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Anomaly #1


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Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

312 pages, Paperback

First published July 9, 2013

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About the author

Krista McGee

9 books573 followers
Krista writes for teens, teaches teens, and more often than not, acts like a teen. She and her family have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Her current hometown is Tampa, FL.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 450 reviews
July 15, 2013
Recommended for: religious readers who like their Bible with a side of plotless dystopia. If you are one of the aforementioned, then just skip reading this review, it'll save you some time and you won't have to waste any more effort in leaving me a rage-filled and profanity-laced comment.

Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to the word "dystopia."

Like a moth to a flame, I almost always get burned.

Did I say dystopia? I meant Joel Osteen. At least it wasn't Glenn Beck, but still, that's not saying much. The premise and blurb was vague enough to give me pause, but what did I say earlier about moth and flames? I just can't resist a dystopian, in the hopes that this time, maybe the flame will turn out to be an LED light or something equally innocuous. I was wrong. Stupid, stupid me. As I scanned the blurb and got somewhat interested, I forgot to glance at the sidebar, where the categories are listed. Then I would have seen this book listed under the "Christian" category. Then I would have known better than to waste my time.

My review on this book will be biased, mainly because I am not a religious person. But that's what a review is for, right? It's a subjective opinion, it's not fact. Someone reading this book may be heavily religious. They will undoubtedly love the fact that the book started with a quote from the Bible, and they will love the heavily religious intonations and messages throughout the book. I am not one of them. That is why my review will be biased. I do not appreciate religion being shoved down my throat. I do not have a problem with religion in general. I believe it has its place in society, and I don't have a problem with it in books. I just prefer books without an overwhelmingly religious message, and make no doubt, this book is extremely preachy. I've read books where characters are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Church of Cthulhu (ok, not that one), etc...but those books differ from this one in that they:

1. Have a plot
2. Are well-written

This book is neither. It feels like the author built a dystopian society based of a hatred for science and a love for religion, without a clear idea for a storyline. That is not my only reason for giving this book a low rating. The plot was full of holes, the dystopian society is not well-built, the characters complete fail to evoke any sort of emotion or empathy within me. In fairness, the background cast for this book are intentionally unemotional, the post-Nuclear war world in which they live is based on rationality and lack of emotion, but that's not the case with our "anomaly" of a main character, nor that of her love interest. They are, for lack of a better word, quite human with all the accompanying gross emotions, but I just find them extremely bland. Their love is bland, their emotions lacking, their personality underdeveloped and lacking in any sort of complexity. The premise is already lacking in credibility, and Thalli herself is an uncompelling heroine. A lacking-in-every way Musician who is destined for A GWEATER PUWPOSE BY THE DESIGNER.

"'The Scientists designed you to be a Musician. And you are a beautiful Musician. But the Designer has plans that go beyond that. He has chosen you.'"

This wouldn't be so incredible if Thalli was capable, but she's not. She has emotions (GASP!!!!!). She rebels. She talks too much. She's a good musician. She's less boring than the other rational characters in the book; she's still ridiculously uninspiring and untalented in any way. Her purpose as given by God far overreaches her actual capabilities, which amounts to zero.

Thalli and Berk are rice cakes bland. Egg white bland. Salt-free bland. I'd compare them to brussel sprouts, but the bitterness of those oh-so-beloved vegetables give them more character than our monotonous, flavorless, and insipid Thallium (Thalli) and Berkelium (Berk).

(In the future, children will be named after the period table elements. I am not kidding. It's a good thing they're a small underground society, there aren't that many elements...)

So the premise: futuristic world, at least 40 years in the future. The United States, actually, the world, isn't really a world anymore. Billions have been killed by a Nuclear War. The remaining members of society (we're never given a clear idea of how many survived) moved underground into Pods (the word PODs + dystopia seems to be a bad combination, I should make a note for myself for future reference so I can avoid these books) where children are not conceived in the natural way, but somehow were just bred into existence without parents (again, never explained). Everyone seems to be white, nobody is gay, it's not an adequate representation of the world (even a small surviving population of it) as it is now, and even more inconveivable in the future, when presumably the world will be much more diverse. No such diversity here. Children are segregated by age, there seems to be 28 in Thalli and Berk's Pod C, and they're the 4th generation of Pod after the Nuclear War. It seems to be a tiny, tiny society, but we're never given a clear idea of how many survived. Not very many, if we're just going by the number of Pods.

Even so, the scientists are determined to extinct the human race, it seems. Whenever a child in one of the Pods has an illness, he or she is eradicated. For example, one of Thalli's friend has some yellow mucus leaking from her nose. BOOM, time to die, bitches!

I don't know about you, but where I live, it's called a nasal drip resulting from a cold, and that shit usually goes away on its own. Brilliant scientists save humankind...and are defeated by the common cold virus. Oh yeah, totally believable.

This society is ruled by 10 scientists who have outlawed emotions. They figure, emotions and conflict caused the Nuclear War in the first place, so CLEARLY THE THING TO DO NOW TO REBUILD SOCIETY IS TO ENFORCE SELECTIC GENETIC BREEDING AND OUTLAW EMOTIONS IN THE INTEREST OF PEACE AND SCIENCE.

