Sydney's 18th birthday only means one thing for her, that she can take custody of her 14 year old sister, even if it means losing some of her parenting years to do so. Having been orphaned at 12, but looking after her family for much longer, Sydney is young, independent and focused, and the one thing she wants almost as much as getting her sister back, is getting free. For two years she has been jumping the fence out of County Miles to go for runs, though on one of these occasions she is picked up by the Davids brothers, Cy and Crewe, who go on to teach her more about friendship than she's ever known before, melting her heart by rescuing her sister!
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This was most definitely one of those 'the plot thickens' kinds of books, particularly around some of the more secretive aspects of the plot. I was actually taken by surprise by the way in which one of these mysteries was solved, I did have a few theories but none of them turned out to be correct.
What was particularly interesting about Concealed in the Shadows was that despite it being a story about love, it wasn't the normal kind of love story that you get in dystopias (that type was there in passing, but was nowhere near a central plot line). Instead this is about family love, particularly the bond which Sydney and Evvie share. Considering that this was unusual I found that it definitely added another dynamic to the story.
The one thing that confused me slightly was Sydney's sudden acceptance of God. I can understand, and accept, that once introduced to the concept people would go for it, particularly if they have lived in such a bleak society, but I would have thought that there would have been more questions relating to it, particularly as it appeared that the County's didn't have such a thing as religion, and if it did then it wouldn't be the gathering sort. This is a very minor detail I might add and doesn't have a huge impact on the storyline (in case you're put off by that kind of thing - don't be!)
The use of technology in Concealed in the Shadows was interesting as well, and scary in the fact that it seems to be a fairly plausible direction for the world to go in. And that is the scariest thing I have found about dystopias.
This isn't the most action packed of dystopias that I have read, but it does seem to take a completely different angle to any others, and offers an interesting, and page turning read.
This review is a part of the Blog Tour that trips down imagination road is doing on behalf of Clean Teen Publishing (and a big thanks to them for it!) Check out the other books offered by Clean Teen Publishing on their website, and don't forget to check out the other reviews I am doing for them this week!
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Concealed In The Shadows by Gabrielle Arrowsmith
(YA Dystopian- Available Now)
Get it today on Amazon!
Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033—her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister, who is her only family and entire world. She hopes they will be lawfully reunited, but is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape the captivity of Miles County so that they can be together.
Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to those who dare to cross the electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of technology. Even if they were to survive the escape, disappearing into the forgotten forests and towns of the past seems an impossible task.
What Sydney doesn't know is that she is the particular interest of two opposing forces. With deceit, fear, and warfare surrounding her—can she trust the party that aims to help with her fight against the other? Can she open her heart to receive and return unexpected love? When her sister’s life becomes jeopardized, Sydney will have to weigh a new love against the only enduring love she has known. The cost could be deadly…
How will she choose?
Book 2: RELEASED FROM THE SHADOWS Releases in February 2014!
GUEST POST: NO TO CHIPS
(Enjoy this future news story inspired guest post.)
Vote NO! Chip Implants: An Extreme Violation of Rights
Above all else, the United States of America has been a shinning symbol of democracy and freedom. Thank God we are still exercising democratic policy so that we the people can vote to protect our right to liberty.
I still don’t believe that we truly voted to deprive ourselves of geographical freedom but, nonetheless, “county” living will soon be our reality. The government is now trying to pass chip implants off as the only way that they can enforce the law that we supposedly passed.
The propaganda states that the chips’ ability to track citizens will not only enforce our civic duty to be selfless and live in within a specified circle, but that they will help locate kidnapped children, abducted adults, and people with Alzheimer’s or mental illnesses who are lost. Really, the chips will allow the government to track citizens’ every move. That is a severe invasion of privacy, especially for those individuals who are leaders of the current protests.
The chips are also being advocated for because they will eliminate the need for paper money–lowering our national debt and reducing crimes like identity theft and the purchase of illegal substances. But since the government will have omniscient control of these chips, do we really trust that their automatic tax withdrawal will be fair? Personally, I don’t put it past them to give unlawful breaks to their preferred businesses, thus driving the economy as they see fit.
Perhaps most concerning is that the chips will monitor individuals’ health. With an ever-increasing rise in cancer and other fatal illnesses, the opportunity to catch these and other diseases early can be alluring. However, I happen to know that Congress’ next draft of the relocation bill will include stipulations on population growth. In fact, I believe this push may take the front seat from energy conservation. Pregnancies beyond the allowance or of a certain type will be considered a health concern. I fear what the technological advance chips might be able to do in such cases.
Mandatory chip implants are an extreme violation of our rights. We must not be so naïve as to think the historically proven ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is not applicable to our country. Yes, our duty is to protect the future of our country. De-unifying our strong nation and putting unprecedented power in the hands of its leaders is not my suggestion for safeguarding the existence and success of The United States of America. I will vote no. I beg you to consider what could become, and do the same.
About Gabrielle Arrowsmith:
GABRIELLE ARROWSMITH enjoyed writing her debut novel, Concealed in the Shadows, during a lovely Minnesota summer that she had off from her primary profession, teaching. Acting, playing and coaching soccer, reading, playing piano, and spending time with family and friends are among her other interests.
CTP Website: http://www.cleanteenpublishing.com/gabrielle-arrowsmith.html