Revolutionary (Anomaly Series #3)by Krista McGee
Back in the hands of the State, Thalli is caught in a horrible game of power—with consequences reaching further than she ever imagined.
After several months aboveground, Thalli had almost forgotten what living in the State was like. Programmed to be without emotions or curiosity, she was always an anomaly there. Too emotional. Too curious./strong>
Back in the hands of the State, Thalli is caught in a horrible game of power—with consequences reaching further than she ever imagined.
After several months aboveground, Thalli had almost forgotten what living in the State was like. Programmed to be without emotions or curiosity, she was always an anomaly there. Too emotional. Too curious. Citizens of the State should behave exactly the way the Scientists designed them to behave: work in their assigned fields, maintain productivity.
Thalli’s entire genetically engineered generation has been eradicated by a scientocracy that believes human life is expendable. Now a pawn in a mad game of manipulation, held hostage, and tortured in the name of the State, Thalli can barely summon the strength to hope that the future of humanity could be any better.
She clings to her new faith in the Designer. But when she discovers that even the few villages aboveground are in danger of State domination, that fragile faith begins to crumble.
As Thalli, Berk, and Alex make plans to overthrow the evil Dr. Loudin, a chilling secret explains why they have been left alive at all . . . a personal secret that will haunt Thalli forever. And as she struggles with this new truth, she also struggles with decisions of the heart.
Can the State’s expansion be stopped? Or will humanity—above and below the surface—be irreparably damaged? Thalli is faced with a purpose both overwhelming and undeniable: to assume the role of a Revolutionary.
“McGee's versatility as an author really shines with this latest offering . . .” —USAToday.com (on Anomaly)
“Anomaly grabs the reader and refuses to let go . . . One is never completely sure what is fact and what is a horrifying virtual reality. This is sure to be a favorite of teens everywhere.” —Heather Burch, author of the critically acclaimed Halflings Series
The final installment in the evangelical-dystopian Anomaly trilogy keeps the tension cranked up to 11.Thalli finds herself transported back to the State, still under control of the evil Scientist Dr. Loudin. Thalli will discover numerous, ever changing evil schemes that Loudin advances and abandons as she constantly seeks escape and alternates between despair at her abandonment by the Designer (her usual name for God) and heartfelt belief that the Designer will conquer all. She still loves longtime heartthrob Berk, but she also feels friendship and loyalty to Alex. Even as she struggles with these conflicting feelings, Thalli and her friends try to battle the cartoonishly evil Loudin. The representation of faith comes across as completely sincere and believable. However, McGee appears not to have planned out her plotline, leaving it with a moment-by-moment feel. Loudin needs Alex's abilities, but later, it turns out that he really doesn't. He wants to control all the surviving cities in the world but later decides to nuke them. Thalli fights off "weak" Loudin "as easily as if he were a child," but two pages later, Loudin overcomes a strong young man. The impression left is that the point is simply to pitch Thalli against Loudin in numerous different scenarios until it's time to end the book.The faith is fervent, but the story is just a mess. (Dystopian romance. 12-18)
Read an Excerpt
Book Three in the Anomaly Trilogy
By KRISTA MCGEE
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Krista McGee
All rights reserved.
My head is pounding. Images and thoughts fly into my brain, but I cannot catch them, cannot make sense of them because my head hurts so badly. It feels like hundreds of needles are being shoved into my brain. In and out. In and out. I moan and find that my throat is dry. The sound barely passes through. It sounds more like a bassoon, played with too little air.
Needles. Needles. That image looms in my memory. White space. A needle. Dr. Williams. Loudin.
I gulp in a lungful of oxygen. Pure, filtered oxygen. I force my eyes open, and the pain in my head intensifies, followed by a dull ache in the recesses of my stomach. I am back in the State. In the Scientists' quarters. As my eyes adjust to the white walls, white floors, white bedding, the images floating in my brain begin to make sense. I was in New Hope. The Scientists came, they took Alex and Kristie and me back with them. Berk was yelling at them, demanding they release me or bring him. But they did neither. The door to the massive transport ... what did they call it? The aircraft. It shut, separating us. Then Dr. Williams plunged a needle in my neck.
