Veracity

( 29 )

Overview

WHEN LANGUAGE IS A CRIME, ONLY THE TRUTH CAN SET YOU FREE.

Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one half of the country’s population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (35) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $1.99   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Veracity

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.93
BN.com price

Overview

WHEN LANGUAGE IS A CRIME, ONLY THE TRUTH CAN SET YOU FREE.

Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one half of the country’s population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a forbidden, Red Listed word is to risk physical punishment or even death.

But there are those who resist. Guided by the fabled “Book of Noah,” they are determined to shake the people from their apathy, and are prepared to start a war in the name of freedom. The newest member of this resistance is Harper—a woman driven by memories of a daughter lost, a daughter whose very name was erased by the Red List. And she possesses a power that could make her the underground warriors’ ultimate weapon—or the instrument of their destruction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An utterly absorbing and impressive novel of technology, control, and pseudo-morality gone mad. Too close for comfort." — Greg Bear, New York Times bestselling author

"A remarkable book, thought-provoking, horrifying, and yet hopeful." — Elizabeth Moon, New York Times bestselling author of The Speed of Dark

"Move over, George Orwell. Laura Bynum's Veracity reads like a modern-day 1984 — disturbing and coercive. This book is so spooky it gets under your skin and lives there, smoldering with fear, mistrust, and wild adventure." — Jeff Carlson, international bestselling author of Plague Zone

"A thrilling debut — part The Handmaid's Tale, part Fahrenheit 451 — that's as suspenseful as it is thought-provoking. I was hooked from the very first page." — Larry Beinhart, Edgar Award-winning author of Wag the Dog

Publishers Weekly
In this emotionally gripping first novel, Harper Adams, a Monitor capable of reading people's emotions, identifies enemies of the Confederation of the Willing, a nasty dystopian state reminiscent of 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale. Like everyone else, she has a “slate” implanted in her neck, primed to execute her if she utters one of the many words that have been outlawed or “Red-Listed” by the government. Pushed to revolt when her daughter's name, Veracity, is Red-Listed, Harper is recruited by the resistance and becomes their secret weapon. Bynum makes her protagonist's emotional turmoil painfully believable and creates a number of other interesting and thorny characters, but her plot is occasionally incoherent. Though the cartoonishly powerful Confederacy is never entirely convincing as a workable totalitarian state, its opponents also seem too quixotic and undermanned to fight it as successfully as they do. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Members of a knowledge-loving underground fight to bring freedom to the oppressed inhabitants of a dark dystopia. In the not-too-distant future of Bynum's debut, the United States has been replaced by the Confederation of the Willing, a North Korea-like police state isolated from the world and firmly under the thumb of a few old men obsessed with maintaining their grip on the reins. They seized power after what they describe as a pandemic wiped out great swathes of the population; they hold onto it via a device called a "slate" implanted in each citizen's neck. The slate's main function is to administer punitive shocks to anyone who utters one of the forbidden words on the ever-growing "red list." Also enforcing the ruling-class will are Blue Coats, thugs employed to rape and murder those who deviate from the authoritarian rules, and monitors, whose extrasensory powers are used by the government to spot subversives. Harper Adams, a powerful psychic who specializes in reading auras, is a monitor, but she also has a conscience. When the government red-lists her daughter's name (Veracity) and kills her best friend, Harper decides to find and join the fabled resistance. Although many aspects of this totalitarian nightmare are familiar, especially the government's use of language control to limit thought, Bynum deftly paints the drab, fear-filled existence led by Confederation citizens. Harper is a compelling protagonist humanized by her numerous frailties. She is as doubtful as anyone that she has the strength to succeed at her self-appointed task, and this tension propels the narrative. In the book's final quarter, an all-too-simple chain of events leads to an unsatisfying resolution. Untilthen, this bleak vision of the future feels real and truly chilling.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439123355
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Bynum

LAURA BYNUM was born in Springfield, Illinois (Land of Lincoln) in 1968. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois, and earned an MA in Mass Media and Interpersonal Communications from Eastern Illinois University. She has extensive experience in marketing, corporate training and public relations. In 2006 she attended the Maui Writer’s Conference and was awarded its top prize—the Rupert Hughes Prose Award—for an early draft of VERACITY. She is currently at work on a second novel. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Virginia.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Ï»¿
CHAPTER ONE

AUGUST 4, 2045, EARLY AFTERNOON.