There is such a backhanded commentary on science in this book. On the one hand, science is seen to be the salvation of the surviving human race. On the other hand, scientists are made to be evil villainous creatures who all but walk around twirling their moustaches and cackling evilly. They perform nefarious experiments. They are robotic. And for a bunch of doctors and Ph.Ds, they do the dumbest fucking things. Seriously? You expect people to believe that people don't die natural deaths, nor do they age?

The writing is lackluster, emotionless. Just because the characters are meant to be rational in a science-based dystopia doesn't mean the writing has to be dull, but it truly is in this book. I really can't tell you how forgettable and confusing the plot is. It jumps from place to place, intertwined by Thalli's meeting with a man named John whose only job, it seems, is to preach to her and tell her about God, the Designer. I'm not making a joke about the preachiness of this book. The Designer this, the Designer that, the Designer is love, the Designer will correct all wrongs. Science is not the way. Etc...There is little rhyme nor rationality within the majority of the book's plot, but John's existence seems to serve the purpose of serving as a mini-sermon in between every other chapter.

"'God sent his Son, Jesus, into this world to save the world,' John says. 'The world rejected him. They killed him.'
'I can identify with this Jesus.'"

Whatever you say, Thalli.

Update: I'm going to add half a star because I used the sheet of paper on which I took notes for this book to kill a spider on my wall.

Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,549 reviews3,385 followers
March 4, 2019
5 stars (again). Hi, I'm Lindsey and this series emotionally destroys me.

About this book:

“Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.
Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world was decimated by a nuclear war. But life continued deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. There they created genetically engineered human beings who are free of emotions in the hope that war won’t threaten the world again.
Thalli is an anomaly, born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far by hiding her differences. But then her secret is discovered when she’s overwhelmed by the emotion of an ancient piece of music.
The Ten quickly schedule her annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk—a scientist being groomed by The Ten—convinces them to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the Scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance.
As her life ticks a way, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who to trust, before her time runs out.”

Series: Book #1 in the “Anomaly” series.

Spiritual Content- Philippians 1:3 at the dedication; Scriptures are mentioned & quoted; Being witnessed to; Prayers; Many talks about God & believing; ‘H’s are not capitalized when referring to God; Many mentions of God (called The Designer) & Jesus; Mentions of a song about Jesus & salvation; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of Bibles & faiths; Mentions of those in the Bible & events; Mentions of churches/chapels & what you do there; Mentions of Heaven; A couple mentions of a Bible college; A mention of a pastor; A mention of a choir; A mention of sin;
*Note: A few mentions of the Scientists believing that former church goers believe in a superstition; A mention of a group of people being more evolved.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘stupid’; A little bit of fighting & pain (barely-above-not-detailed); All about many mentions of being annihilated (including those being forced and those choosing to end their life), poison, & dying/deaths (and seeing people die); Many mentions of lies, lying, deceit, & manipulation; Mentions of a war, threats, & deaths; Mentions of illnesses, injuries, & deaths; A few mentions of being drugged; A couple mentions of bombs; A couple mentions of throwing up; A mention of Thalli feeling like she could kill herself (she mentions right before that there’s something inside of her that warns against that); A mention of a human’s remains;
*Note: A mention of a band (the Beatles).

Sexual Content- two cheek kisses, a forehead kiss, and an almost kiss; Touches, Warmth, & Embraces (from two boys, barely-above-not-detailed); Noticing & Smelling (from two boys, barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of boys & feelings; A couple mentions of people staying together for a while and others leaving to pair with someone else (but no one is married); A mention of procreation; A mention of seeing a couple kiss; A mention of jealousy; A bit of love, falling in love, & the emotions.

-Thallium ‘Thalli”, age 17
1st person P.O.V. of Thalli & the Epilogue in the Scientists
303 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- Two Stars
Early High School Teens- Four Stars
Older High School Teens- Five Stars
My personal Rating- Five Stars
{Death is a topic often discussed in this book and some parts might be creepy/triggering for younger reads. Very clean, but the Scientists can be disturbing with their methods.}
Just like the first time I read this book, I feel emotionally wrecked as if I’ve been through the wringer. Rereading this series as been on my to-do list for quite a while now, and I’m excited it’s finally happening. While this reading felt a little slower pace at first than a remember, it quickly picks up the pace and it feels like a roller-coaster of a ride.

Link to review:

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
Profile Image for C.B. Cook.
Author 6 books195 followers
February 2, 2016


So... I don't read much dystopian, simply because all of the dystopian books I want to read, I don't have. BUT this went on sale a while back and I actually had money on Amazon *cue gasps* so I got it. And boy am I glad I did!!!

The Good

This world is small... in this book, at least. It was delicately, extraordinarily developed, and I absolutely loved it. Or hated it. Not sure. But Krista McGee did an AMAZING job with this world, and the characters. The characters were just awesome. I didn't fangirl over any of them like Jace and Kyrin in the Ilyon Chronicles, but they were really interesting, especially Thalli. Poor, poor Thalli.


The Bad

Some of the stuff was a little farfetched, even for a dystopian, and the romance was a little flat to me. Mostly physical and feelings, nothing "real" or amazing. Some of the sciency stuff is a little confusing, but not too bad.

The Ugly

Some touchy-feely romance, but nothing more than kissing. Quite a bit of violence scattered throughout, but not too bad.