How long ago was that? Hours? Days? I see a cup of water on the table beside my bed. The need for hydration overwhelms me, allowing me to forget for a moment the pounding in my skull. I push myself up on my elbows. I force myself to move slowly. The room is spinning even with this slight movement. But I need water.
I fall back on the bed. I cannot get up. I do not even have enough energy to reach the water. I will die of thirst. The pain in my head intensifies, and I squeeze my eyes shut in a futile attempt to lessen that pain.
"You're awake." The voice sounds like it is magnified a hundred times over. I close my eyes tighter, wishing it were my ears I could close. "You need to drink this."
The cup is at my lips, and I open them. The cool water seems to evaporate on my tongue before it can even reach my throat. I try to drink more, but the cup is pulled away.
"Just a few sips at first." He waits an agonizingly long time before returning the cup to my lips. I lean forward to get more of it, and the water spills down my chin, cascading down my neck.
The cup is pulled away, and I feel fingers on my wrist. I want to go to sleep. To wake up and be in my room back in New Hope, to find that this is all a bad dream. That I'm not in the State, that Dr. Loudin didn't bring us here, leave Berk and Rhen and Carey and all our other friends behind. But the pounding in my brain assures me this is reality. If I go to sleep, I'll just wake up here and start this agonizing process all over again. I ease open my eyes, wait for them to adjust. The blurry patches of white take shape. The man holding my wrist, checking my pulse, is Dr. James Turner.
I look into his blue eyes—so like John's—and my heart aches even greater than my head. John is dead. I watched him die, held him as his life slipped away. If I had a father, I would want him to be just like John: kind, faithful, honorable. Everything his son, as one of The Ten, is not. Tears dry in my eyes as disgust takes over. How could this man have disregarded everything his father taught him? To reject the Designer I have come to love? Dr. Turner, as the head Geneticist, is responsible for the generations in the State, those of us created without real parents, created in his laboratory—after many tests failed—to be emotionless, unquestioning beings whose only purpose is to further the work of the State.
I was his mistake. I was born full of emotions, full of questions, full of doubts. An anomaly, I was scheduled for annihilation until Berk saved me, brought me here. Then John found me and taught me I was created by the Designer, loved by the Designer, given a purpose by him.
"You are not worthy of your father." John would not have wanted me to say this, but it is true. Dr. Turner's Adam's apple bobs. His fingers stop moving over his communications pad. His blue eyes stare into mine. My head hurts too much to analyze the emotions passing over his face.
He does not speak as he turns and leaves the room. The door clicks behind him, the sound intensifying the sensation of needles in my brain. I close my eyes again, exhausted, wanting to escape. I feel myself slipping into unconsciousness, where the first sight I see is Berk.
"Berk." I see him, but I can't reach him. He is on the hill in New Hope. His bright green eyes flash anger and hurt. Jealousy. He stands tall, rigid. His lips are full and firm, his square jaw tight, fists clenched. I try to run to him, but I cannot move.
"Thalli." Alex's voice pulls my eyes from Berk. I turn around, and Alex is there, a breath away. I look up into his face and see so much emotion in his blue eyes. For someone so physically strong, Alex seems weak, helpless. I pull him into my arms and let him cry, the way he cried after his father died.
"It's all right." I reach up to run my hand through his silky blond hair. "I'm here."
"No." Berk is yelling, but he is even farther now. Standing by the pond where John died, Berk's shouts are taken by the wind and blown away. I cannot understand what he is saying.
Alex is crushing me, his arms squeezing air from my lungs. I cannot breathe, cannot think, cannot move. Berk is still yelling. Alex is still crying. I shove myself from his grasp and fall ... and fall ... farther, deeper.
I gasp as I awake to the reality of the sterile room, of separation. My head feels better, but my heart is still heavy.