The deeper I get into the prairie, the more I realize that what I've been told about the wastelands is false. The trees here are green. The crops, tall and heavy with corn. There are no black clouds threatening to drip acid onto my car, no checkpoints full of frothing police ready to execute every onerous code they see fit. I haven't seen a Blue Coat since Wernthal. God willing, it will stay that way.

An old farmer is hitchwalking down a line of corn. I see him in my rearview mirror as a blotch of spoiled yellow. This is how our world considers the inhabitants of this land. Spoiled and decrepit, not useful. But neither are they considered clever enough to pose a threat. So they enjoy the otherwise restricted bounty of nature. A wide-open sky. Grass. Neon-free, unfettered space. I envy them this, but only so much. We live in different prisons, but in prisons nonetheless. Theirs is made up of memories of the beforetime. Mine, of concrete walls and security checkpoints, of no birdsong and no breeze.

Fewer line boards are posted alongside the roads out here. Just one every few dozen miles instead of the standard one per block. Posters of non-sexually attractive housewives blink as I drive by. Stay Happy, at mile marker 1. Stay Healthy, at mile 32. Remember the Pandemic. Mile marker 78.

Used to be something different. Honor Those Who've Fallen, to communicate the whole of it. But the word honor got too many people thinking. The concept sparked a small fire in those of us not quite doused out, and we began to discuss the dishonorable things required of all citizens living here, things that didn't get printed on line boards. And so in small, quiet ceremony, in the ripping down of a hundred thousand posters, honor had the honor of being our first Red Listed word. We woke the next morning to Safety First and We Don't Want to Go Back to the Way Things Were, Do We?

The countryside is more beautiful than I remember, even like this. Bales of trash instead of baled-up hay. Abandoned farmhouses dotting the land like weeping sores. I can't stand to see their burnt or age-worn structures, or their insides seeping out onto the unmowed lawns. I was born in the country, as were my best memories. I won't desecrate them by noticing these shells of civilization zipping past my car windows. In fact, I'll go faster. It's unlikely Blue Coats will pick me up on the way to my break site anyway. They won't be out patrolling in the heat, in the wastelands where nothing happens. They'll come later when the Fatherboard sees I've gone rogue. It will be the most excitement they've had in months.

Maybe they won't be carrying guns. Not all Blue Coats get them. Most guns are reserved for the brigade lined up outside the National House like dominoes. Tin soldiers in tidy rows, they flash weaponry used to guard President and his cabinet of Ministers. Keep people from considering assassination, keep those who try anyway from achieving their goal. Guns also go to police assigned to specific jobs. Hunting down runners and the quick dispatch of terrorists.

Aside from this ignoble guard, the largely gun-free system has flourished. Fists, elbows, knees, mouths, teeth, the fleshy weapons carried by men, the ones used to inflict more intimate punishments -- these broadcast an absolute and terrifying power the business end of a pistol doesn't match. When a Blue Coat exacts a punishment, scars are left and people see them.

I try not to think about the Blue Coats and what may happen to me if I'm caught. At least I will have finally stood up.

I've run in what I wore to the office. A white, long-sleeved linen blouse over a white camisole. A pair of gray tweed pants. Soft leather low-heeled shoes. This would have been so much easier in a T€‘shirt or a tank top. A pair of jeans, sneakers. From my understanding, the clothes I run in, I stay in for the better part of my training. It might prove stupid, not to have changed, but I'm a Monitor who's just gotten off Red Watch. They would have noticed the clothes gone from my closet or sitting in a sloppy pile in the trunk of my car. They can break into anything they want in the name of security. My home, my vehicle, my computer, my neck. It's how they protect us. From whom, I've long since stopped asking.

