Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review of The Torturer's Daughter, by Zoe Cannon

Title: The Torturer's Daughter
Author: Zoe Cannon
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 20, 2012 (Amazon)
Source:  Author
Purchase: Amazon /Barnes&Noble / Smashwords

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When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca 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 teenage 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.

Will you conform, or will you question?

In this dystopian novel, there are watchers, Monitors and enforcers. They are the people lunching at the pizza joint you are in.  They are your friends, neighbours, or maybe even the guy jogging by you on your walk to a park. The government has eyes everywhere. Should you say the wrong thing, question the government's motives, associate with others that are suspicious, you may find yourself hauled off to Processing 117 where a cold cell awaits you.  You will be questioned.  You will be tortured. And more often than not, you will be executed.

So.... will you conform or will you be a dissident?

But is your confession true, or forced from you 'for the greater good'?

That is the question that derails Becca's life forever. Her world will no longer be black and white.  Everything she was made to believe is now in question.  And she will no longer know who trust.... not even her own mother.

There isn't much that is original in this dystopian story.  But this writer held me captivated in every page, with every sentence that she wrote.  My day stopped in its tracks once I picked up this novel, racing frantically towards the conclusion and the answers I needed to have. To the answers that Becca needed to have. 

As I reached it's conclusion I could not help but think... Would I have done anything differently than what Becca did? Would I have reacted the same, trusted the same people, made the same decisions? Would have I have conformed.... or would I have questioned.  And in the end, who would I choose to be become?

This book was generously shared by the author through a 'Read to Review' group on - Shut Up and Read. If it wasn't for this group, I may not have come across this self published jewel of a novel.  My sincere congratulations to Zoe Cannon on this first novel.  Highly recommended to dystopian fans. 

About this Author Zoe Cannon writes about the things that fascinate her: outsiders, societies no sane person would want to live in, questions with no easy answers, and the inner workings of the mind. If she couldn't be a writer, she would probably be a psychologist, a penniless philosopher, or a hermit in a cave somewhere. While she'll read anything that isn't nailed down, she considers herself a YA reader and writer at heart. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and a giant teddy bear of a dog, and spends entirely too much time on the internet.

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