Overall, this is a GREAT read, and I really liked it, and I'm TOTALLY reading the next book. As soon as I can get my hands on it, that is...
Profile Image for Addy S..
170 reviews64 followers
January 26, 2019
I absolutely adored this book. So much so that I couldn't get out of it! XD

-Language: n/a
-Romance: cheek/forehead kisses, lots of hugging/holding, hand-holding, etc.
-Violence: n/a
-Blood/Gore: n/a
-Sensitive Details: there was a lot of medical experiments on humans, including placing probes in brains, losing feeling in arms, losing eyesight, lots of talk about people being annihalated, etc.

I really enjoyed this book because of the fact that it is CLEAN and the author placed God (the Designer) right in the center of it!!
Thalli and Burk are two SWEET sweet characters and I fell for Burk immediately. Their relationship was chaste, without any kissing, and I really liked that.

There was truly no content other than what I included in the sensitive details. As this is Sci-Fi, there is a ton of experimenting on humans (particularly Thalli) against their wills. People are annihalated (not in cruel ways, but still, it's not good to put people to sleep permanently). But, I wasn't bothered by these things, especially since I know there are two more books. XD

The book was SUPER intense, and the sweet scenes between Burk and Thalli really eased it up a lot. I absolutely loved all of the faith-content and how Thalli clinged to the Designer during all that was going on. *heart eyes*

Would DEFINITELY reccomend to lovers of CLEAN Science-Fiction books!!

Ages 13+ for romance and potentially confusing talk about science.

Soli Deo Gloria
Profile Image for Alyssa.
570 reviews193 followers
November 8, 2013
5 Stars!
Goodreads Synopsis:
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk��her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

I finally got to read Anomaly, and after finishing I can't believe I waited so long to read it. Krista nailed it! At first I wasn't sure if I would like this or not, because I don't read sci-fi/dystopian very much. But Krista has made me a fan. Krista has created such an interesting world, called The State. And to be honest, I didn't care for Krista's last book, so I was very cautious when I opened Anomaly. Although I did love First Date! I love how Krista wove in Christianity, and Thalli's struggle to believe. And can we just talk about the romance! It was so sweet and tender nothing unnecessary or inappropriate, so thank you Krista for great romantic story. There wasn't even a kiss between Thalli and Berk, so we're just going to have to wait for that. The character Berk, I love him, how he wants to protect Thalli and tries to help her while she is being "tested" on by the Scientists. Krista pretty much created the perfect man, at least in my opinion. Anomaly now has a permanent home on my bookshelf. I can't wait for Luminary (#2) to release in January.

For fun here's a few quotes from the book that I love:
1. "Oh, Thalli. How do I define love? It is the Designer's greatest gift to us. It gives us a small glimpse of who he is, how he feels about us."
-Conversation between Thalli and John.

2. "They fear those emotions because, unchecked, they can lead to other emotions---jealousy, anger, betrayal." "So they were right to create us without them?" Most of us. "No." John closes his eyes. "the solution is not to remove your feelings." "Then what is the solution." "The Designer is the solution."
-Conversation between Thalli and John.

Oh, and something else. This is the first fiction book I have ever highlighted in. These quotes are just so good!

Review on my blog: http://literaryandlace.blogspot.com/2...
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books353 followers
November 29, 2016
4.5 stars! I really, really liked Anomaly by Krista McGee, and am super excited to finish the ANOMALY series! This is a Christian dystopian/science-fiction tale (which I love!) It's intriguing, raw, unique, and thought-provoking. There's also a heartfelt, beautiful journey to finding truth.

The dystopian world, the characters, the plot ... all so well done. I definitely had the feels while reading Anomaly. It drew out my emotions and made me think about what the world would be like without emotions. Without free will. Without the ability to question or fight back.

I can hardly wait to reconnect with Thalli and her friends and continue this mind-boggling, futuristic story!
Profile Image for Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}.
196 reviews153 followers
January 2, 2014
Before I start the review, I want to make it clear that my review will be biased and I will not attempt hide this in any shape or form. I am not the intended audience for this novel (deeply, devout Christian teens). Despite how naïve this may be, I do not believe that religious novels should only be read and appreciated by religious people. I have read novels written to and by people of many faiths and have enjoyed some of them. I've seen that the main issue of these sorts of books is not the presence of religion but the fact that the authors seem to make religion a singular focus in a book that does not call for it. Dystopias, such as Anomaly, should not have God as the main focus.

Despite the genre, books should always have strong characterization and an engaging plot, not to mention being well-written. Anomaly has none of these three things. The characters are pitiful cardboard cutouts that bear little to no resemblance to actual people. The main character, Thalli, is the one of the only characters that actually has emotions yet it would be impossible to tell had it not been for her constant reminder of how superior she was. One of the supporting characters', John, only purpose in life is to preach to Thalli. The plot was one dimensional and boring. At all times, I felt like someone was shouting into my ear 'religion over science'.

Anomaly had a strong beginning, as far as dystopias go. It's set in a futuristic world, destroyed by a nuclear war. Thalli's society lives underground and is ruled by ten scientists. These scientists have genetically designed human beings to have no emotions, since they believed emotions were the downfall of civilization and the reason for the war. Not much background is given for the book nor any concrete world building. It seems like everyone is white, cisgendered, and heterosexual, though. Not that sexuality matters because neither romance nor sex occurs in these Pods (is pod the current dystopia buzzword?).

It wasn't perfect, but it was engaging enough. If the book continued the way it started, it could have easily gotten a decent 2.5 - 3. But alas, it was not meant to be and around 100 pages in, the dreaded preaching came in.