The sun is in full bloom above the cracked country road. Sweat beads on my brow, drops onto my cheek, runs down past my collar. It stings my slate, the silver identification module embedded in our necks almost as soon as we're out of the womb. It's barely visible above the skin, with just a line of silvery gray to collect Confederation downloads and provide access to where I am, where I've been, what I've said.

The slate is made of a material I don't understand. The first prototypes, like mine, were refitted as an individual grew. Now they grow with us, like my daughter's. Hers was implanted in her eighteenth month. Most children have theirs put in closer to age two, but she started talking early.

My slate has always itched and when I sweat like this, it feels like an infection. For years I've considered cutting it out, but it's wrapped around the carotid in such a way that it's impossible to remove without bleeding to death. Removing one's slate is the number one method of suicide in the Confederation of the Willing. People who are completely sane in the morning are found at their kitchen tables at night, a cup of coffee in their left hand, a paring knife in their right. I canunderstand this madness. Especially if you're older and have memories of the beforetime, like the farmers.

Most of us are younger than the event that divides our population. A quarter of us, probably fewer are well into our fifties or sixties, the survivors of a bacterial holocaust the likes of which mankind had never before seen. It took out whole continents. Almost half our nation's population. I'm one of a very small percentage of children who made it through the Pandemic. I was alive and aware thirty-three years ago and have small memories of freedom.

I roll down the window and adjust the rearview mirror so I can see my face. My cheeks are flush with blood and my gray eyes look older than the rest of me. I have light brown hair that's too long to be loose. It whips around my face and catches on my eyelashes.

"Goddamnit!" I shout into the wind. We can swear. A small privilege to keep us sane.

I tuck my hair beneath my collar and watch for the green road sign that will tell me I'm almost there. It comes up quick. I almost miss it, just like the note warned:

2050 North Province Rd., three miles southeast of Bond, East Bodland. Look for an old farmhouse, fire took out the barn. One white wall of siding is gone. Looks like your grandparents' place used to with a long rocked drive and a big oak tree bending the road. Don't miss the turn. Sign comes up quick on the backside of a hill.

I memorized each word.

My grandparents' house was thirty-three years ago and a world away. Their front drive was a white river of rock hewn between mounds of wild prairie grass and the entrance to my favorite place in the world. Dim memories show me a darkhaired father who missed the entrance more than he found it and a blonde-headed mother awkwardly smiling back at me from the passenger seat. According to the government, I was four years old when the Pandemic came wheeling down our drive in a big Confederation truck and took us all away. It was the last time I saw the farm, or my family.

I hit a patch of cobbled earth and bounce in my seat. I'm topping a hundred and twenty miles an hour and can no longer see the ugly residue of crops as a set of rows. They're now a haze of brown sludge sliding past my windows. The oak tree is ahead. I hit the brakes and turn the wheel toward the rocked drive, holding tight as the car fishtails on the loose gravel. I'm to the house before the dust trail can catch up. My legs are shaking when they hit the ground.

I'm Off Map now. They'll be sending out a car.

I don't remember making my way through the uneven earth to the screen door. But then I'm there, my hand on the knob, reading a bright yellow piece of paper that's been posted to a broken pane of glass.

No trespassing as posted by the Confederation of the Willing and its representative Province of Bodland. This property has been devalued as a residence or place of business and is Off Map for any citizen. Entrance will be noted via your slate and penalties may include 102A, 102B, 217A, and/or 550.

A 550. I think about the punishment hiding behind that number. Jesus. I'd think about getting in my car and lighting out for somewhere less patently dangerous, but this was my assigned place. This was where my recruiter said I'm to meet my trainer. I tear the yellow warning off the door and let it fall out of my hand on the way in. Fuck 'em. The false bravado doesn't make me feel better. I feel the false part more than the bravado.

