Harper Adams has served The Confederate of the Willing, formed in the wake of a worldwide pandemic, with her special sentient abilities since high school. She is tasked with reviewing cases of people caught speaking red listed words by their implanted slates – where the punishment could be death. When her daughter’s name is red-listed, Harper feels a growing dissatisfaction with the totalitarian regime and is ripe for the picking for the resistance, a group guided by the fabled “Book of Noah”.
VERACITY is full-on dystopia with a government that provides security for its citizens by curtailing free speech. Bynum so excels at world building and fleshing out her future society with plausible details, that I had no trouble at all imagining the horrors of it.
Harper can see colors of emotion, so she knows when people are sick, when they’re lying, and she can recognize people through walls or even from miles away. The narrative jumps around through time and I most enjoyed the scenes from Harper’s youth, from her job and from her recruitment into the resistance. I also thought the scenes where she breaks her slate in the “wastelands” were tense and harrowing.
What didn’t work as well for me were the scenes in the underground bunker of the resistance and the final showdown (so, essentially the last part of the book). The resistance leaders held long monologues about the importance of free speech that came off as too preachy at times. And the climax was both sloppy (how did a spy evade Harper’s abilities all that time?) and glossed over.
But overall, this is a thoughtful novel with some truly powerful images and a couple of satisfyingly shocking reveals.
Zombie Chickens say: Well worth reading, especially for dystopia fans.
VERACITY is available in paperback now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.
Song for the Ultimate Dystopian Playlist: Preparedness by The Bird and the Bee. Sample lyric: “Are you prepared to disagree? Are you prepared, are you prepared for me?”