"Alex." He is here. The fog of sleep lifts, and I remember again that Alex and Kristie were on the aircraft with me. Brought back to the State. Why are we here? Dr. Loudin told the people of New Hope that he would be working with us, that New Hope and Athens and the State would be partners. But that is not true. Dr. Loudin did not work to create this underground State in order to share it with others. He did not push the button to destroy the earth forty years before so the few pockets of survivors could be part of the global leadership he wants to head. No, whatever his plans are, they do not include partnerships with the survivors.
I have to find Alex and Kristie, to escape. We need to get back to New Hope where we can talk with Berk and Carey and Dallas and Rhen. Together we can fight Loudin. Whatever he is planning, we can stop him. We must stop him.
I force my legs over the edge of the sleeping platform and close my eyes against the vertigo that movement brings. I cannot go back to sleep. I have to get up, to find my friends. I have to get out of here.
My legs feel like they will collapse beneath me. How long have I been on this sleeping platform? My muscles feel unused, shriveled up. I will myself to stand, one hand on the mattress so I remain steady. The door seems miles away. Like Berk in my dream, it appears to be moving farther from me. But this is no dream. I will put one foot in front of the other and I will reach the door.
I am grateful for the chair that sits by the wall, between the sleeping platform and the door. I take three unsteady steps to it and fall down, resting, breathing. Then I stand once again and reach the door in four steps. The door handle does not move. I push harder, lean my body against it, but it remains motionless.
Of course I am locked in. I am a prisoner. Abandoned. Alone.
I stumble back to the chair, refusing to lie back down, refusing to go back to sleep.
"Good afternoon, Thalli." Dr. Loudin's voice fills the room. I look to the wall screen and see him sitting in his laboratory, a thin-lipped smile on his face. The camera pulls back, and I see my friend beside him.
"Kristie!" I stand, falling toward the wall screen, touching, wishing I could break through it, reach Kristie.
"The medicine was a little stronger than we realized." Loudin's smile stays in place. His eyes look straight into the camera, appearing to bore right into my own eyes. "You have been out for three days."
Three days. "What are you doing? Where is Alex?"
Dr. Loudin is not looking at me anymore. An eyebrow raised, he is facing Kristie. "You see? She is alive and well."
"She is not well." Kristie's voice is tight, strained. She is staring at me with a pained expression. I must look terrible.
"Do not forget our agreement." His smile is gone.
"You said she would not be harmed."
"I said she would not be killed." Loudin looks beyond the camera and holds up one finger.
"No!" Kristie is standing, terror on her face.
"Do what I ask."
"Let her go." Tears well up in her eyes.
Suddenly an electric shock races through my body. I feel like every nerve is on fire. I am screaming, falling to the ground. I curl up and want to pass out, but I do not, and the pain increases. I hear voices, but I cannot make out the words. The pain is too awful.
Then it stops. I can only moan and maintain my position on the floor, feeling the effects of the shock still, fearing more.
"Do what I ask."
Kristie is sobbing, her breath ragged. I am losing consciousness. I feel myself being pulled under. In the moment before I surrender to the darkness, Kristie whispers, "I will."CHAPTER 2
Sleep. All I want to do is sleep. Waking is horrific. Loudin always appears, Kristie behind him. He doesn't always shock me, but the threat is there. I know Loudin is using me to make Kristie do what he wants—likely repairing the oxygen-filtration system in the State. I should be strong, tell her to resist. What Loudin wants cannot be good, and if Kristie assists him, he will achieve that goal even sooner. Then he will annihilate her. And me.
I know all of this. But the pain is greater than that knowledge so I remain silent. I try to pray—praying I can escape, find Kristie and Alex, stop Loudin, return to the peace and safety of New Hope. But my prayers seem to hit the ceiling of this pod and bounce right back. My head falls onto the mattress. Where is the Designer? I tried to do what he asked. I believed that truth sets us free, believed that I can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, believed that I can do all things through him. And how has he responded to that belief?
So I close my eyes and sleep. Again.