The screen door leads to another that opens easily into a kitchen. There's a round table inside with a couple of chairs, its laminate top barely visible beneath an inch of dust. A gray linoleum counter runs the length of the far wall, separating wooden cabinet doors below and above. Their pine panels have warped and most of them stand ajar, revealing empty interiors. There are no implements. No refrigerator. No glasses to run under the sink that's sitting beneath a window. I can see other farm buildings through the thick panes. An abandoned corncrib made of cement with a rusting ladder running up one side. An old gasoline tank sitting atop a wooden crèche.

Deeper into the house, the air is so thick with the scent of decaying wood and carpet, I can hardly breathe. I pull my shirt over my nose and push aside cobwebs until I find a room with a bed.

"Oh, God."

The comforter looks just like the one I slept under at my grandparents' home, with pink flowers on a striped yellow backing. Except this one is duller, the material browned in large patches by years of unchecked damp. Maybe my recruiter put this here to soften my break. I've met him only once. He held me upright in an alley as I cried. I never saw his face. We didn't speak. I don't know the man's name and he knows what comforter I slept under as a child. This is the way it is between the recruiter and the recruited. They study us for years, review the whole of our lives. By the time we meet, they either love us or hate us and we know nothing about them other than what we permit ourselves to imagine. And I have imagined my recruiter irrationally.

Despite my pragmatic nature, I've allotted him only the best qualities. Kindness. Humor. Honor. A desire to get to know me from the inside out, the same way I want to learn him. It's a spiritual ache Pastor would call pornographic. The State would rather us focus on one another's bodies and forget about the contents of our hearts and minds, but I don't care. If I am a whore for fantasizing about this man's character and desiring a more intimate, less desultory connection, I am a whore. The rest is available on any street corner, anytime, for very few credits per act.

I know, in the long run, such fantasies about my recruiter won't serve me. But, until I meet him and have to deal with the reality of who and what he actually is, they give me something to hope for.

I dump the contents of my pockets onto the bed, taking stock of the room's small closet. I've brought a picture, a roll of tape, and a handkerchief I tie around the knuckles of one hand. It's completely without function, this red swatch of cotton, save for what it represents and the way it feels. The note suggested bringing something, anything, to help with the pain.

I pull off short segments of the tape and paste the picture to the underside of the closet's doorframe, a good eighteen inches lower than the ceiling. I lie down beneath it, but there's not enough light to see the girl's eyes, so I get up again. Cross the room and yank open the window's shade. A cloud of dust appears, floating for a few seconds in the bedroom air. Through it comes the first sun this room has seen for over thirty years.

I lie back down, faceup, eyes steady on the girl above me, my feet sticking out into the room. Try to calm myself with memories of my daughter. I think of her at age four. A fairskinned child with wild, honey-colored hair that became a helmet of springs during bath time. I can see her perfectly. Pink-cheeked, chubby hands batting at the bubbles I'd make by pouring in a capful of dishwashing soap. Then, suddenly, she was nine, then ten, then no longer possessed a round belly or light-colored hair. Bath time was spent with me sitting on the floor talking to her through a pulled curtain, as there were now things to hide. Blushes of womanhood to be kept private.

The fear comes back and thoughts of my daughter are replaced with questions: Will it burn? Will I feel the metal breaking? Will I smell my flesh melting around it? I work my legs to dislodge these thoughts. Almost begin to scream and feel something cool pressing against my forehead.

Oh, Christ.

A wire hanger. I toss it across the room and feel around the closet for any others. Anything metal grounds the current. Pressed against my body, it would have ended this run here and now. I shake it off. Shut my eyes and pray.

God. Make your truth mine. Even my inner voice wavers. It doesn't sound like the prayer I repeat silently every day. It sounds like something you say when you know you're going to die. And I might. It's a possibility.

Two syllables are all the Confederation needs in order to know if I'm trying to say something on the Red List. Then they stop it from coming, wiping away any other words that start with this sound. Either way, I'll stay physically bound to my slate forever. It will stay put in my neck, working or not. A purposeless organ, like an appendix that shows. If this break works, it will be my daily reminder to be profound -- a quality of speech considered sinful. These days, the less said, the better.

