Defects: The Reverians, Volume 1
Written by: Sarah Noffke
Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
Series: Reverians, Book 1
Publisher: Sarah Noffke
Genre: Teens, Dystopian
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities. Em is a Defect - one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead - but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.
©2015 Sarah Noffke (P)2016 Sarah Noffke
Em is an independent teen in a community that demands submission and compliance to the leaders' directives and goals. The Reverians are the privileged citizens, the Dream Travelers, who have special talents. The varying skills include mind reading, ability to predict the future, ability to generate fire, super attuned senses and more. The people without such talents are "Middlings" who work as servants under the control of the privileged class.
When Em reached puberty without exhibiting her talent, she was placed in a program with others of similar deficiency. They receive painful injections designed to help encourage the development of their gift. Or so they have been told. Over the past few years, as the program has grown, the youths have been named the "Defects".
Em begins to uncover secrets behind the true purpose of the lab and injections to the Defects. While investigating one day she comes upon a childhood friend, Rogue, whom she thought was dead for years. Em has the help of another young man, Zack, who clearly is interested in her and who was also best friends with Rogue.
A desperate situation escalates as the President announces the newest development to "help" the Defects, with Em designated as the first "lucky" recipient. If Em can escape the President and her father she will have to survive outside the community. And they will not want her alive, knowing her newly discovered abilities and with the knowledge of their monstrous secrets.
I liked the premise and it was presented well enough. The story pacing is good and the secrets, revealed bit by bit, maintained interest. Em is a likeable character as are Zack and Rogue. I just did not totally connect to understand why this was receiving rave reviews. I liked the dystopian elements, but I am guessing my standoffishness may be because of the YA elements. There is young teen romance, complete with first kiss, jealous siblings and jealousy and disappointment in a love triangle. I guess this is engaging for some audiences but it is not really my thing. I'm not sure I have enough interest to want to seek out the rest of the series.
Audio notes: I think Elizabeth Klett did a good job with the narration and presenting the voices and intensity of the story. Still, the narration didn’t help me connect with the story and I am not sure this wouldn’t have been better in print for me.
I received this from the narrator through Audiobook Blast. It qualifies for my Audio Challenge and Alphabet Soup challenge.