Religion is totally okay in books, I am completely fine with it. However, I cannot tolerate preaching in novels. The main reason I couldn't enjoy Warm Bodies was because of the overwhelming feelings of being lectured to. I cannot stand that. I don't want a book where I feel physically uncomfortable reading it because there isn't a page where a character isn't preaching about God.

If only McGee had more skill in writing, this book may have been saved. But, sadly, her writing is as bland and lifeless as her plot and characters. It's emotionless and boring. She has little skill in the art of storytelling.

Anomaly was an extremely disappointing way to start the new year with. I can't say I'll be reading any of McGee's books again, nor any subsequent books in the Anomaly series.
Profile Image for Kate Willis.
Author 17 books485 followers
January 2, 2019
The Christian bookstore can be a very tempting place, at least for me anyway. Especially when it’s Black Friday and there are clearance sales. O.o. They almost got me to buy the second book in this series, but after evaluating my huge stack of lovely prospective purchases, I left it behind.

A week later I found the entire series gently used for less than that one clearanced book. :D (Thanks, Lord!)

I literally gobbled this book up the moment it came. I read it in more than a day only because I had to, and it took a LOT of self-control not to read the entire series in one sitting. ;) (I’m sorry, family.)

It had a lot of the same feel as some of my favorite dystopian series, but not in a stale way. I loved seeing where it was unique, and the hard-hitting but subtly woven in Biblical truths were amazing and really set this book apart. (One of the best and most natural Gospel presentations I’ve ever seen.)

I really liked Thalli. She wasn’t classically rebellious, instead she was really, really curious and also just trying to keep her differences under wraps. It was great how much she loved music too. I’m not a big musician, but I could feel the joy of playing through how the author wrote those scenes. And I was sooo happy to have “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” in there. <3

Heads up, world, Dr. Berk is the best. *fangirls* *fangirls more* Smart and sweet.

John and Rhen were great supporting characters, and Dr. Loudin was complicated and astounding. BIG surprises. Like, wow. And the characters being named after elements on the periodic table = nerd happiness.

One of the romances in this book was sooo good. I surprised myself with it actually. The couple had such loyalty and chemistry that I was practically rooting for them to kiss (#notusualforme) and when they didn’t, I was even happier because it was so respectful and unusual for them not to. (And it would have detracted from the book’s message if they had, actually.) But, they were cuteness anyway.

This book really drove home again for me that Jesus is the only source of true love and freedom and anything else is counterfeit. Really good.

Just a note, the leaders in this book do not have a value on human life, so there is some discussion of euthanasia including There was also some mental manipulation and experimental brain surgery that, while undetailed, was somewhat intense. Also, there were some sweet forehead kisses and hand-holding as well as attraction.

I forgot to keep track of my favorite quotes, but know this that Thalli was a pretty interesting narrator and every time John was talking was awesome. ;)

Altogether, this was a great book, and I’m looking forward to more. ;)

(And the spines of the paperbacks make this really cool chevron pattern when they’re all stacked up together, and that’s just happy-fying. :D )
Profile Image for Lizzie.
125 reviews63 followers
March 31, 2014
Wow! A Christian Dystopian? Yes please! I really did like this book, although it wasn't the most fast paced it was still very much enjoyable, there were lots of plot twists, and many similarities to Divergent, I found. If you're a Christian and you're wanting a YA Dystopian where you don't have to worry about there being anything negative in them, this is a fantastic book. Can't wait for the next one!!
Profile Image for Allyson Jamison.
124 reviews
June 14, 2021
What an amazing dystopian!
I am rather picky with dystopians just because sometimes they can be really weird and I'm not a fan of those. But, when they're well done, I really enjoy them! And this was very well done indeed!
I loved everything about it! I loved Thalli and her passion for music and how through that she let her emotions shine through. I loved the slow but ever so sweet relationship between her and Berk, how, together, they learned about love.
And, most of all, I loved the Designer. I thought it was so neat the way Krista McGee put this aspect in the book and how it was through John that they learned about Him. I always feel there's something about characters in dystopian novels discovering and learning to believe in God, somehow it makes it feel so real and personal. I love it!!
Overall this is definitely an amazing book and one I would highly recommend! 100% clean and one that keeps you reading from beginning to end as quickly as you can!
Profile Image for Denali Christianson ~Semi-active~.
66 reviews35 followers
December 30, 2021
3.5 stars/Wouldn’t re-read/Might recommend

This book is... hard. I honestly can't say whether I love it or hate it, and thus we end up with an average rating.

Things I Loved:
1) The Gospel message. Obviously. I'm a Christian, so the message was beautiful and I enjoyed reading it. This could be a trigger point for people who aren't into Christian books as it pretty much permeates everything.
2) The suspense. There was mystery, there was intrigue. You don't know what's real and what's not, and McGee made me squeal more than once when something happened I wasn't expecting.

Things I Liked:
1) The Characters. They were good, although flat, since the society is against emotion.
2) The Names. I personally thought it was pretty cool to name people after elements.

