Summary: Living in a community under a dome after asteroids pulverize Earth’s surface, Glory is hiding her injured brother, Drake, from the authorities to save his life after her father kills her mother with his deviant powers. Life in the dome is highly regulated, and Compliance Officers are on the lookout for people who are considered Parasites and Deviants. With her ability crush people with her mind and her brother’s armour that appears when he feels threatened, both have targets on their backs. But when Glory finds out her dad is still alive after a guy named Burn comes to take her and her brother to reunite with him, she discovers there is a whole, complicated world outside of the dome.
Number of Pages: 312
Age Range: 14-16
Review: The first book in the Dust Chronicles, Deviants by Maureen McGowan sets up a post-apocalyptic world where the dust from asteroids hitting the Earth affects its some of inhabitants like a drug. Since the end of the world, humans have survived in a dome by rationing food and using every last scrap of resources in a highly organized environment.
Glory’s just about to finish school and she’s keeping some secrets of her own. After her father kills her mother, cripples her brother and is expunged, Glory is left to care for Drake without anyone knowing. If the authorities find out Drake is alive, he’ll be taken to the dome hospital that no one comes out of alive.
But Drake’s existence isn’t the only secret Glory has to keep, she and her brother have special powers that make them Deviants, the most feared type of person in their community just short of the Scabbers that live outside the dome high on dust. A mysterious guy named Burn appears, telling Glory her father isn’t dead after all and that she and Drake need to get out of the dome.
It’s a tale for teens just getting into dystopian fiction, because I though McGowan did an fine job developing Glory’s life in the dome and her dystopian world. I’m not exactly clear on how the asteroid dust mutated human DNA to make some people Deviants, and I kind of thought maybe the story of asteroids hitting the Earth was actually a cover for a nuclear event, but I can’t prove it. Still, with all of the lying the management in the dome is doing, I wouldn’t be surprised.
While I enjoyed the world itself, I had some trouble with Glory’s relationships. I empathized with her need to punish herself after the truth comes out, but there was nothing about Glory’s power to made me think she couldn’t control it or that she did not deserve love as a result. Unlike Burn, I thought she could handle her powers even in times of attraction and emotion. Burn, on the other hand, had a superpower that seemed to be a creepy throwback to the Hulk and primitive man at the same time, turning him whenever he felt any strong emotion from anger to protectiveness to lust. If Glory hadn’t been able to use her superpower after they kissed, it would have been a rape scene instead of one of only violence. I wonder if it was really necessary.
Deviants is the first in a trilogy and I’d like to know more about Glory’s world, especially after the way McGowan ends the book.
“But some of the things we’re taught about life Before The Dust – like air travel and long-distance telephones – seem like science fiction, not history.” – Glory from Deviants by Maureen McGowan, page 12
“My mother’s name, Anna, flashes to mind and my thumb flies to her ring. I want to be like her, not my father, but to survive I need a little of both.” – Glory from Deviants by Maureen McGowan, page 66
“‘He’s lucky to have you as a sister.’
‘No.’ I shake my head. ‘I’m lucky to have him.’ But my joy hardens. Family is a loaded concept for me, the bad hidden in the good like a terrorist’s bomb.” – Glory from Deviants by Maureen McGowan, page 215