Swipe, by Evan Angler, was a little difficult to get into. I never felt like I really connected with the main characters, Logan and Erin. A lot of the interactions between characters seemed awkward. Maybe this was done on purpose since they are all 12 or 13 years old, but it made it difficult to relate to the characters.
I think my favorite character was Peck, who you really only meet in the last few chapters. I knew as soon as he was talked about that he wasn’t the terrible menace that the government, or Logan and Erin for that matter, thought that he was. Again, not sure if this was intentional or not by the author, but it was another reason it was difficult to get into the novel. I knew that Logan would discover that Peck wasn’t actually bad, but it took the whole novel to get there, when I just wanted to get on with the story.
One thing that was done well was the setting / world-building. While it wasn’t extensive, I felt like it fit the story, and was unique for an “end of times” Christian novel. Having “the Mark” be something that is already established and a right of passage into adulthood gives the story a good Dystopian /post-apocalyptic feel. It is similar to the trials in Marie Lu’s Legend, the aptitude tests in Veronica Roth’s Divergent, or even the lottery in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. It was an interesting approach, and it worked well.
I also felt like Angler did a good job of describing the different cities without getting bogged down into long sections of description, although I felt like the writing was better when he was simply writing the internal dialogue of the characters rather than having the characters interact with one another.
The novel picked up the pace in the last few chapters when Logan goes to get his Mark, determined to find out what really happened to his sister. Erin’s betrayal was not unexpected, but was still disappointing. Logan finally turns into a character that I can like, and I am interested to see how the story continues in Sneak.