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The Torturer's Daughter

(Internal Defense #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  104 reviews
When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca Dalcourt assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.

To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents' innoce
Paperback, 274 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published October 21st 2012)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
For some reason, I place The Torturer's Daughter in the same category as two other dystopian books: What's Left of Me and Awaken.

My level of enjoyment wasn't even almost consistent across the three: I gave Awaken 2 stars, What's Left of Me 3 stars and this book 4. It wasn't that the MC's were the same: Maddie was a spineless brat, Eva was an incredibly moral fighter, and Becca was an actually realistic teenager.

The dystopian worlds had nothing in common: in Awaken, every aspect of life has bee
catherine ♡
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Actual Rating: 2.5

Honestly, I'm very disappointed. I had been looking forward to reading this book because I thought that the plot sounded really interesting - and it would have been, if it weren't for the main character, who was just so, so, so, so, so annoying and dislikeable.

But let's start from the very beginning.
This story takes place in a dystopian society where anyone who dares to express an opinion that does not conform to society are tracked down to prevent an uprising. These people a
Harmony Kent
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)
5 out of 5 stars

A Fantastic Read that's compelling for both Adults and YA.

"When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca Dalcourt assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.

To stop Heather from getting herself killed
Nour Sharif
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: others, kindle, english
YA main characters are idiots.
i admit though.. the book was better the second time around.
stop making Becca an idiot.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This story had potential, but... The characters were flat, naive and unconvincing. The world that should have been a dystopia, felt like normal day USA except every now and then some people would disappear. The story didn't come close to live up to it's dark title. But I might still read the next book. It was quick and easy entertainment, and I'm a bit curious if there might be more to the world, though probably not.
Joanne Alan
May 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Can’t believe I read this. So stupid
More like 3.5 stars.

*I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was surprised by how much I really liked this book. It was different, original, and the plot was very suspenseful. In a society that's trying to eliminate evil for good no matter the cost, these characters must determine what's right and what's wrong.

The old government is gone, replaced with Enforcers and Processors who arrest and execute people they call dissidents. One wrong move, saying one wron
♥Scout Paige♥
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review is also on my blog:

(may contain spoilers)
I received an e-copy of The Torturer's Daughter from the author in return for an honest review. I love dystopia so of course I loved this. After Becca's best friends parents are arrested for dissident activity she searches for evidence of their guilt but what she find turns her world upside down. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her mother -the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's really redundant. And Becca does really, really stupid things.

It was an interesting story, but it was not what it could have been. It had dark elements that were not explored well, so I'm not sure why they were brought to attention at all. The political development was really weak. It was and wasn't the focus of this book, but it had enough focus that it really should have had a lot more elaboration.

Becca saw some things that should have made her hate her mother and everything she stood fo
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
(Warning: Possible Spoilers)
Trust noone! Zoe Cannon does a good job of making you question every character's motives, all from Becca's perspective. I really enjoyed reading the entire book in her perspective and experiencing every event as her. There were not many characters, and even the characters that were in the book were not heavily described as far as appearance or other traits, other than that Becca's friend Heather is more attractive than Becca (according to Becca, of course). This makes
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A phone ringing in the middle of the night begins a series of events that will cause Becca to question everything she has ever known to be true. In her society, no one is safe. Children are watching their parents and even lovers can't be trusted. Can Becca figure out where the truth lies and what consequences she can live with before it is too late?

This novel pleasantly surprised me. These days, when I open a dystopian novel, I just kind of figure that the story is probably just going to
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, dsytopian
TL;DR - Great book, very solid, not a lot of how things got the way they were.

If you can't stand dystopian novels without knowing every why and how, you may or may not want to give this book a shot. I like to know these things, but the vagueness added to the story. Perhaps "added" isn't the right term, it was more of a shift in focus. Less of the character in the world, more of the character.

This book isn't really about fighting against an oppressive government, it's about coming to terms with c
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I enjoyed this more than I expected. Obviously I was hoping to enjoy it, or I wouldn't have started it in the first place--but I was expecting a pretty typical YA dystopian novel. In some ways it was, but it good a little deeper into personal ethics than I would have thought, and I enjoyed that. I'm not sure if I will continue on with the series, but I certainly enjoyed this book on its own.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little too dark for me. To me there was no silver lining to the story at all. It's very Orwellian.
An electronic copy had been provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Becca Dalcourt believes she lives in a world where the government knows best. They’ve removed all the previous evils from the world, and their citizens are enjoying a new life under the safety of their wing. Or so she thinks…until her best friend Heather calls her from 117 in the middle of the night, crying as she tells Becca that Internal had arrested her parents for dissident activity. At first, she believes t
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Title: The Torturer's Daughter
Author: Zoe Cannon
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Independent Publishing 12/11/13
Length: 274 pages



When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.
To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents'
Maniparna Sengupta majumder
The Torturer's Daughter ( 275 pages approx ) by Zoe Cannon has its listing in the YA/Dystopian category of novels and is a pleasant as well as thought-provoking read. The protagonist Rebecca (Becca) Dalcourt gets a call from her dearest friend Heather in the middle of the night who says that she is now at Processing 117. The news electrifies Becca and she , in spite of her timid nature and apathy for that particular place decides to visit Heather to respect their friendship. She then faces the c ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel was set in a dystopian novel controlled by a totalitarian government. This was evident in the rich description in the story of uniform housings with stark white walls and security cameras, enforcers guarding the area, mandatory civilization classes in school, whistle blowers, as well as executioners for violators of the laws. These depict a fearful scenario for the reader. Starting the story with the main character worrying about her best friend who was captured by the government, it s ...more
Megan McCooey
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'd be a dissident, what about you??

