Friday, October 21, 2011

Deviant by Adrian McKinty

Anyone that knows me, knows that when Adrian McKinty comes out with a new book, I hardly move from my reading chair until I've finished it, even if it is a young adult book. I hate putting his books down and moving out of his almost poetic form of writing back into the real world that generally consist of chaos. Deviant hit me a bit different however. It hit a bit close to home in some of it's content, weather it was supposed to or not.

Deviant is the story of Danny Lopez, whose family moves to Colorado when his mom is promoted at work. Suddenly, he finds himself thrown into an experimental new school where no one is allowed to talk, including teachers, except while reading the scripted lessons being taught. Not only is school strange, but someone is killing cats and leaving them in odd places that demand to be noticed. As Danny and his new friends decide to figure out who is doing the killing, they discover people aren't at all who they thought.

So what struck me about that? One thing was the school. I have 2 kids myself that go to public school, I work part time at one of their schools, and am very involved with both in any way I can be. I hate the politics of it, and as outrageous as the school system that was in the book was, if it got test numbers up, I could see the government, or powers that be, going for it. It was ridiculous, yes, but so are several ways the school politicians fool us into believing their system is working.

The other thing that struck me was the view of religion put in the book. Since I live in the middle of the "Bible Belt", religion is everywhere, and I can see the book being almost offensive here because of the mere mention of Focus on the Family, and Christianity in general, in a negative light. In all honesty, I'm now a bit curious and wouldn't mind spending some time in Colorado just to see how justified the negative impressions are.

Of course, with McKinty's books, you always get more than you expect. Thrown in with the story of a new boy at an odd school trying to catch a cat killer, you have many tidbits of fun. Japanese culture, space, old Si-fi movies, and art all appear in bits and pieces. It's a bit like reading an abbreviated form of the authors blog at times, which I always enjoy.