Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1)
In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are "good" are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement, or even death. When the cleric’s daughter stumbles onto information that proves her world is more complicated than it seems, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle where good and evil are not so easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves.

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) Details

TitleSinless (Eye of the Beholder #1)
Author
ReleaseJan 9th, 2018
PublisherHarper Voyager
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) Review

  • Ana Florit
    January 1, 1970
    If you like a smartly written story that makes you think while at the same time never fails to entertain you, if you like a compelling protagonist with a real arc who actively takes part in the story, I couldn't recommend this book more. It is indeed a page turner that will not stop surpassing you, a very well rounded story and over all just a good read.
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  • Crystal Olguin
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliantly written, page turning novel that hooks you from the start. Sarah Tarkoff has a way of capturing the reader and reeling them in with relatable characters in a dystopian world that somehow feels so entirely plausible. Short chapters make it easy to read for the young adult (or the busy adult) and I could easily see this being made into a movie or series! Looking forward to her future novels!A+
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  • Francais Parker
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic read! Sarah Tarkoff created a remarkable world in which to tell this story! The details, characters, and twists are astounding!World-building: A++Mythology: A+Suspense: A+++Plot-Twists: A++Girl Power: A+Guy Hero: A+Love Interests: AFeels: A+++For you clean-readers: this one does NOT have mature content.
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  • RLR
    January 1, 1970
    The world in which being "good" makes one beautiful and being "bad" makes one ugly is fascinating. It has a quick-moving plot, with lots of twists and turns, but also invites you to think about deeper issues of what is good vs. evil. I couldn't put this one down! The only downside is that now I have to wait for the sequel!
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  • Jeffrey J
    January 1, 1970
    Sinless is so good, it is " Sinful! "I loved the sci-fi elements along with the love story. It was a great blend of the two and I loved every page. I can't wait for the next two!!!!
  • Carolyn O'Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great read - fast paced, with a unique vision of a future world. The story is compelling and, while its an easy and fun read, it also presents the reader with serious moral/ethical questions about the price of peace, organized religion, conformity, and the role of beauty in our judgement of others, Definitely recommend!
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  • Ryan Denson
    January 1, 1970
    Sinless is a masterfully written, especially considering that this is Tarkoff’s debut novel. It is a refreshingly original take on the dystopian genre, which has become so overused in recent years due to its immense popularity. The characters are well developed and the progression of Grace Luther, the protagonist, through the novel proves to be an insightful story. In describing the world of Sinless, Tarkoff strikes a perfect balance between creating a world that is familiar to our own, yet just Sinless is a masterfully written, especially considering that this is Tarkoff’s debut novel. It is a refreshingly original take on the dystopian genre, which has become so overused in recent years due to its immense popularity. The characters are well developed and the progression of Grace Luther, the protagonist, through the novel proves to be an insightful story. In describing the world of Sinless, Tarkoff strikes a perfect balance between creating a world that is familiar to our own, yet just different enough to make it so captivating. The themes and events of the novel are just as thought provoking as entertaining. I’m very much interested in seeing where Tarkoff takes the rest of this series and I hope it gains more mainstream popularity in the coming years.Overall, it’s a fairly quick read as most of it relies on dialogue. It can be read in a day or two. I would highly recommend it to anyone, who, like me, typically reads mainly dense academic literature and are looking for a small break from their usual habits.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Sinless is complex in its themes, yet felt effortless in its execution. It’s the kind of book you keep thinking about once you’ve finished reading— I already can’t wait to see where the author takes us in the second part of this trilogy!
  • Trav
    January 1, 1970
    Sigh. This book had so much potential...Sinless had such a wonderful premise, but it fell short because of its lack of emotional depth and teenage angst. Always the TEENAGE ANGST. I'm so over it.