All regress begins as address, Pastor says. Meaning there is nothing more dangerous than the spoken word. When we try to articulate words that have been Red Listed, a noise cancellation device disintegrates the product of our voices as the slate shocks us into submission. If warranted, Blue Coats are then sent out to make sure the message was clear. This is what the slate does. It regulates our vocabulary. Contains us. Keeps us from harm. That's what Pastor says.

This is what I have to do. Make a Red word audible. Repeat it over and over until one of us short-circuits. Just one word that, to me, means everything.

I look into the eyes above me, young and brown, a doe's eyes in a girl's face. "I love you."

A premature tear slips down my cheek. I open my mouth and begin to scream.

"Vera -- ." Two syllables escape, then nothing. Nothing but neural fire shooting through my jaws, boiling the fluid in my ears. I keep my eyes on the girl above me.

" ." The shock is greater, matched by my effort.

My hands have started twitching. I squeeze the one holding the handkerchief. Try again.

" ."

My head is splitting in two. My face already awash in tears.

" ."

The feedback splices through my skin and whips down the length of my arms.

" ."

God help me. I'm getting nowhere. The scent of burning hair is in my nostrils.

" ."

My eyes blur. My hands have begun to clench and unclench as if I'm convulsing. I may be.

"..." It's something. A tapping sound.

"...sssssssssssssssssssssssssssst-t-t-t..." The staccato of consonance. Like at the grocery store, when they're about to announce someone's lost child has been found.

"Sssssssss...ciiiiiit...yyyyyy!" The sounds slip through the air and fill the closet. I ignore the blistering heat in my throat and scream louder.

"Ffff...cccccccc...t-yyyyyyyy!"

"Fffvvvv...cccccccciiii...t-yyyyyyyy!"

"Vvvvvv...cccc...tyyyyyyy!" My voice sounds inhuman, like an android short-circuiting.

"Vrrrreeeee...rrrrrr...ccccccciiiityyy!"

She's smiling at me now from her perch on the ceiling. Do this, Mommy. Finish this.

I swallow the last of my fear and scream, "VVEERRAAACCIIITYY!" It is my voice in full. Raw and ripped -- but mine, a voice combined with a cracking, snapping spark. A flash of orange appears beneath my chin. It buckles beneath my jaw.

"VERACITY!" There is no more pain. I whisper, making sure: "Veracity." It was my daughter's name. My daughter, called by the name they took from her.

The corners of my closet world fold inward. Veracity reaches down and runs her hands over my face. I fall away. She goes with me. I can smell her, tell how much she's grown and in not so long a time. She's over five feet tall now; I've seen her like this in my dreams. Her hair is long and thick, her body's beginning to curve.

God help her, she's no longer a little girl.

Copyright © 2010 by Laura Bynum

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Laura Bynum

Where did you get the idea for this book?

It came to me shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. There was an exchange of rights for the promise of security that I found terrifying. But what bothered me more than that was the ease with which this exchange occurred. Rights were required and, without much fuss, surrendered.

There was also a huge re-branding of popular language going on. Words that used to mean one thing suddenly meant something else. For example, patriotism became not questioning authority. Opinion became kin to fact. It's not that this trend away from hard news hadn't already begun, but it seemed this tragic event sent us hurtling toward "news" that was mostly opinion and prognostication, with just a sprinkling of facts thrown in for good measure.

I was jogging in the park one day, thinking about all this, and the idea for Veracity dropped into my head, full-stop. I think it's a great story but it also provides me a way to, hopefully, wake people up about where our power begins and ends, and I believe that's with the word.

Have you always been fascinated by the use and power of language?
Always. Even as a little girl. Especially as a little girl. I never understood why people said one thing while obviously meaning another, or why they didn't come right out and say what they wanted instead of hinting around at it. Despite making it my main study in life, I'm still not very good at getting that part of communication that lives in the gray zone. I'm more literate in black and white.