Things I Disliked:
1) The Society. The society felt ill-formed and hard to follow. There were parts that made very little sense and other parts that were just plain disgusting and unenjoyable to read.
2) The Plot. If I'm being honest, not a whole lot happened. I think it would have been better to finish the series with this book. It felt complete. Stuff was happening until I got to the end and realized how much farther we had to go. All of a sudden, everything else I'd just read was so cheapened and I really didn't like that. McGee turned this into a warning book for a series, not a complete story that will stay with me.
3) The Writing. Why are dystopians always written in first person present??????????????? Literally no one can pull it off (except for like two people), and it just ruins everything. I would have much preferred to read this in third person limited. It would have made the whole book a cut above, but instead the only thing that really defines it from other dystopians is that it's Christian (which don't get me wrong, is awesome.)

All in all, this book didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's a good book, but I definitely won't be rereading. After having a stint of four and five star books, this one was a disappointment. If you are into dystopian, then you'd probably enjoy this book. It just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Zac.
46 reviews69 followers
May 31, 2015

Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

My Review:

Wow! Anomaly was such an amazing read. Definitely a new favorite of mine in the dystopian genre!

I honestly found no fault in this book. Characters were amazingly real, the plot was unique and a breathe of fresh of air from the cliché plotlines in most of today's dystopias, and the setting, though very scientific, was believable and intriguing.

Thalli was undoubtedly my favorite character. Not because the story is told from her POV, but because her growth as a character was so inspiring and real...and heartbreaking. The best part was watching her learn more about the Designer (God) and trust in Him in everything she did.

I immensely enjoyed the light romance between Thalli and Berk. It was sweet, without being steamy or obsessive.

Though there wasn't much action in the book, I was on the edge of my seat through the whole book. I felt like I myself stood next to Thalli as she endured everything that happened! My heart raced through the majority of Anomaly.

The last 30 pages, I'll admit, made me frown. I had no idea how it would end, and I hadn't prepared myself for what was to come. All I can say is...wow. MAJOR CLIFFHANGER...But it was so awesome! And I don't have the second book! Aah!

Thank you, Krista McGee, for writing this book. It absolutely blew me away. Anomaly takes second to The Hunger Games on my list of dystopian favorites.

Very highly recommended!
Profile Image for Faith M:).
135 reviews40 followers
February 16, 2019
3.5 stars


Romance- Definitely some in this area. All clean though! Hugs, forehead kisses, cheek kisses, etc.

Violence/Content- There were several alarming procedures and surgeries involving the brain and trickery. Lots of tests and trying out different drugs. Mentions of killing lots of people.
Lots of lying in this book as well. From the villains (obviously) and from the heroins (trying to stay safe). No emotions are allowed in the society.

Spiritual content- This was lovely! As Ms McGee is a Christian author, she was able to share the story of the Designer's saving grace. As the story progresses, the main characters come to know and love the Designer!

Overall, this was a clean book and
P E R F E C T for lovers of Dystopian-Romance. My only reason for the 3.5 star rating? It's not my most favorite genre to read. But nonetheless, this was still a great book. Great job, Ms McGee! I look forward to reading more of your work!
Profile Image for Tonina.
20 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2013
For me, Anomaly was true to its name, in that its sheer level of terrible landed it on my extremely rarely used "too-awful-to-finish" shelf.

A YA dystopian? Sure, I'll give it a whirl. A YA dystopian that beats me over the head with the author's particular brand of religion and is more than a little short on character development, believable worldbuilding, and plot? Pardon me while I Hail Mary the book like there's five seconds left in the Super Bowl and I'm Tom Brady trying to finish off a dramatic comeback.

I ran across this book in July while perusing my library's new YA ebook purchases. There were already quite a few people on the hold list, which piqued my interest, and the blurb looked okay at first glance, so I signed up for it. I waited nearly three months for my turn to arrive. Today I was notified that the book was finally available to me. Excited, I downloaded it. And that's when I discovered that this book treats people like they're heathen tent pegs that can be forced into the desired position on religion if hit hard and often enough with a Christian hammer.

Now, I'd like to point out that I'm not knee-jerk hating on this book. In the past, I've enjoyed certain stories that included or were based on religious themes and elements, Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series being a prime example. However, Anomaly contains a ton of evangelical Christian messages and biblical quotes and not a whole lot else - like characters that are sufficiently developed for the reader to give a rat's ass about them, or a coherent plot. To me, the MC, Thalli (yes, the kids in this book are named after elements from the periodic table, because Evil Scientists), was about as interesting and appealing as a bowl of cold oatmeal. She's supposed to be this huge danger to the Pod where she lives BECAUSE SHE HAS EMOTIONS AND NO ONE ELSE DOES, OH NOES! But she doesn't do much of anything, so it was hard for me to take that portrayal at all seriously. Now, I will freely admit that I couldn't make myself finish this book (an extremely rare event for me), so it's possible Thalli becomes a dynamic and fascinating character by the end. It could have happened. For all I know, it did happen. I'm just going to say I doubt it.

What's more, the contemptuous portrayal of science and scientists is extremely disturbing. Yeah, scientists, those evil jerks. What have they ever done for the world? It gets even worse when Thalli encounters a plot device man named John who tells her about the almighty Designer. And of course, we're talking about a very evangelical-friendly Christian version of said Designer. From that point on, we're on our way into Preachytown by way of the Science Is Bad line, and it's one hell of a fast ride.

