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.
Author: Zoe Cannon
Title: The Torturer's Daughter
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction>Dystopian
Publication Date: October 2012
Links to Purchase: Amazon; Barnes & Noble
My Review: 4 out of 5 stars- I Liked It!
I'd be a dissident, what about you??
I want to start off by saying I am becoming a huge fan of YA dystopian books and "The Torturer's Daughter" is amongst the list of books that has brought me to this new found love of dystopian. I loved the characters, the plot, the concept!!
Becca is faced with some difficult decisions and she goes about it in such a way that, as the reader, you can't help but find yourself wondering how you would answer these questions... or at least you should. When I did, I realized I would be a dissident, ALL THE WAY!!
I loved Becca's willingness to question everything- including her own mother. I am the same type of person, so I found Becca relatable. Sometimes, it can get me into trouble, just like it did Becca. I also liked that Becca wasn't willing to submit to some notion of blind allegiance. When the facts were laid at her feet she began to look at the bigger picture and see her world for what it could actually be, as opposed to what she was told to be believe.
I think the way Becca handled the process of figuring out who she was and where she fit into her world, how she acknowledged her relationships were changing, as well as how she was changing as a person was very well written. The author, Zoe Cannon writes very beautifully, making every word believable-understandable. You feel the torment, the anguish, and you want to know what Becca will choose.
I liked that she fought for what she believed in and followed through in her convictions- this is not always easy when faced with life and death situations. The natural inclination, in my opinion would be to follow in Heather's footsteps. This unfortunately is human instinct.
Here is why The Torturers's Daughter was 4 stars and not 5. The last 25% of the book were the best for me. It began moving fast and there was the suspense I had been waiting for. The first 75%, while entertaining was a little slow, but well written. As a new found lover of YA Dystopian I was hoping for more back story about the society that Becca and her friends lived in. Other than the knowledge that it was a society run on blind allegiance to "Internal" with those who spoke out against the government being "dissidents," there wasn't any explanation about their society- what it was like, what drove them to this point... As a result, I felt like questions were left unanswered. I loved the story, but wanted more!!
Finally, I think one of the things that kept turning over in my head was the fact that because I didn't have this background information on their society, the issues felt very realistic to me and not as dystopian as I would have preferred. We all make tough choices in our lives- sometimes we must choose between ourselves and those we care deeply for. And sometimes those choices drive us away from certain people in our lives. The question of values, faith, and standing by your word is something familiar to us all, especially today. So again, while I loved the story, the characters, and all the potential that was wrapped up in it... even Jake (I hoped for more here as well), it just didn't come as I so desperately had hoped. Maybe I just read too much contemporary YA, but I felt like this story wasn't over. I have no idea if there is a sequel.... BUT, I would LOVE a PREQUEL!!
I highly recommend The Torturer's Daughter to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian. It was a fast, easy read, with likable characters!
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review!
Congratulations on your novel and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future!