Berk is always there, in my dreams. He is waiting for me, smiling this time. He sits by the pond in New Hope, food on a cloth beside him. A picnic. We had one of those here, in the State, before. Before we escaped and found New Hope. Before I traveled to Athens, met Alex. Before everything changed.
A harsh sound shakes me from my dream. I bolt up in bed. Too fast. My head pounds. I look at the wall screen, but Loudin is not there. It's blank. I release a breath. James Turner walks in the door, moving slowly. Bile rises to my throat. Seeing him reminds me of how he forced his own father to remain locked away down in the bowels of the State for forty years. Unable to actually annihilate John, James forced the old man to live alone, allowed to speak only to those scheduled to be annihilated. John was the best man I have ever known. James, then, is the worst.
"Thalli." His voice is not like John's. John's voice was like a cello—soothing, calming, deep and smooth. James's voice is high, forced, like too much air being blown through a muted trumpet. Other than his eyes, he looks nothing like his father. James is thin. Sickeningly thin, all sharp angles. His cheekbones seem like they could pierce his skin, his nose rises above thin lips, sharp and pointy. The white pants and shirt hang on his frame, sleeves too short, neck too large. "You are awake."
"Astute observation, Dr. Turner." No need to be kind. Not to him. He doesn't deserve it. A tiny pinprick of guilt lights in my stomach, but I ignore it, quench it. This is James Turner. He deserves no mercy.
"I understand how you may feel about me." He moves closer. Wrinkles crinkle around his mouth, bags droop under his eyes. He looks like a sheet of ancient music that has been crumpled and straightened back out.
I sit up straighter. "You are a murderous, heartless tyrant."
"I am." James has neither remorse nor pride in his voice. Just resignation. I do not know how to respond to that.
"Why are you here?" I grab the glass of water at my bedside, sipping slowly so my eyes can remain on James. "More torture?"
"No." He takes another step toward me. I scoot back, pull the bedclothes tighter. "I want to talk about my father."
My throat feels like it will close in on itself. I set down the glass and take a deep breath, forcing my lungs to inhale. He wants to talk about John? After keeping him prisoner for forty years? Leaving him alone to grieve? To live? James's eyes are sad, shoulders slumped. If I did not know what weighed him down, I might feel sorry for him. But it is right for him to feel that way. What he has done—the things I know of, anyway—are disgusting.
"Please." He stays where he is, his head down.
"You had decades to talk to your father." I think of John in his solitary room, on his knees. Praying, very likely, for James. "Seventy years in total. And you squandered them."
James pulls the chair from the side of the room and falls into it, as if the weight of his stick-like body is more than he can bear.
"You had a father, one who loved you so deeply. And yet you created generations of us with no father. No mother. No feelings."
The look that passes over James's face is puzzling. I see guilt, but something else, something even deeper than that. I do not have time to analyze that look because my anger at what James has done bubbles over, spilling out, and I cannot stop it.
"You discarded what you were given, threw John's love in his face. You abandoned him."
James's Adam's apple bobs in his narrow throat. His eyes glisten. I am glad. He should feel pain for what he has done. But then I think of John, of who he was, what he taught me. He loved his son, and he would be disappointed at the way I am acting. He prayed for this man, longed to see him know truth. Am I now to be the answer to that prayer?
God, you stay silent, then ask this of me? I cannot think of anything I would like to do less than offer grace to James Turner, give truth to one of the men who raised me on lies. But if I refuse, am I any better than him?
"What do you want to know?"CHAPTER 3
You have about twenty minutes before they discover this door is unlocked." James taps a code on the outside of my room and then turns to walk down the hall.
I release a sigh. Talking about John depleted the little energy I had. My head aches and my body feels as if it weighs three hundred pounds. But I have an open door and twenty minutes. I throw my legs over the side of the sleeping platform and lean my head into my hands to stop the spinning. I drink the last of the water from my glass. I stand. Slowly. I am nauseous, dizzy, weak. But Alex is here somewhere. Kristie is here. I do not know what is being done to them, but I know it is not good. We must reunite and escape. Right now, I am their best hope for that.