To be fair, I shouldn't have assumed the book would be an entertaining read on the basis of a generic blurb and a long waiting list at my local library. That was stupid on my part, especially considering that I live in an area that's home to a large evangelical college. However, there are plenty of ways to include religious ideas and elements in a story effectively. Unfortunately, this book uses none of those options. Instead, it shifts quickly from storytelling into preaching and stays there, with an occasional jump into proselytizing for variety. But the true deal-breaker for me was the overwhelming impression I received that it was a vehicle for evangelical Christian messages first and an actual story a sad and distant second. If you want to preach, fine, but be up front about it. Don't encapsulate your message in a hollow shell of a YA dystopian in a ham-fisted attempt to make it more palatable to teens and to attract more readers. Just be honest about your true purpose.
Profile Image for Christian Fiction Addiction.
689 reviews316 followers
July 25, 2013
Minutes into the first few pages of "Anomaly", I knew I was in for trouble...that there was no way I'd be putting this book down any time soon! Krista McGee has created a fascinating futuristic world, a post-nuclear war age where science rules the day, and feelings and spirituality have been genetically removed from human DNA. I loved the idea of Thalli, a character who doesn't fit the mold but instead questions why things are the way they are, and feels things on a deep level. She is a wonderfully unique character with her love of music, her emotions and creativity, the way she discovers a Designer at work around her, and I simply couldn't read enough about her! Indeed, Krista has created a winning combination of characters as a whole, and has given them life such that readers will soon feel like they are friends. The story is full of twists and turns that kept me racing through the pages as I sought to discover what was real and what was not.

Yet the novel has also caused me to think about the nature of life on a deeper level, about what truly makes us human, and about our own efforts as a society to scrub God out of the equation and create our own morality and rules and meaning in our life. "Anomaly" shows the danger of stepping into God's shoes, and it does so in a wonderfully entertaining manner.

I, for one, am highly anticipating the next addition to Krista McGee's clever series. I highly recommend this wonderful addition to the world of dystopian fiction, and award it 5 out of 5 stars.

A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Profile Image for Tressa (Wishful Endings).
1,720 reviews182 followers
July 8, 2013
3.5 stars

What I thought:

When I signed up for this tour I didn't realize that this was in the Christian Fiction genre. I thought it was just going to be a YA Dystopian. It turned out to be both, so it's a good thing I like Christian Fiction. It's the first time I have read this type of book and it was an interesting mix.

The whole premise was also different. The world has basically faced an apocalypse, which is nothing new, but in this story a community survives under ground in a scientific living space and pods that were set up for just such a scenario. Then the following generations are engineered to not feel things or think specific things. Those that somehow still retain these characteristic, even though engineered not to, are called anomalies. Thalli is just such an anomaly. Because of this she has feelings she shouldn't, developing friendships when she shouldn't, and possibly something more with one young scientist. There are other things driving the plot, such as the agenda and issues among the scientists and a new threat to their survival.

I actually really liked Thalli, although I think she took too many risks by not hiding her feelings enough. On the other hand, I think that would be difficult to do every single day for all of her seventeen years. I also liked Berk, who is very smart, kind, and loyal. The other characters were also interesting. I was surprised that we only see mainly two scientists through the whole book, one more than the other. However, this made a little more sense at the end.

The religious content did seem a little unrealistic and I think someone who doesn't normally read Christian Fiction or who isn't Christian may be turned off by this, so I would recommend it to those who enjoy this genre. There really aren't that many Christian Fiction books that aren't Historical or Contemporary Fiction, so I'm glad that this author decided to write a dystopian. I think there is definitely a market for it in Christian YA.

Overall, it was an interesting read, one I ended up liking. I am actually quite curious to find out what happens in the second book, which comes out next year.

Content: Clean
Source: Copy received from tour host. This did not affect the opinions shared in my review in any way.
Profile Image for Megan.
1,492 reviews186 followers
March 24, 2013
I have only read one other book by this author, Right Where I Belong , and was quite pleased with it. However with Anomaly being such a different type of book I wasn't sure how much I would like it. Sure the synopsis sounded good, but I went into it with a little apprehension. I needn't have worried! This book was SO amazing!

It kept me guessing throughout the entire book, I was never quite sure what was real! And I loved every second of it!

If you love Dystopian novels you should definitely read this, as I'm sure you'd enjoy it. I hate that I have to wait a year for the second book - with the way the book ended I want to read it right now!

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***
Profile Image for Libby May.
Author 3 books85 followers
April 2, 2018
Yay for Krista McGee again! I like this book a lot. Although the second to last scene was very confusing and I'm still not clear on what happened in the computer and how it would help to solve the oxygen problem, but I'm fascinated by the characters and the way that simulation was possible.

Can't wait to read the next book. :D
Profile Image for Kristina Hall.
Author 14 books222 followers
August 23, 2021
4.5 stars!

Characters: Even though Thalli lived in a dystopian future, she was still a relatable character with a great arc. John and Berk were good side characters and added a ton to the plot.

Language: Clean.

Moral: This book included a number of good themes: salvation, God as Creator, the proper place for emotions, and eternity. The scene where John talked to Thalli about Jesus and salvation was especially good.

Plot: I haven’t read all that many dystopian books. When I do read them, I’m always pulled into the story. High stakes, reality-that-might-not-be-reality, and a developing romance moved the plot right along … and kept me reading way too late at night. :)

Random comments: The one-eye symbolism on the cover creeped me out.