There were events that heightened my interest. One of the most pivotal happened a little over a decade ago. My sister had a stroke at the age of 26 and lost her ability to speak. She could swear like a sailor, mostly because expletives are pure emotion, a response to frustration with not so much thinking required. As my sister began to relearn language, she became eloquent in a very unique way. Trying to say the most mundane thing, she'd produce these beautiful little poems. For example, when my mom was diagnosed with anemia, my sister, who didn't have the more literal words, told me, "Her blood was crying." Experiencing that learning process secondhand really reminded me of how amazing and multifaceted it is, but also how open this process of filtering truth is to abuse.

Harper is a realistic, yet courageous protagonist. In a similar situation, do you think you would have Harper's courage? Are there any character traits that you share with her? Is there another character in the book whom you relate to more?
Harper (named for Nell Harper Lee, who wrote one of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird) is the me I'd like to be 24/7. It's a hell of a choice Harper has to make: keep her daughter "safe" in a miserable, prescribed life, or risk losing everything to provide her a chance at true joy, which I believe is having the freedom to live by your own measure and according to the mandates of your own heart. Of answering to yourself and to God and that's pretty much it. I think a lot of how I identify with Harper is through our relationships with our daughters, and I'm pretty confident I'd make the same choice.

To me, the character of Veracity is my oldest daughter, whose father I divorced a little over a week before she was born. It was just my daughter and me for the first four years of her life. We went through some very hard things together, not just in the beginning, but also in this last year when I had to have radiation for breast cancer and she had to become a Harper of sorts herself and take charge for a period of months while I recuperated from complications. We are kind of a Harper-Veracity loop, my daughter and I. So much so that when I do a reading of the first chapter of Veracity, I have a very hard time getting through it without misting up. As it is with Harper, my children are what keep me pushing forward.

I definitely identify the most with Harper, but I've scattered a few of my characteristics throughout many of the others. I share Ezra's intolerance of hypocrisy. With Lazarus, I share a love of truth, and bad joints. With Mr. Weigland, a sensitive heart. With Lilly and Noam, a love of words.

What is the primary message you hope that Veracity imparts to readers?
That we have to take responsibility for our consumption of truth, and that means about everything. We have to -- each and every one of us -- go on our own personal hero journey and look into our own hearts to see how and why we've defined ourselves the ways we have. After giving birth to my twins, I decided to finally do that legwork. Along with a friend, I studied the American government and got to know my rights, and also did a study of world religions. I examined my own heart to see if what I'd been espousing myself to be was actually what I was, and there was a little shifting to be done. But I was then prepared to discuss issues from an educated perspective. We have to become critical thinkers in order to tell the world who we are instead of being told by the world what we like, what we hate, what we want, etc.

Clearly censorship is an important issue for you. Have you had any personal experience with being censored or constrained from expressing yourself?
My own personal experiences with censorship are many but, for the most part, have been surmountable. But there is one issue of censorship I experience only secondarily, and yet feel is the most egregious of our generation and that's the fight for equal rights for members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. The long and short of it is that people should be able to love whomever is in their heart without punishment and with impunity. Their rights shouldn't be restricted, period. This is an excellent example of the censorship of the word; if we called this oppressive behavior what it actually is -- homophobia -- we'd get far fewer people actively and openly subscribing to this intolerance, and maybe we'd see justice done.

Who are your favorite authors? Did any of them have an influence as you were writing this novel?
I have many, many favorites and I'm absolutely going to leave some out. With that being said, here are the ones in my head right now: Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Patchett, Maya Angelou, Audrey Niffenegger, Tom Wolfe, Dan Simmons, C. S. Lewis, John Irving, Margaret Atwood, Chinua Achebe, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and many more.

There are so many authors who've shaped my story and style and who've encouraged me with the beauty of their own words. All of them have influenced me, but there is one poem I read over and over again when I question this path and need a little reminder to have faith in both my decision, and my process: Mary Oliver's "The Wild Geese."

