‘ANOMALY,’ BY KRISTA MCGEE. Review of the 2013 novel, book one in the YA Christian fiction dystopian series. All text © Rissi JC

Ever since The Hunger Games made its splash, dystopia fiction has become a broken record craze in the world of YA fiction. Specifically, the secular world has been a hive of popularity for this genre to succeed. But it’s kind of overplayed its hand with clichés. 

Christian fiction has been leery of the genre. Despite this, I almost squealed when learning that Christian authors were about to journey into this once uncharted territory. Krista is a talented author so I knew the genre would be well represented from the start, and you know what? Anomaly certainly proves these reasons to be true. 

Because Anomaly is a dystopian world that a nuclear war destroys (which is really quite terrifying), the characters aren’t so much relatable as they are products of their environment. In other words, the first person narrative is more about its protagonist, Thalli, trying to justify the reason she’s an “anomaly.” As a genetically altered product, Thalli isn’t supposed to emotionally react or feel or think beyond what she’s designed for. Much of the story is “in summary,” as we read through Thalli’s fears, questions and emotions unable to distinguish between what’s “real” and what’s stimulation.

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Setting itself apart from its peers is the inspirational message Krista weaves into this story. This all in an effortless fashion, and in consideration of 17-year-old Thalli’s curious nature, we understand why she seeks the identity of The Designer. Who he is and why He’s more powerful than the Scientists. Frightening in its underpinnings, Thalli’s faith, and her consuming, beautiful connection to God is powerful, and is probably the most emotional element in the narrative. The fear doesn’t appear in overt instances but as we read chapter after chapter, it becomes more obvious that nothing is quite as it seems; we spend a good deal of time wondering what alternative is the real thing. In short, this book is kind of awesome.

If there is one negative of the story, it’s the writing. Don’t misunderstand; McGee writes an excellent story. It’s just that the sci-fi vibes make the “voice” of the story a bit abrupt, and less poetic. Not sure this is a “con” considering it has a purpose. Having anticipated this novel since learning of its existence, Anomaly DOES NOT disappoint. It’s a fast read (cannot remember the last time I buzzed through a book so quickly) that literally leaves us hanging on its last words. Any reader knows that a sign of a great book is one that makes its reader wish that yearlong sequel watch weren’t so far away. In the meantime, this is one reader who is likely to reserve a spot for part one of Thalli’s journey on her keeper shelf.

About the Book:

Author: Krista McGee
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2013
Series: Anomaly, Book One
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Series, Dystopian
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★ ½

With thanks to Litfuse and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Love your review, Rissi! I really need to read this book. I'm not usually into dystopian, but this looks like it has all the right ingredients. :)

    1. Ever since reading The Hunger Games (which I will admit I caved and read out of pure curiosity – but it is a troubling premise), this is a genre that has grown on me – a lot. If done right, it's quite interesting. Have you read or seen the novel, The Selection around, Rebeka? Read that one last summer and REALLY liked it – so much better than HG ever was. 'Selection' has some elements of HG (people are broken into the "class" of their talent) but is more charming (more fairy-tale elements) plus the author was supposedly inspired by the Biblical story of Esther which is neat.

      If you decide to read this one, I wish you happy reading. :)

    1. Ooo! Then you'd probably enjoy this book, Leah! It's definitely reminiscent of that – or at least it has that same "flavor."

      Thanks for reading! :)

  2. The dystopian genre has really been flourishing lately! Never have we had so much books in this genre. But Anomaly particularly sounds like the kind I would read. I'll have to try and get my hands on it sometime. And the cover design…absolutely stunning! (I may or may not be judging a book by its cover.)

    1. Right on, Jemimah – that cover is GORGEOUS! Love it also.

      Yay! If you read this one, hope you like it. The difference is the Christianity and I like how Krista wove it into the creativeness of the dystopian genre.

    1. Me, too, Kellie! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to say "ditto!" again – CANNOT wait for book two. Is it really a year from now?! ;)

      Hope things are going well in your part of the world.

  3. I can't wait to read this one! I have loved The Giver since I read it decades ago, so I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this one. (I loved the Hunger Games too :). Thanks for the review!

    1. Yippee, Jamie – this means I will be on the lookout for reports from you once you finally read Anomaly. It should be one you'll enjoy since you did HG. Definitely has a similar vibe.

      Happy reading!

      Thanks also for stopping by and the comment – appreciate both. :)

  4. I enjoyed the Hunger Games, despite the disturbing aspects, so I'm very excited to read this series since it has a Christian viewpoint! Thanks for the review!

    1. Then you'd really like this one also, Lizzie! It's got that same concept, only the "troubling" parts are more subtle than HG's overt themes.

      The Christianity is the best part – Thalli is pretty awesome in her thirst for seeking out God. Enjoy! :)

  5. I haven't really been interested in any of the dystopian novels out there. I tried Divergent, didn't really like it, and figured it just wasn't the genre for me. But something about this book caught my eye! As you know, I've had it in my possession for some time now. So why haven't I read it yet? No idea. But I really want to! Especially after this lovely review. Maybe it'll happen this weekend!

    Great review, Rissi. :)

    1. Gearing up to read Divergent soon, Kara. Hopefully before its major motion picture release. Sorry it didn't work for you. I know what you mean about some genres not being "right" for a reader though. That is certainly the case with many of us readers.

      Reading Anomaly this weekend sounds like an epically good plan – don't know how much I'll be around this weekend but give me a shout-out if you do. I'm anxious for your thoughts.

      Thanks for reading. :)

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