Cover image for Luminary
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Nashville : Thomas Nelson, [2014]
Physical Description:
311 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"Includes reading group guide"--P. [4] of cover.
Able to experience emotions that should have been eradicated by genetic modification, Thalli must journey across an unknown land to find a hidden civilization of people actually born to families.
Series Title:
Series Sequence:


Material Type
Call Number
Teen Paperback Fiction Mcgee

On Order



Thalli thought escaping to the surface would mean freedom. But is she any less of an anomaly aboveground?

After escaping an underground annihilation chamber, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John find themselves fleeing across the former United States, aboveground for the first time. As the defectors cross the for gotten landscape, the three youths see things the y had only read about on screens: horses, rain, real books--and a colony of unsanctioned survivors living the ancient way in a town called New Hope.

When the citizens of New Hope reveal the truth of what happened years ago, Thalli is left unsettled and skeptical of everything she's ever been told. Can she trust anything from the State, including her own feelings for Berk? When she volunteers for a peace mission to New Hope's violent neighbor, Athens, her confusion mounts as the supposedly ruthless Prince Ale x turns out to be kind and charming. Although everyone in New Hope warned her not to, she can't help but fall for him.

Meanwhile, John's unwavering faith in the goodness of the Designer begins to make its mark on Thalli's heart. But can Thalli really come to trust in a generous, protective Designer who rules over all things? Would that not be setting herself up for another betrayal?

The time for her to decide is now . . . because the State is closing in.

"McGee once again blends a Christian message within a horrific science fiction plot . . . death, torture, and confusing love triangles." --Booklist

"McGee blends the determination of faith, the malevolence of those who extol power over decency, and the assertion of individual integrity in a humane glimpse at youthful courage." --Publisher's Weekly

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-This second book in the series suffers from multiple problems. Seventeen-year-old Thalli and her teen mates Berk and Rhen have escaped the oppression of the underground State with nonagenarian John. They travel to the settlement of New Hope where they learn that the Scientists who lead the State are responsible for the War that destroyed most of the life on Earth. The closest city, Athens, is ruled by a violent king who raids New Hope to steal the people's crops without regard to their injuries and suffering. Thalli decides that she must travel to Athens to learn more of the Athenians' intentions, buoyed by John's words of the Designer, notably the 23rd Psalm, as well as the phrase "the truth will set you free" from John 8:32. This sole verse drawn from the New Testament is used as a simple injunction against lying rather than an invitation to the Truth as contained in Christ's teachings. Without a strong connection to the Gospels, the Christian message is rather tepid. Thalli's narration is choppy and this, along with her naivete, gives the impression that she isn't the brightest individual. There are logical flaws as well, such as the fact that the Scientists who defected to Athens specialized in pharmaceuticals but were instrumental in updating electricity and infrastructure technologies. There are many strong heroines with moral fiber in dystopias these days. Readers may prefer one of the better-written alternatives.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following the events of Anomaly, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John flee the underground State where Scientists breed and control people in an attempt to create a perfect humanity. Finding refuge in New Hope, one of a few settlements that survived worldwide nuclear war 40 years before, the four find tough moral challenges in the town's conflict with predatory neighbor Athens. McGee adeptly balances 17-year-old Thalli's emerging jealousy over Rhen's apparent rivalry for Berk's affections. She also incorporates provocative issues such as how nonviolence can survive in a world of hostility, and how mutually suspicious neighbors can overcome deliberately cultivated hatred and misunderstanding. The counsel of wise mentor John sometimes tilts toward saccharine moralizing, but Thalli's insight that the imperfect beauty of freedom is preferable to static perfection emerges through her experience rather than as a pat sentiment. McGee blends the determination of faith, the malevolence of those who extol power over decency, and the assertion of individual integrity in a humane glimpse at youthful courage. Ages 12-up. Agent: Jenni Burke, D.C. Jacobson & Associates. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

In the second book in the Anomaly trilogy, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John have escaped the State, wandering the nuclear wasteland in search of survivors. Upon finding New Hope, they become enmeshed in the peace-loving agricultural community so different from the pristine, sterile State. When the technologically advanced Athens attacks New Hope, Thalli becomes first a spy and then an emissary for peace between the two villages. McGee once again blends a Christian message within a horrific science fiction plot as scientists experiment. Readers can only hope that the third title in the series arrives soon.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2010 Booklist