I force my legs to move, to walk, willing my unused muscles to wake up. I focus on the door, then the hallway. I look in each room. They have people in them, working. From their appearance, I would guess it is those from Pod B, the generation ahead of ours. If they notice me, they do not acknowledge it. They are focused on communications pads, tapping commands, completing tasks. I pass the final door and am stopped in my tracks. I go back.
The woman in this room looks very much like me. Just older. Though her hair is just above her shoulders and mine hangs halfway down my back, it is the same brownish blond, thick with waves, just like mine. She looks up from her communications pad, and my own eyes look back at me. My heart beats faster. Hers are as wide as I'm sure mine are—blue-green, framed with dark eyelashes.
But, unlike me, there is no curiosity in her eyes. They widened, I realize, not out of surprise, but because she needed to adjust her vision from the up-close interaction with her pad and the faraway interaction with me. She looked up just because movement caught her eye. She returns now to her work.
After months in New Hope and Athens, I have forgotten what people in the State are like, what "normal" is here. Programmed to be without emotions or curiosity, I was an anomaly. This woman behaved exactly the way the Scientists—James Turner—designed her to behave: working in her assigned field in order to maintain productivity in the State.
Excerpted from Revolutionary by KRISTA MCGEE. Copyright © 2014 Krista McGee. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of Anomaly , First Date , Starring Me , and Right Where I Belong . Twitter: @KristaMcGeeYAFacebook: krista.a.mcgee
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A magnificently bone-chilling and thrillingly captivating end to an immensely entertaining trilogy! This story has everything in it, and I enjoyed losing myself in its thick shroud of mystery loaded with more twists and turns than I could count. An achingly sweet romance sprinkled generously throughout this wildly enthralling read acted as the icing to this delectable treat! The action was non-stop, and the suspense was enough to keep you completely entranced by the complexly heartbreaking storyline. I have been impatiently waiting on this last book, and I was delighted to find that it was even better than I had imagined! If Thalli imagined that her life would calm down after her recent adventures in the cities of New Hope and Athens, she was gravely mistaken. In reality, her adventure had only just begun. Just as she is finally able to settle down and enjoy the beautiful new life that she has fallen into, the State rears its ugly head and reclaims her and others for reasons she would rather not think about. She has come full circle and is determined to reclaim her life once and for all. Will the State drain the fight out of her with its malicious and logical methods, or will she be its undoing? I was completely enthralled as I watched Thalli blossom into a strong and beautiful woman from the weak and confused girl that we first met. Life never gave her roses, but she took the hand that she was dealt and did her best to transform it into something worthwhile. As we watch her relationship with the Designer deepen, she begins to realize that what we were called to do is not often pretty or comfortable. In most cases, we have to set aside our own needs and desires to do what is best for others, but through our sacrifice, we find greater blessings than we could have ever hoped for. Thalli is no different in her own life’s journey. She sacrifices all to help those she loves and even those she may never meet. Following the still small voice of the Designer she has come to love and trust, she becomes much more than she ever dreamed, and she is granted blessings far beyond her own imagination. While some may argue that faith and emotions are worth less than nothing in comparison to logic and science, everything around us speaks to the contrary. If there was more love in this world, we would see less conflict and pain. There would be no need for the pursuit of perfection because true love looks only at the heart and not on the outward appearance. The building blocks of society (the family) would be held in the high esteem and value that it rightly deserves instead of being torn to shreds and ridiculed. Children would feel secure in their self-worth and grow to respect themselves leaving the world of drugs and prostitution almost non-existent. What a different world we would see if we would learn to love our children, our spouses, our family, our friends, our neighbors, and strangers with an unbridled love. What a revolution this would cause! Krista McGee has yet again proven just how limitless her imagination and heart truly are. Her potential is phenomenal, and I am eager to see what she creates next! This series and its amazing characters have taken up residence in my heart, and I will always remember their courage, love, and zeal for life. What touched me the most was how Thalli intimately connected her emotions to the music that she played. I also find that music has a similarly profound effect on my emotions. Each song allows me to escape to a temporary yet safe hiding place leaving behind the circumstances that I am dealing with. It acts as a soothing balm to my weary spirit and gives me the strength and encouragement to keep moving forward.