What are you working on now?
My second novel is a love story -- a sort of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, but with a twist. As with Veracity, it's also very much about communication. Specifically, with how often proximity has nothing to do with closeness, and how the love we make, we make with our souls first and our bodies second. It juxtaposes what we've been taught is love with actual love. The distance revealed between these two, for some, might be surprising.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    chilling dystopian read

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    World without words

    I received Veracity as part of Pocket Books Blog Tours. At first I was a bit unsure about the book because I generally shy away from science fiction, but I really enjoyed this novel. It grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me wanting to read more up until the end. It may have appealed to me more because Harper, the main character, was a woman. I think some of the science fiction I have read in the past has had male main characters and I've had a more difficult time getting into them. The book reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire because the future that is portrayed is so controlled by the government. When I first started the novel the book it reminded me of was The Host by Stephanie Meyer, because of references to the future and a resistance movement.

    It is hard to imagine a world without the freedoms that we enjoy today and the arts that we are accustomed to. Starting with the Pandemic in 2012 the government, for the protection of it's citizens, starts monitoring all people with an electronic slate in their necks that records everything that is said by that person. Once again for the "protection" of all words are made Red Listed on a regular basis which means that to speak them will cause the person to be shocked by their slate and may lead to further punishment. Over the course of more than three decades thousands of words are lost as well as art, music, books and entertainment. There is one TV channel that just airs government news, no music, no books except how to manuals, no paper for writing, no movies. For entertainment there are bars and there are government sanctioned prostitutes. People do not choose their careers, the government places them where they believe they will do best. The police force, The Blue Coats, enforce very harsh and cruel punishments for offenses and there are no judges or juries. Worse still, since it has been this way for more than 30 years and many of the original population were killed off during the Pandemic, most people do not have any idea of what they are really missing.

    Harper has special skills, she can see auras and travel without her body. She can see inside people and tell if they are sick, know their emotions from their colors and can sense answers to questions posed to them. She is a Monitor and is charged with watching files of people who use red listed words or get into other types of trouble with the government. She is recruited by the resistance to work with them to take down the current government.

    Seeing all these people go through to fight for their freedom brought to mind some of my own questions about our current freedom and how much people in general may be taking it for granted. The book got me thinking and made this alternate reality very realistic and believable. I think Laura Bynum did a great job with this novel and I hope to see more books written by her in the future. I am very glad I had the chance to review this novel because on my own I am not sure that I would have come across this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    political thriller

    well thought out and riveting

    "I read this book in one day. Once I started reading I had to finish it.
    The subject matter reminds me of the "bird flu" and "swine flu" scare that has happened lately.
    The way the story is told makes me believe that this might be in our near future if we are not mindful of what our world leaders are doing.
    Loved the way each chapter is set up by a flash back telling of how we are at this point in the story.
    Very suspenseful while being told in a manner that is unfortunately believable.
    Makes me glad of the current freedoms we have.

    Hope this is made into a movie!"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fans will appreciate this dark post apocalyptic future tale

    In 2012, a virus terrorism attack annihilated a bout half the American population. A new government with martial law enforcement is forged out of the abyss. The Confederation of the Willing implant an electronic device in the necks of all citizens that so that if a person utters any of the red-listed words, they trigger the slate gizmo and die as the Blue Coats police are everywhere sadistically relishing punishing felons.

    In 2012 Harper Adams was a little girl when she survived the disaster. She is careful not to activate the slate in her neck. In 2026, Sentient Baumfree selects her as a Potential because she has paranormal skills. Harper works hard to be the best Monitor until 2045 however, when she has an apostasy when her daughter's name Veracity is added to the death list of banned words. The resistance movement guided by the pre-doomsday pandemic tome, The Book of Noah, recruits Harper to join their counterinsurgency from within a corrupt system.