  • Nicolas Lontel
    January 1, 1970
    Bien que Sarah Tarkoff a déjà (co)-scénarisé plusieurs épisodes de télévision (incluant plusieurs de la série Arrow), il s'agit de son premier roman et ce dernier est impressionnant de par sa maîtrise de la plume et on n'a pas l'impression de lire un scénario de série télévisée (comme certain·es auteur·es tendent à faire), mais bel et bien un roman qui utilise les moyens du livre pour communiquer ses idées.La prémisse n'est pas nécessairement originale (j'ai en tête un autre récit/roman de scien Bien que Sarah Tarkoff a déjà (co)-scénarisé plusieurs épisodes de télévision (incluant plusieurs de la série Arrow), il s'agit de son premier roman et ce dernier est impressionnant de par sa maîtrise de la plume et on n'a pas l'impression de lire un scénario de série télévisée (comme certain·es auteur·es tendent à faire), mais bel et bien un roman qui utilise les moyens du livre pour communiquer ses idées.La prémisse n'est pas nécessairement originale (j'ai en tête un autre récit/roman de science-fiction lu dans ma jeunesse qui avait la même prémisse (mais c'était dans un monde après la mort qui adoptait les traits correspondants au genre de vie que la personne avait vécu); plus un épisode de Rick and Morty "Rest and Ricklaxation" offre des éléments très similaires parfois), un monde où toutes les personnes soi-disantes vertueuses sont belles et les personnes qui commettent des péchés deviennent affreuses avec une échelle de gradation et un système hiérarchique (et religieux) qui se met en place et où les personnes les plus jolies sont quasi-instantanément considérée comme méritante et vivent beaucoup mieux (sans compter que les personnes "Outsiders" se retrouvent aussi avec des problèmes de santé très rapidement allant jusqu'à la mort parfois très rapidement si elles commettent d'horribles péchés).Cependant, elle amène cette réflexion complètement ailleurs et, au risque d'être cliché, tout n'est évidemment pas comme le monde apparaît (aussi belles soient ces personnes).Au fil du récit et des révélations, les personnes comme moi qui réfléchissent beaucoup trop en amont, vont trouver le roman un peu frustrant, qu'en est-il des sociopathes, le système ne semble pas vraiment marcher comme on le présente puisque le récit ne cesse de montrer des failles dans la logique, mais absolument TOUS les inconvénients et failles que je trouvais au récit et à la prémisse étaient par la suite adressés et rendait l'intrigue encore plus intéressante et poussée qu'on ne le pensait d'ailleurs. Tarkoff ne prend vraiment pas son lectorat pour des deux de pique et est très conscientes des lieux communs et clichés qu'elle exploite pour justement rendre le récit encore plus surprenant.D'accord, l'histoire d'amour est ordinaire dans le récit, c'est probablement la seule partie vraiment clichée du roman (et qui ne sert, soyons bien honnête, à rien au récit ni au développement du personnage sinon à lui faire avaler plus rapidement la vérité et à la faire agir plus vite, bref rien), mais tout le reste est très structuré et planifié et bien que le premier tome se termine sur une fin qui laisse présager plusieurs événements et rebondissements dans le tome suivant, on pourrait très bien se contenter de s'arrêter après ce dernier et d'avoir lu un bon récit.Bref, un roman intelligent au niveau de son intrigue, intéressant et aussi, soyons honnête, très accrocheur!
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  • Scott Harris
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book. The story line and the characters kept me wanting more. I couldn't put the book down. This is a must read for everyone. What an imagination! First time Author "Sarah Tarkoff" is a true talent. I can't wait for book two to come out. 5 stars for "Sinless"Eye of the Beholder......!Scott Harris
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  • Guitarguy
    January 1, 1970
    It's a fast-paced story set in the near future where good and bad are manifested in a person's looks. It was hard to put down. The concept of this Dystopian world is very intriguing and makes you really think about right and wrong, religion vs. science and to always question your reality. I loved all the twists and turns. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
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  • Queen
    January 1, 1970
    Snappy writing and short chapters makes this book fly by quickly. Disappointingly, main character is the least interesting element in the narrative.
