Veracity by Laura Bynum

At the age of six, Harper Adams lost her parents, her home - her entire world in a mass pandemic caused by an act of terrorism. In the aftermath of confusion and panic, a new government called the Confederation of the Willing took control of the country. No longer willing to allow people to self-govern, the state demands each person receive an implant called the Slate which records every word and action a person makes. If a person even dares to speak a banned or Red-Listed word, the Slate will deliver an immediate electric shock along with a none too subtle reminder of the state's control. If this weren't enough to keep the populace subdued and complacent, the government also relies on a brutal police force called the Blue Coats whose punishment is swift and often deadly.

Harper has become a different sort of tool in the hands of the government. Somewhat psychic, she has always been able to read people's emotions and is now used as a Monitor to determine guilt or innocence. But Harper has seen enough corruption to know it is time to stop the oppressive government and is more than ready when an underground resistance movement recruiter makes contact. Fueled by the memory of her lost daughter, whose name is now a Red-Listed word, Harper willingly joins the Resistance knowing it just might cost her everything but it also might give her more than she ever imagined.

For me, dystopian books may as well be classified as 'Book Crack' as I tend devour them without hesitation. Although the various dystopian books I've come across vary in terms of suspense, I found myself almost shuddering at the harsh reality of Harper's world. In the vein of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Veracity is a dark and fearful reminder of the power of knowledge and the lengths a government will go to keep its citizens repressed. I also couldn't help but be reminded of M.T. Anderson's chilling book Feed, in which everyone has a computer implanted in their brain at birth.

At it's core, Veracity is a book that explores the power of words. How they allow us expression and understanding and how censorship destroys that basic freedom. I couldn't help but feel a pang of sorrow as Harper confessed to ignorance of common words I so dearly love: music, poem, community, painting and so many others. Although quite dark, I was impressed with Harper's interactions with the Resistance and their struggle to restore knowledge through the fabled Book of Noah.

Other Veracity Blog Tour participants:
My Friend Amy
The Neverending Shelf
Opinionated? Me?
Parajunkee's View
Temple Library Reviews

book source: provided by the publisher, Pocket Books


Lorri S said...

Great review!

Zia said...

Great review! I too was shocked at her lack of knowledge of what a painting was. So sad and terrifying.

Jill Buck said...

I'm kind of new to this type of book but it definitely kept me reading!

Michelle said...

Lorri - Thanks!!

Zia - Wasn't it just? Even thinking of such a time gives me the shivers.

Jill - Oh there is a world of wonderful dystopian novels out there. You should definitely pick up some others!