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The Dark Intercept

Review

The Dark Intercept

Complete with romance, betrayal, rebellion, a dystopian setting and deeper undertones, THE DARK INTERCEPT is a quick and enjoyable read.

Ravaged by the destruction of the Water and Mineral Wars, Old Earth has become uninhabitable as pollution has laid waste to the land and depleted its resources. In its place, New Earth was created, a place of colors, light, hope and, above all, safety, where a chosen few were allowed to migrate, while most of the poor were left behind on Old Earth. As a means of ensuring survival and peace on New Earth, a program called Intercept was established to thwart criminals by using their strongest memories against them, rendering them weak without using force. The Rebels of Light have gathered clandestinely with the aim of destroying the Intercept and will stop at nothing to get their way. Amid the intensifying turmoil on New Earth, who can you trust and, most importantly, will the Intercept still be able to preserve order?

"THE DARK INTERCEPT was a relatively short and thought-provoking book that left me impatient for more."

It took a while for the story to build momentum and most of the action takes place in the final chapters. However, Keller’s rich and vivid descriptions transported me to New Earth. I felt like I could feel the artificial rain randomly falling from the sky and smell the synthetic aroma wafting from the food carts, vestiges from Old Earth. I also became drawn in as the characters revealed their true identities and I anxiously anticipated how their fates would unfold. I initially found myself on the edge of my seat as a spectator eagerly waiting to see which devastating memory would be played back into an offender’s mind to torture them. I then began to have doubts as the main character, Violet, the daughter of New Earth's founder and the administrator of the Intercept, started to question whether she should be allowed to access the offender’s personal recollections. How do we balance law and order with freedom and privacy? Another thread running through the book is equality. Apart from their poverty, the inhabitants of Old Earth are no different from those on New Earth. Why should the poor be left to die on Old Earth? Keller cleverly raises these perennial yet timely dilemmas in a terrifyingly realistic tale.

Violet came across as a weak protagonist, obsessed with her crush to the point of senselessly risking her own life. She is also completely oblivious to the misery endured by those on the Old Earth. On the other hand, I found Violet's best friend, Shura, much more sympathetic, as she struggled between following her passion as an artist and following her parents' wishes that she become a doctor. However, it was still difficult to identify with any of the characters. The dialogues seemed forced and formulaic, and the things that happened to the characters seemed too improbable.

While the book concluded on a positive note, the ending could also have been stronger if it had been more ambiguous, leaving questions unanswered for a sequel.

I would recommend this book for all ages, especially fans of sci-fi and dystopian novels.

Overall, THE DARK INTERCEPT was a relatively short and thought-provoking book that left me impatient for more.

Reviewed by Alice D., Teen Board Member on November 30, 2017

The Dark Intercept
by Julia Keller