Romance: Clean. A few kisses. Thalli and Berk’s relationship seemed to develop kind of fast, but they had been around each other for their whole lives. I won’t complain too much. :)

Writing: Krista McGee’s writing style worked well for this book. Short, snappy sentences gave Thalli’s perspective character, and all the dystopian differences were well described.

Overall: Anomaly was an intriguing read, and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy Christian fiction, young-adult (YA) fiction, and dystopian stories.
Profile Image for Hannah Rodes.
109 reviews12 followers
March 6, 2016
Anomaly by Krista Mcgee

Anomaly was a very intriguing read for me. Krista Mcgee is one of my favorite contemporary authors so I was eager to start into Anomaly. I was not disappointed. I really liked Anomaly. (Disclaimer: I am writing this review three month after I read it. So, it will be short)

The Good.

The Plot was intriguing and kept me interested. The Ending freaked me out! I mean it almost—she almost—*rapid hand motions*

The Bad.

I didn’t necessarily like Thalli. She was okay, just not an outstanding heroine. And there was a love triangle! I HATE love triangles! It’s my bookish pet-peeve. I would rather bend my favorite book’s cover than read one. More. Love triangle. *screams* (Okay, let’s not get to crazy. I do despise love triangles though)

Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,002 reviews3,272 followers
February 5, 2015
DNF - A religious novel under the guise of dystopian fiction. Last thing I want is to be preached to in my reading time.

Also, the writing was terribly difficult to get into, stunted sentences, pretty much skimmed all the way to 27%. When the mentions of God and the Church came out, I decided that was that.

Received this book from Netgalley as part of a blog tour, but chose not to take part in it.
Profile Image for Sierra Faith.
188 reviews38 followers
February 23, 2016
3.5 stars! I really didn't connect with Thalli..... I don't know why! Excited to read the next book in the series though.
Profile Image for J.C..
Author 4 books73 followers
March 7, 2018
A great addition to the dystopian genre, Krista McGee’s Anomaly was a great read, full of action, adventure, yet with a strong Christian themes and elements that I absolutely loved. They were written in cleverly and very well done, adding to the plot without taking over. The themes and messages sent were very strong.

The storyline was creepily realistic and extremely capitivating. It tells the story of a futuristic world, after the dry land has been completely demolished through a Nuclear War, sending the last 10 survivors (The Ten) into an underground society they founded themselves. They create every human present, mixing DNA to create each one to have a specific talent to make for a productive life as possible. This element was done very well.

The characters were easy to like. I was drawn in immediately to their stories. Though at first it seemed like another cliche where the main character is the one “different” one (and there were some cliche-y elements), overall this really felt much more true to the story and much more real. Thalli was a believable character, with her own flaws and strengths and yet real enough to feel like a friend. Berk was a strong male lead. Rhen was simply wonderful and done so well. John was just—wow. His character, as one who saw the land and lived before the War, was done just so well. The way he interacted with Thalli and the others was amazing.

The Christian message was there in this book, too, presented in a simple way but with a natural feel. It didn’t feel preachy, but rather like a part of the story. I enjoyed watching Thalli’s transformation; I couldn’t help cheering for her.

On the downside, this book was very confusing in some parts. While the plotline never lacked action and answers were always given, the way the story went about this was very confusing. It all paid off in the end, but there were some very flustering sections where I had no real idea why they were doing what they were doing. The majority of my confusion was the lack of description in the changing of settings. I couldn’t figure out where they were or how it lined up with the rest. It was abstract, for sure, only in this case maybe a little too abstract.

Another thing was the writing wasn’t the best quality. The sentences were short and easy to comprehend, with no real challenges. While this is good for some people, I felt as this book was targeted for the teenage audience, a little more should be expected, and in the case of Anomaly, unfortunately, it fell flat.

All in all, this was a great read. Though it lacked a lot in some areas, the rest of the book was very enjoyable. I sped through this book in two days, it was so hard to put down! Greatly looking forward to reading the next book, Luminary. 4.0 stars.

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Profile Image for Reading with Rebecca Nicole.
480 reviews93 followers
January 14, 2015
What a rollercoaster ride!

I am having a hard time writing a review for this book. I am really not sure how to put my feelings into words. So I think I will 'write' this review in gifs. My first review in gifs!

My reactions while reading this book:


Really enjoying it!

.....This is kinda meh

What just happened!? Ugh! Don’t like!

Woah, did not see that comin’

Getting good again…


Yeah. That pretty much says it all. This book has so many twists and turns, you really don’t know what to expect next. It is like a big roller-coaster ride.
There was one point in the middle I complained about, but even that turned out waaaaaay different than I expected!

And then there was John. “A voice crying out in the wilderness. Prepare the Way of the Lord.” That is all I could think of whenever John was around. I even started picturing him with long hair and bead and dressed in sheepskin, instead of the plaid shirt and jeans, or whatever it was he was suppose to be wearing.

Would I recommend it? YES!

And don’t get too upset about the insta love with Stone. It is not as bad as – no wait, it is way worse then it seems. But in a good way for those who can’t stand insta love.

I know, I’m not making sense. Just go read the book!!
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,942 reviews548 followers
July 12, 2013
Review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R9015TKB...
Review on my blog (to be posted 7/16): http://christianbookshelfreviews.blog...

I've heard great things about Krista McGee's books, so when I found out about Anomaly, I knew I had to read it - especially since it's dystopian (I absolutely love this genre!).

