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The Torturer's Daughter (The Internal Defense Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Although the plot itself is gripping and the characters interesting and well rounded, especially the mother and daughter relationship, i felt that there was something missing. I think it was the backdrop, a theme, or an atmosphere, that would help build this scary world where thought police arrested you for expressing doubts. Becca and her friend did normal things like going to the mall, cinemas and everyday life as we know it now, which made this story less believable. Such an evil regime that has no respect for human's rights would benefit from a really immersive, atmospheric background. It would also help explain the society's paranoia with being a dissident.
Although the writer builds enough tension through the protagonist's inner dialogues about being a dissident and through subplots that have this edgy twist to them, she fails to really infuse it with horror by building a believable universe through her narrative.
A background theme, such as constant rain (as in Twilight) or sea fog (as in the Scorpio Races)or a post-apocalyptic landscape (as in Poison Princess) or even a healthy dose of exoticism (as the Lost Girl, which i recently read) would add a lyrical, descriptive quality that would heighten fear, angst and suspense and would make The Torturer's Daughter into a truly exceptional book.
5 out of 5 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK:
"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' innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. She doesn't expect to find evidence that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the dissidents... and about her mother.
When she risks her life to save a dissident, she learns her mother isn't the only one with secrets - and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it's no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime's crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice.
It's easy to be a hero when you can save the world, but what about when all you can do is choose how you live in it? THE TORTURER'S DAUGHTER is a story about ordinary life amidst the realities of living under an oppressive regime... and the extraordinary courage it takes to do what's right in a world gone wrong."
If you like dystopian novels with a lot of suspense then you'll love this book. There isn't much in the way of backdrop, but for me this serves to bring the main protagonists into sharper relief, and to heighten the tension. I read this in one sitting, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is one scene of execution, which is over with quickly, and otherwise only vague allusions to violence perpetrated by the Government Regime. There is no sexuality in this book, and I would have no hesitations in recommending it for YA readers. In my opinion, this books asks some good questions, as well as being a gripping read.
The book is approximately 272 pages in length, and I read it in one sitting. It has been edited and proof read to a very high standard. The narrative is from the Point of View of the main protagonist throughout, and remains consistent. The ending is well finished, and complete, despite also allowing for a sequel.
A well written, well presented, gripping tale set in a dystopian society. The reader isn't fed much information on the place or time, but this (to my mind) doesn't detract at all from the story. The characters are thrown into sharper relief and the tension of the plot raised dramatically by this simple device. A bit distressing to read at times, but not overly so, and keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end. The book opens by throwing you into the deep end, and keeps you there throughout. A wholehearted 5 out of 5 stars from me. I intend to read more of Zoe Cannon's work in the future.
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