Title: The Dark Intercept
Author: Julia Keller
Pub. Date: October 31st, 2017
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopia
Publisher: Tor Teen
Format: Physical ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for a honest review, all opinions are my own.
The State controls your emotions. What would you pay to feel free?
In a radiant world of endless summer, the Intercept keeps the peace. Violet Crowley, the sixteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s Founding Father, has spent her life in comfort and safety. Her days are easy thanks to the Intercept, a crime-prevention device that monitors and provokes emotion. But when her long-time crush, Danny Mayhew, gets into a dangerous altercation on Old Earth, Violet launches a secret investigation to find out what he’s hiding. An investigation that will lead her to question everything she’s ever known about Danny, her father, and the power of the Intercept.
The dark Intercept caught my attention with its interesting concept & cool cover depicting a sleek new planet suspended above another that is gray & ominous. In a world filled with violence, crime, sickness, and hopelessness; science & technology have provided a way out. Not everyone however has been granted access into New Earth, that right has been reserved only for the privileged elite. Everyone else has been left behind on Old Earth to fend for themselves. The invention of the Intercept has made it so that there is no need for law enforcement to be present at all times. Every single human being both on Old Earth & New Earth have had a chip inserted in their arm & emotions have been weaponized as a method of control over the populace. Every single emotion is digitally recorded by the Intercept & law enforcement is called the minute it picks up on any nefarious actions. Criminals caught in the act are subjected to the Intercept while it selects your most painful memory on record & replays it for you so vividly it’s as if you are re-living the moment over & over again until left in crippling agony. I found this alone to be a scary concept simply because the implementation of chipping in humans isn’t far fetched in real life today, as a matter of fact you may have heard of one company in Wisconsin who has embedded them in their employees. In The Dark Intercept, we have a population that has been entirely abandoned to its own devices on Old Earth & it’s pretty much survival of the fittest down there.
We get introduced to 16 year old Violet who works at an office monitoring The Dark Intercept for any signs of malicious activity. Whenever the Intercept picks up on criminal activity, Violet initiates the feed of painful memories/emotions to the criminal. Violet is also the daughter of the man who created New Earth & because she is able to see the live feed of Old Earth, has a deep appreciation for the Intercept. This is why Violet can’t understand why Danny, a guy she has feelings for, can’t seem to stop himself from going down to Old Earth despite orders not to. Danny works for law enforcement on New Earth but unlike Violet, he was born on Old Earth & has plenty of secrets to hide. For the majority of this book we follow Violet as she tracks Danny’s moves on Old Earth in an attempt to discover his motives. I really wish this has been multiple POV, I was very interested in Danny & a few of the other supporting characters. I also didn’t really see much chemistry between these two characters in a romantic sort of way particularly because Violet came off as very immature in contrast to Danny who is in his early 20’s. Since that didn’t really go anywhere, I’m hoping it stays that way and that instead we see a platonic relationship between these two characters. Less focus on Violet tracking every move Danny makes & more on the characters in the shadows is what I’d like to see in the sequel.
Along with multiple POV’s I also would’ve liked Old Earth to have been a bit more fleshed out. We do get introduced to a woman on Old Earth & there is mention of a group of teens who stick together in survival mode by any means necessary but it’s not really as fleshed out as New Earth. There is one character in particular who goes by the alias Tin Man that I was REALLLLLY interested in & would’ve loved to see more story on. I love stories where the oppressed fight back against a system that’s broken & for a minute there I had some guesses as to who would helm the revolution if there were to be one. I’m hoping to see some of these predictions come true in the next installment *fingers crossed*.
In terms of writing, the second half of The Dark Intercept was definitely stronger than the first. I found myself flipping pages a bit faster when plot twists were introduced but also found that I had reached the end by the time my interest was at its most highest. Above all, what I liked most about the Dark Intercept is perhaps the potential for conversation it opens up on the ramifications of human chipping. This may be a YA Sci-Fi but a lot of what was going on doesn’t seem far fetched anymore in the real world of today. Overall, The Dark Intercept presents an interesting concept with some flaws in terms of world building/character development however, the Big Brother element hooks you in & the plot twists make for an entertaining read, I gave it 3.5 stars.
*HUGE thanks to Tor Teen and Julia Keller for the arc copy of The Dark Intercept in exchange for an honest review.
*Images for book aesthetic obtained from Pinterest
Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend & managed to squeeze in some good books! ❤ ❤ ❤
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