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Book Review

This science fiction book by Evan Angler is the first in the " Swipe" series published by Tommy Nelson, a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson Inc.

Swipe is written for kids ages 7 to 12 years. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

The world looks different in Logan Langly's time. Natural disasters have led to unrest. Epidemics and battles ensued in Europe and the United States, leading to what became known as the Total War. American leader Lamson and European Chancellor Cylis rose up to implement a period of Unity. They lumped all world religions into a patriotic belief system called Inclusion to ensure a Total War would never happen again. Now, the government monitors citizens by Marking them at age 13. The Mark allows them to get jobs and buy food and entitles them to other societal privileges. Those who protest and remain without the Mark, the Markless, become outcasts and are relegated to lives of poverty. A government agency called DOME (Department of Marked Emergencies) handles the Marking process, as well as keeping an eye on the Markless.

Logan, nearing his 13th birthday, is concerned. He remembers too well how the government mysteriously pronounced his sister, Lily, dead on her Marking day. Besides that, he feels that he's being watched. Elsewhere in Logan's town of Spokie, 13-year-old Erin Arbitor unpacks some of her father's mysterious boxes. Mr. Arbitor has moved them to Spokie, leaving her mother in their hometown of Beacon, so he can pursue a top-secret government project for DOME.

Determined to put her family back together, Erin looks for clues to help her father solve his case. She learns he is pursuing a Markless boy named Peck, who appears to be kidnapping children just before their 13th birthdays. When she meets Logan at school, he tells her about his sense of being watched. She becomes convinced he is one of Peck's next targets.

Peck's underlings, Markless young people known as The Dust, lure Logan to a park at night. They abort a plan to abduct him when they learn he has an accomplice and that Erin has procured stealth surveillance equipment from her father's DOME office. The previously fearful Logan begins to aggressively pursue his would-be kidnappers with Erin's help.

Peck finally captures Logan, but Logan learns Peck isn't the enemy. Peck explains the truth about the government's Marking system. He tells Logan that DOME disposes of people, such as Lily, who may be handicapped, slow, or seem predisposed to undermine the government's ways. Logan decides to get his Mark on his birthday as an undercover operation. He already suspects DOME will reject him as they did his sister.

During the process, he learns from a remorseful Marker that Lily is alive in Beacon. Erin helps Logan escape from the Markers, but she says she will do no more to aid him in his new cause. They sadly part ways, and Logan makes plans to go to Beacon to find Lily.

Christian Beliefs

The Mark citizens receive in Logan's time mirrors the Biblical Mark of the Beast, in that it is required for buying and selling (Revelation 13:17) and it is imprinted on their hands (Revelation 20:4). When the Marker reveals to Logan that his sister has been kidnapped, the official says, "God forgive me. God forgive us all." Peck finds printed books in an old church, an oddity because people only use touch screens now. He says they appear to be pre-Unity banned books, and it's hard for him to tell what's real and what's made up in them.

Other Belief Systems

Logan lives in a time (post-Unity) when world leaders have outlawed all religions. They practice Inclusion, which Logan calls a bland system that mainly preaches patriotism and peace. He doesn't know anything about the religions of the past, but he wonders if something important has been lost. Upon turning 13, people are expected to pledge their allegiance to the government and get Marked. A symbol is imprinted on the wrist, allowing them access to jobs and other privileges. Those who choose to remain Markless typically live in poverty, occupying old buildings in bad parts of town.

Authority Roles

Erin's dad verbally belittles those under his leadership. He moves Erin and himself because of his job, insisting his wife join them. Erin's mother, also in a high-powered job, refuses to move and says they should come back home if he wants to make the marriage work. After the loss of Logan's sister, Logan's parents, especially his mother, have checked out emotionally. Logan's father tries to keep tabs on him and becomes frustrated by Logan's repeated sneaking out. The government tracks and eliminates people they fear will disagree with them. Logan and Erin solve a case that Erin's dad and all his G-men are unable to figure out.

Profanity/Violence

Sucks appears a time or two. Bad language in Logan's time consists of words that indicate a person's low social status. Characters frequently insult each other with words such as skinflint or miser.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Disobedience/Disrespect: Logan and Erin frequently sneak out of their homes at night. Erin gets into some of her dad's top secret files. She justifies this by saying she deserves to know why he moved them to Spokie. One of Logan's friends says he can't wait to get the Mark so he can stop relying on his stupid parents for everything. Erin and Logan steal expensive government supplies from her dad's workplace to use on their mission.

Prejudice: Erin's behavior and language show her hatred and repulsion toward the Markless.


Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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