Review - Swipe - Evan Angler

Swipe (Swipe, #1)Title: Swipe
Author: Evan Angler
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Dystopia
Publication: May 1 2012, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Pages: 275, Ebook
Source: Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing Swipe to me in exchange for an honest review
Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong?
Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, "Swipe" follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn't even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.
The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It's almost Logan Langly's 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn't been able to shake the feeling he's being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.
When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers.
When I received Swipe and its sequel, Sneak, to review from Netgalley, I was majorly excited. So far I've only read two dystopian novels and I am totally hooked to the genre. Divergent was my first dystopian novel and I don't think I'll ever forget my first experience of reading about a crumbling dystopian society, experiencing the thrill, the action, the kick-butt characters and the cruel world we could face in the future. Swipe is for younger readers, but I was hooked and couldn't put it down and it fulfilled my satisfaction for what I like to read in this specific genre.

I love the dystopian world that the author has created. At the age of thirteen you are required to receive the Mark, get Pledged. When you have received the Mark (a tattoed like item displayed on your wrist) you can buy items, get a job, have access to health care etc, however, if you do not receive the Mark, you are forced to live on the streets, no food, no shelter, no health care. Looked down by the Marked. Forced to live a life of crime in order to live. It was a really interesting concept and quite a unique, fresh idea.

Also, world-building is one of the most important parts to a dystopian novel and I'm happy to announce that Swipe's world-building was great. I could imagine the destructed America, the people walking around marked, displaying the tattoos that showed such significance to the world that they lived in. 

The writing was fabulous! Throughout the book, detailed descriptions and stunning vocabulary lined the pages, inviting me into the character's world where I could see all the vivid colours for myself, experiencing the character's problems that they encountered as well as feeling their deep emotions that they experienced. Evan Angler is really talented and seeing that Swipe is his debut novel, his writing will only improve as he continues to write such fantastic, chilling stories.

The plot was enjoyable, there were a couple of twists in the tale that had me completely gobsmacked, yet from the middle of the book towards the end I did find that the novel was getting a bit predictable, I did find myself saying to Logan how could he not have seen that coming, but that didn't perturb me too much. The plot was laid out well. Some of the events that spanned out during the book left me chilled to the bone, biting my nails in anticipation and making my hands slippery from sweat. Imagine your thirteen year old self finding little clues that someone was spying on you especially a supposedly murderous group of people. Swipe certainly contained its fair share of suspense, mystery and intrigue.

I really liked the main character, Logan. He was a relatable character. He was scared, nervous and jumpy whenever he felt somebody was shadowing him and when he found clues leading to him being the next victim of a kidnap and really, if he wasn't, he wouldn't be human, so I like that I could relate to him. I also liked how the author showed us a bit by bit the clues leading up to the kidnapping, which really set the mystery and danger to the story. If Logan stayed scared during the story with no backbone, I probably wouldn't have liked him, but as the story continued he really matured and stood up for himself. He was a great kid, and after reading Swipe I feel like I personally know him, which is what I look for when reading a book.

Erin. I liked Erin, she was okay. I have to give her credit for being exceptionally smart and brave. She was inquisitive, adventurous and willing to help Logan with whatever he need. But, I did feel like she lacked quite a bit in the feelings department. She wasn't very sympathetic to Logan when he came to her and asked her for help and I think she could've expressed her feelings a bit more, however, you do really get to know her.

Parts of the story were also told from the minor characters' perspectives, so that you can really delve into their lives and see inside their head. After reading Swipe, I felt like I could identify with most, if not all, characters in the book. I appreciate that the author takes such time developing the characters, even the minor ones, as not many books have that quality in them. It was also a big shocker learning the true reason behind the Mark and the Dust, I was immensely shocked to read about the actual truth that Logan and Erin had unveiled.

An enjoyable read that is packed full of action and mystery. A good teen, Christian fiction novel, no swearing or sexual content. A middle-grade dystopian novel that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat, biting your nails and turning the pages furiously. Swipe will not leave you disappointed, in fact, it will have you craving the second book in the series. I recommend Swipe to all the dystopian fans out there, an original idea that will make your ideas widen in astonishment, but be never know whose watching....

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!