A Nothing Named Silas

A Nothing Named Silas

4.6 3
by Steve Westover
     
 

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You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents choose to control your lives.

In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields. With all their choices made for them, the workers must do what they're told or face severe consequences. When Labor chooses Silas, the tyrannical Labor Regent is

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Overview

You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents choose to control your lives.

In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields. With all their choices made for them, the workers must do what they're told or face severe consequences. When Labor chooses Silas, the tyrannical Labor Regent is determined to make him a public example of her complete control. He is humiliated, manipulated, and isolated during his first week under the Shield, and the people who show him kindness only help him because they have ulterior motives.

But the Regent is not the only one pulling Silas's strings. The mysterious Gideon wants to mold him into a hero, a champion of the oppressed people. And a strange girl seems to be guiding him to find out more about the Citizens they serve. Through it all, no one bothers to ask Silas what he wants to do. Because, after all, he doesn't have any rights. He doesn't really exist.

Wade through twisted government conspiracies and deeply buried secrets alongside Silas as he learns to choose for himself—and discovers the cost of freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Westover shifts gears from YA fantasy (the Crater Lake series) to dystopian science fiction with a Mormon gloss. Falling somewhere between The Hunger Games and Ayn Rand's Anthem, the book follows the adventures of disgraced aristocratic youth Silas. Drafted into the menial Labor Division after failing a crucial athletic contest, Silas is brutalized by its Regent, Taelori. He's also initiated into a rebellious conspiracy led by the mysterious Gideon, and falls in love with Taelori's daughter, Kezziah. Under Gideon's haphazard tutelage, Silas learns the dark secret underpinning his society, and he comes to trust only his own skills and instincts. Silas is frequently helpless or undeservedly arrogant, rendering him an uninspiring hero and narrator, and the other characters exist either to torment him or explain things to him, never developing real personalities themselves. Overloaded with lengthy exposition sequences and undercut by slapdash worldbuilding, the story becomes a heavy-handed screed that only those sharing the author's political and religious views will likely enjoy. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
This dystopia starts out strong but falls to a weak plot. At age 16, Silas is ready for his assignment to the job he will do for the rest of his life in a society divided into Shields, controlled communities situated under domes, all dedicated to different jobs. He has trained for Command but fails in the final test and is chosen by the lowly Labor Shield. Once he's there, the Regent, Taelori, hangs him in a cage then assigns him an impossible task in which he's helped by Gideon. Shortly thereafter, Silas sees the beautiful Kezziah, who also aids him. Gideon wants Silas to kill Taelori, claiming that Taelori intends to murder Kezziah, her own daughter. Silas learns that he is a titular "nothing" because he and the other shield inhabitants are survivors of abortion; aborted children have no right to exist and so becomes slaves. Westover sets up a reasonably though not startlingly imaginative dystopia. If he is using it to make a political statement, he does not belabor it but focuses on the plot--which, alas, makes little sense. Taelori has no obvious reason to murder her daughter, and no benefit would seem to accrue from doing so. Gideon has no reason to murder Taelori. These senseless schemes appear to exist merely to advance some action and are consistent with the one dimensionality of the characters. Thin, thin, thin. (Dystopian adventure. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781462104116
Publisher:
Cedar Fort, Incorporated/CFI Distribution
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
7 MB

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