I want to start off by saying I am becoming a huge fan of YA dystopian books and "The Torturer's Daughter" is amongst the list of books that has brought me to this new found love of dystopian. I loved the characters, the plot, the concept!!

Becca is faced with some difficult decisions and she goes about it in such a way that, as the reader, you can't help but find yourself wondering how you would answer these questions... or at least you should. When I did, I r
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Becca's mother is the top state interrogator and hopes her daughter will also want to work for Internal. But when Becca's best friend Heather begs her to help prove that her parents are not enemies of the State, Becca starts to spy on her mother, suspecting her of arranging false confessions which cause innocent people to be tortured.

Becca is a good character. She is honest and loyal, refusing to believe that
Norm Hamilton
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Torturer
The dystopian society is startling and frightening in its simplicity. Internal Defense rules with an iron fist to ensure no “dissidents” have an impact on the complicity of citizens. However, human nature, being what it is, has other plans.

The commonly held belief is that dissidents were guilty if picked up by Internal … after all they wouldn’t be arrested if they weren’t, right? After stumbling across some information that causes her to think that not everything she had been taught about In
emma v.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, 2013-reads
Review can also be read here.

It's hard for me to articulate my thoughts about this book. They're very mixed. Part of me thinks I liked it more than I actually did but another part of me thinks it was worse than I think it was. So it's difficult for me to really say.

One thing I do know is that I was really confused for the entire first half of the novel. The author doesn't give us any background whatsoever on this new world we've been thrown into, so it's almost like stumbling around in the dark
Lily at Bookluvrs Haven
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it

Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven

Will you conform, or will you question?

In this dystopian novel, there are watchers, Monitors and enforcers. They are the people lunching at the pizza joint you are in. They are your friends, neighbours, or maybe even the guy jogging by you on your walk to a park. The government has eyes everywhere. Should you say the wrong thing, question the government's motives, associate with others that are suspicious, you may find yourself hauled off to Processin
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia, young-adult, arc
ARC provided in exchange of review

This book started rather slow for me. The beginning was too high school gossip and drama. It took me a while to get fully involved in the story. My main difficulty came from the story being told from 3rd person. Sometimes I needed to go back and re-read to be clear whether 'she'it was Becca or Heather. Gradually, though, I got used to the writing style of the author and started enjoying th story much more.

Initially, I expected there to come a more detailed worl
H.J. Stephens
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Becca is woken up in the middle of the night by a call from her best friend. Heather has been arrested by Internal, her parents accused of being dissident, a danger to society. Becca's mother is one of the most influential women in Internal, and soon Becca finds herself caught between her friendship to Heather and her relationship with her mother. Both are steadily destabilizing, and it's only so long before both start to collapse.

The plot of this book is good. It's not the strongest or the mos
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was first drawn to this book by its title. It sounded so interesting and intriguing, you could guess it would be about something gone horribly wrong; and it definitely was something off with the world they lived in. I liked this book very much because unlike your usual dystopia, when you ;know the government is oppressive and maybe sometimes people disappear, for me at least, it was the first time I encountered a book that openly discussed the issue of torture. Not only that, but the main char ...more
Kelsey  Hutton
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If we were allowed, I'd give this a 3 1/2. I enjoyed Zoe Cannon's novel--it had a strong premise, and I agree with another reviewer that her writing is clean and to the point--there are no meandering tangents or unresolved plot points. It had good pacing and I read it quickly, definitely pulled along wondering "What's going to happen next?" On these levels, "The Torturer's Daughter" succeeds as a good story told well.

However... I felt that this novel fell a bit short of what it could have been.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-dystopian, arc-arr
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Becca lives in a dystopian future, in a society ran by a totalitarian government. Those who oppose the government - or even make one off-hand anti-government statement, no matter how small - are labeled dissidents and taken in for questioning. They are almost always then executed. When Becca's best friend Heather's parents are taken in, she calls Becca for help. Becca discovers that Heather's parents confessed, and i
Cheryl Landmark
This was quite enjoyable for the most part...a dark, gritty dystopian YA novel that was just unique enough to escape the somewhat formulaic tropes that a lot of these types of novels fall into.

It was chock full of secrets, lies, betrayals, confusion, tension and a loss of innocence. Everything Becca thought she knew about her world started unravelling the moment she received a frantic phone call from her best friend. Although there was not a lot of action in the book, the hook was the moral dile
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
The Torturer's Daughter delivers a tremendous, Orwellian dose of paranoia and that might be why I enjoyed it more than I initially expected. If I thought that dystopias have been done to death and that there's nothing new to be added to the genre, this one proved me wrong.

Truth be told, Cannon doesn't really offer anything original or never-seen-before; the idea of dissidents has been explored before. The freshness of this book is in the execution. There is little plot on the outside, just enoug
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Zoe Cannon may or may not be a supervillain out to conquer the world through writing. When not writing, she can be found perfecting her schemes for world domination, plotting against her archenemies, and staying up too late reading a book. Her secret lair is rumored to be located somewhere in southern New Hampshire.

Other books in the series

Internal Defense (3 books)
  • Necessary Sacrifices (Internal Defense #2)
  • No Return (Internal Defense #3)

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