Now that I’m finally, FINALLY done with exams, I thought it was time for a book review!
I received my copy of Aberrant by Ruth Silver through Netgalley, courtesy of the author and publisher. All opinions are entirely my own. Thanks Netgalley, Ruth Silver, and Patchwork Press!
Aberrant Book Review: (very mild spoilers, nothing major from plot)
In Ruth Silver’s novel Aberrant, eighteen-year-old Olivia lives in the dystopian walled city of Genesis with her widowed mother, Samantha. In Genesis, spouses and jobs are assigned at the age of eighteen, and married couples are eligible, every year, to participate in a lottery to have the chance to conceive a child via in vitro fertilization. This is necessary for the human life-cycle, as a plague has wiped out the ability to conceive naturally. Unfortunately, only one child per family is allowed, so if a couple is unfortunate enough to win twice, their new child is taken away at birth.
Since Olivia is eighteen, she is set to enter into marriage. Although originally apprehensive,she is relieved when she is paired up by the government with her childhood best friend, Joshua. However, they are only married for a few hours, when she is arrested and carted off to jail. While in jail, she is informed by her mother that she was conceived naturally, and therefore, may be able to have a baby naturally herself. After escaping from prison, Olivia and Joshua leave the city of Genesis for good, setting off on a journey that will both test their relationship and reveal that there is more to their society than they ever thought…
Okay, my not-so-favourite parts first: The only thing that wasn’t my favourite about this novel was that the structure of the society itself was a bit complicated. When I first getting into the novel, it was a little hard to keep track of the description of the rules of the lottery system. However, I soon got my facts straight as the novel went on, so it was not too much of a distraction in the long-run. I actually consider this to be a sign of a creatively thought-out fictional society, rather than one that is vague and cookie-cutter
One of the first things I noticed about this novel is the vivid descriptions that the author uses. Silver has the impressive ability to accurately convey a young person’s emotions, particularly in the early scenes after Olivia’s father dies. Additionally, I was immediately able to picture Genesis, along with the other cities that Olivia and Joshua visit. This is valuable in dystopian novels, as having a vision of what surroundings are like helps the reader to feel immersed in the characters and their conflicts.
Another element of this novel that I really enjoyed was Olivia and Joshua’s relationship. I thought it translated nicely from a close friendship to a romantic relationship, and I liked how they are always there for one another. This novel did for me what I hoped Matched would: it showed what would happen if a relationship was government-assigned based on compatibility, rather than necessarily being the choice of the couple.
Overall, Aberrant, the first in a trilogy of three novels, proved to be an immersing, romantic, and fast-passed read, that left me excited for Morai the second novel in the series. Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games or anyone who wanted Cassia to pick Xander, not Ky in Matched. 4 stars.