A fast-paced conclusion to a brilliant series! I have been eagerly awaiting Revolutionary since Luminary released last winter. Ms. McGee left us with so many questions and hardly a sufficient amount of answers! What was going to happen to Thalli and friends? What could happen next? How on earth was it all going to be resolved in one book? Thankfully, Ms. McGee gives us the answers we want and more in Revolutionary. Thalli has grown and changed all throughout this series. When I think back to Anomaly, she's a completely different character! She's stronger and more obstinate than ever in this installment. Her journey has been rough but it's only polished her and made her better. I enjoyed watching her development come full circle. Oh, the plot twists! Brace yourselves, people, if you're like me you won't even know which way is up! This conclusion is very well written and keeps your hand fingering the next page, ready to turn at will. I didn't think the series could improve on itself, but Ms. McGee surprised me. That said, this isn't my favorite in the series. I think Anomaly holds that place securely, but it was close. :-) Fans of this series should not miss out!! Possible spoiler: The ending felt super rushed to me and I didn't quite like it. End possible spoiler. I recommend to fans of Christian dystopian and sci-fi ages thirteen and up. I received this book for free from BookLook in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!
Th is an absolutely wonderdul ending to McGee's Anomaly trilogy. I cried and laughed and screamed all the way through it. All in all, one of the best trilogies I've ever read.
Good versus evil is at the core of the Anomaly Trilogy and everything finally comes to a head in Revolutionary with a mixture of battles and introspection and, in Thalli’s case, a lot of questioning about her faith. A theme such as this one always has a religious flavor to it and there’s plenty of it here but Ms. McGee has wrapped it in a thrilling dystopian that kept me on the edge of my seat after a little bit of a slow start. Loudin is the very personification of evil but, at the same time, he made me reflect on our current society’s predilection towards excusing terrible behavior based on something like a rough childhood or mental abnormalities. Yes, it’s true that Loudin is clearly insane—he gives new meaning to “megalomania”—but, when you get right down to it, he’s just plain evil. Ms. McGee has drawn him so evocatively that I would get a chill down my spine every time he came on the scene, wondering what horrible plan he’d come up with this time. The relationships between Thalli and the two young men in her life, Berk and Alex, are really interesting. It eventually becomes clear that she loves one but there is no doubt whatsoever that both are integral parts of her being and she cares deeply for both. The romance has developed naturally over three books and I’m so glad of that; it never becomes the central story even though it’s important. Thalli herself is a young woman faced with the overwhelming need to stop Loudin because she really may be the only one who can. Imagine having the fate of humanity literally resting on your shoulders! Unfortunately, Thalli is also wrestling with doubts about her faith as so many believers do when faced with horrendous crises and those doubts will certainly affect the outcome of this epic battle. There’s heartbreak in this story as well as hope and I found myself completely satisfied while still wishing there could be more. It’s always hard to come to the end of a much-loved series so I’ll just say, “Well done, Krista McGee, and thank you!”
Each book in this series just seems to have gotten better and better. What started out as a book with just a minimal amount of characters, grew into a story with many characters--all integral to the plot. Not only that but the characters that have been in the series from the beginning are so much more fleshed out in Revolutionary. There's been some definite growth here. With each installment having its own specific death-defying scenario, it's no surprise that Revolutionary was able to capture and keep my attention the whole way through. This is definitely a read that I didn't want any interruptions for. There is a slight love-triangle, but I believe if you read Luminary, you knew that it was coming. Seeing as how it wasn't really the spotlight of the story, I think it actually worked quite well in getting the plot moved along. After this series I can honestly say that I'm very anxious to read more from Ms. McGee.