    This is an exciting 1984 type futuristic thriller that grips the audience from the onset with its word list and never slows down as ban has new meaning. The story line is driven by Harper who will do anything to be able to say her daughter's name with impunity. Although the Confederation of the Willing never seems quite as nasty as say Big Brother except when the tall eerie Baumfree recruits twelfth graders, fans will appreciate this dark post apocalyptic future.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Good read!

    Enjoyed this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    I love Distopian novels from a feminine viewpoint. This book illustrates how the power of words -- and their censorship -- defines your reality. This is a quality new author that deserves your attention.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    I loved this as much as I loved The Hunger Games series and the book Matched...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2010

    Thought provoking

    Like other reviewers, I too, found the style to initially be difficult to follow, but keep reading, it's worth the time it takes to get used to it. After re-reading the first two chapters, I was hooked and stayed up extra late to finish it. The book was disturbing in so many ways and truly took the concept of "freedom of speech" or lack there of, to the most extreme interpretation. Overall, the plot was very original and thought-provoking. I can't wait to lend it to a friend so we can discuss it, as it's definitely one of those books that need to be shared to be fully appreciated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2010

    a must read!

    The author's writing style threw me for a little while. For me, fragments in a published book should be a serious no-no... sometimes I was a little confused by the style of writing... all in all, though, it was an awesome read! It's definitely one that you will think about after you put the book down for a little while, and one you will want to hurry and get home to be able to read again. I enjoyed it very, very much.

    I'm a Twilight series lover and this was the first book I've read since finishing the series (for the second time) that has kept me interested from cover to cover. I've tried several books in between my second reading of the books and Veracity which have been nothing but disappointment. When you go from reading a book that you love to reading other books that are just okay, it's kind of like a rebound from a relationship. :) This was by far the best of the rebounds and has me looking forward to finding other stories that keep me captivated. If you're looking for a sappy romance though, this is not the book for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    AWESOME READ!!!!

    This book drew me in from the very beginning!! Could not put it down. The story line is amazing and very well written!! I will definitely read more books from this author!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    World without words

    I received Veracity as part of Pocket Books Blog Tours. At first I was a bit unsure about the book because I generally shy away from science fiction, but I really enjoyed this novel. It grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me wanting to read more up until the end. It may have appealed to me more because Harper, the main character, was a woman. I think some of the science fiction I have read in the past has had male main characters and I've had a more difficult time getting into them. The book reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire because the future that is portrayed is so controlled by the government. When I first started the novel the book it reminded me of was The Host by Stephanie Meyer, because of references to the future and a resistance movement.

    It is hard to imagine a world without the freedoms that we enjoy today and the arts that we are accustomed to. Starting with the Pandemic in 2012 the government, for the protection of it's citizens, starts monitoring all people with an electronic slate in their necks that records everything that is said by that person. Once again for the "protection" of all words are made Red Listed on a regular basis which means that to speak them will cause the person to be shocked by their slate and may lead to further punishment. Over the course of more than three decades thousands of words are lost as well as art, music, books and entertainment. There is one TV channel that just airs government news, no music, no books except how to manuals, no paper for writing, no movies. For entertainment there are bars and there are government sanctioned prostitutes. People do not choose their careers, the government places them where they believe they will do best. The police force, The Blue Coats, enforce very harsh and cruel punishments for offenses and there are no judges or juries. Worse still, since it has been this way for more than 30 years and many of the original population were killed off during the Pandemic, most people do not have any idea of what they are really missing.

    Harper has special skills, she can see auras and travel without her body. She can see inside people and tell if they are sick, know their emotions from their colors and can sense answers to questions posed to them. She is a Monitor and is charged with watching files of people who use red listed words or get into other types of trouble with the government. She is recruited by the resistance to work with them to take down the current government.

    Seeing all these people go through to fight for their freedom brought to mind some of my own questions about our current freedom and how much people in general may be taking it for granted. The book got me thinking and made this alternate reality very realistic and believable. I think Laura Bynum did a great job with this novel and I hope to see more books written by her in the future. I am very glad I had the chance to review this novel because on my own I am not sure that I would have come across this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)