Anomaly completely met my expectations, as I ended up loving it. The story held my attention throughout and I loved the characters. I think my favorite character would have to be Berk, though John and Thalli were close runner-ups.

The ending was fantastic and definitely leaves me itching to read the next book, Luminary, as soon as possible. Can't believe we have to wait until January for its release...

Overall, Anomaly was a wonderful YA dystopian read! If you enjoy these types of books, I recommend Anomaly! :)

*I received this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Profile Image for Jenna.
Author 2 books151 followers
November 25, 2018
It wasn't my favorite book for sure, but I'm interested to see what happens, so I plan on getting the other two books in the trilogy.
It had a bit more romance than I prefer, since I'm more of an action-adventure gal. ;) I felt like it took a bit for me to get into the story, but once I did, it was pretty interesting.
I also appreciated the Christian elements. But they didn't capitalize the 'H's referring to God, which I think should be done.
Profile Image for Kathleen (Kat) Smith.
1,612 reviews81 followers
July 9, 2013
There are only a handful of humans remaining after the Nuclear War decimated what used to be the world as we know it. Only for those of us left, we don't have any memory of that world. All we have are the lessons we study about the world that once was. We are segregated by generations and in my Pod C, there are only about thirty of us. Each of us has a talent that only we alone possess. For me, Thalli, I am a musician. I can read and create music as though that was all I was born to do. For my roommates they have their own special skills, cooking, inventing, designing and even logical thinking. We are kept away from the other Pods B and A, as they are another generation ahead of us. We have no parents and we don't even consider those of us dwelling in this Pod as friends really. We just go about our days like we're supposed to only for me, I am considered an anomaly, because I think. I ask too many questions. I wonder why more than I just accept things like my Pod mates. My only ally is Beck who is a wonderful scientist and who sense there is more to me than I am supposed to be.

Whenever illness comes, we are removed and never seen again. They call it annihilation and we cease to be. Thanks to a group of scientists known as The Ten, we are able to live and find ways to grow food beneath the ground. We can't go above because the air is toxic and we would simply die. So for now, we continue to work on finding a way to survive in this existence, but if they learn that I am not all I am supposed to be, it will be my turn for annihilation. Only scientists are allowed to ask questions and to wonder why. I am simply to create music. However when I am asked to play an old piece of music left behind by the world before us, I can't hide the emotions that the song brings out in me. Now I am moved to isolation and the experiments begin to see if I possess anything that can be useful before I am annihilated.

But will the world I believe is my home turn out instead to be a virtual one? A simulation so real that all of my senses are engaged and I can not longer differentiate from what is real and what is not? What is my true calling in this life? Is there hope for something more than simply what I was created to be? How much longer will I be allowed to live before I am no longer a viable option?

In the novel Anomaly by author Krista McGee, Thalli is a young girl who begins to wonder if there is something more than what she has been lead to believe her whole life. She knows nothing of parents, love or God other than what she is reading about through her history lessons on her learning pad. This calls into question what would happen if just a handful of humans remained on the earth after a horrible nuclear war. How would they survive? What would they do to maintain law and order in their society? This is just that premise that Krista breathes to life in this dystopain fiction that sounds like a futuristic version of Lord of the Flies. I absolutely LOVED all the shifting of realities and soon found myself questioning what is real or isn't in this wonderful science fiction young adult novel. For anyone who loves this type of genre, you will not be the slightest bit disappointed.

I received Anomaly by Krista McGee compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Knowing how quickly we are creating our own virtual reality's in video games, this one really took me by surprised and wondered just how far along are we really. This really does create a sense of what if, when you read this one and makes us question just how beneficial is technology in the future. How will this world survive if we found ourselves in the situation Krista created in this novel. This is definitely a novel that makes you wonder how you would handle creating a lasting remnant if given the chance. How much freedom would you allow people to have? I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and there's even some discussion questions included for book groups or small group study.
Profile Image for Jill Williamson.
Author 55 books1,423 followers
September 9, 2013
Thalli lives in Pod C where everyone has a unique job. She is the musician of Pod C and does her job well. She also hides secrets well. See, people aren’t supposed to show emotion in Thalli’s world. Emotion is a weakness, and people with weaknesses are taken away and never return. But Thalli feels. And when her best friend Berk is promoted to a Scientist and taken away for training, she feels the loss of a dear friend.

Thalli is unable to hide her anomaly forever, though, and soon she is taken away from her pod and the only life she has ever known. There she sees Berk again, and she learns that the Scientists have told many lies. And the more she learns, the harder it becomes to tell truth from lie. What is real and what is illusion? Is anyone telling the truth? Is it safe to go above ground? Is there really a Designer? Thalli and Berk conspire to find the truth, even if that means risking their lives.

This dystopian novel holds up well against books like Delirium and The Giver. It’s a quick read with an interesting plot that kept me turning the pages and wondering what was real and what was not. If you love dystopian novels, you should give this one a try. It’s the first book in a series. Book two, Luminary, comes out in July 2014, and, without giving anything away, I’m quite curious what will happen for … those who survived book one. Mwa ha ha!
Profile Image for Halee.
144 reviews
July 22, 2016
Whoa. Guys. This book. I cannor believe that this book is over. Ot was just unlike anything I've ever read. It was clean, Christian AND dystopian?? *gasp* How could this be so? Because it's Krista McGee! Agghhh...... Cliff. Hanger.
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