writing remains the same moody narrative she’s always enjoyed.