  • Qwill / The Qwillery
    January 1, 1970
    Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff is the first novel in the Eye of the Beholder trilogy. This is a YA novel with very strong adult crossover appeal. The story is told from the point of view of Grace Luther, the teenage daughter of a cleric. The setting is the near future America after the Revelation when the Great Spirit revealed itself to humanity. Belief in the Great Spirit has become universal. All other faiths have faded in the overwhelming onslaught of this new god. People are Punished if they do so Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff is the first novel in the Eye of the Beholder trilogy. This is a YA novel with very strong adult crossover appeal. The story is told from the point of view of Grace Luther, the teenage daughter of a cleric. The setting is the near future America after the Revelation when the Great Spirit revealed itself to humanity. Belief in the Great Spirit has become universal. All other faiths have faded in the overwhelming onslaught of this new god. People are Punished if they do something wrong - their looks are affected. The ultimate punishment is death. But in between the religious and the pure of heart/thought and death via Punishment for a moral failing are the Outcasts. These are people who are disfigured by their sins. The Great Spirit makes it easy to see who is good and who is evil. Stay on the straight and narrow, avoid sins, believe in and follow the rules of the Great Spirit and you are beautiful. Stray and you are disfigured or dead.Grace is the daughter of a leading cleric in the new religion. She was young when the Great Spirit appeared. Now she is a very well-behaved and pure teenager who believes in the Great Spirit thoroughly. Sinless deals with the gradual (and not so gradual) unraveling of her beliefs. This is Grace's story. I did not initially like Grace. She changes her thoughts and feelings so much that the reader could at times get whiplash. In other words, I found her to be a very credible teenager. I think my problems with Grace stem form Tarkoff spending too little time making the initial changes in Grace's thinking believable. I found that process too abrupt which for me made almost everything she did from that point suspect. Grace is being pulled in so many directions. What and who should she believe? Who is telling the truth? I found her internal monologue at times illuminating but did not really enjoy being in her brain so much. I came to like her though. She struggled with everything and like most people made good and bad decisions. In Sinless she is looking back on the events of those teenage years. It is made very clear in the beginning that Grace is telling her story from a federal prison. How she ended up in prison is not revealed in Sinless.Tarkoff's writing flows beautifully and the world building is exceptional. The advent of the Great Spirit and the resulting world is very well done. There are some terrific and surprising reveals about the Great Spirit. A world where everyone behaves well because of immediate fear of disfigurement or death sounds peaceful and wonderful but it is not. As Grace learns more about a world she was so certain of so do we. The cracks in the surface of this peaceful world are there. Tarkoff has created a true dystopia.The supporting cast was interesting. We don't get much background on many of them but then Sinless is not really about them. What is important about them, at least in Sinless, is their interactions and influences on Grace. From her father to the Prophet Joshua, we see them through Grace's eyes.There is a lot more to learn about this new world of the Great Spirit and many questions that need to be answered. Fortunately there are 2 more novels upcoming in the series. Tarkoff gives the reader a lot to think about - faith, beauty, guilt, and what are you willing to give up to live in an apparently perfect world? Sinless is an engaging and entertaining debut.http://qwillery.blogspot.com/2018/01/...
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  • AliceAnn
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to really like this book, but in the end, I was put off by the teenage angst, and the girl having to be repeatedly rescued by men, rather than herself. I doubt if I'll be continuing on with the series.
  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    A compelling tale that grips you from the very first page. Not only is this story fascinating and Grace an endearing character, this is a book that incites high emotions. Faith is expected to be a journey of individuals. Each person finding their own way in a dark, confusing cacophony of swirling religions and beliefs that covers our world. Part of growing up is learning the difference between right and wrong and determining our own sense of justice and fairness. Our cultures, our parents, our p A compelling tale that grips you from the very first page. Not only is this story fascinating and Grace an endearing character, this is a book that incites high emotions. Faith is expected to be a journey of individuals. Each person finding their own way in a dark, confusing cacophony of swirling religions and beliefs that covers our world. Part of growing up is learning the difference between right and wrong and determining our own sense of justice and fairness. Our cultures, our parents, our peers, our laws teach us society's expected moral actions, as well as consequences for immoral actions. For so many people, faith is a fundamental part of themselves. It is a hugely shaping and identifying piece of their makeup, giving them support, encouragement, guidance, hope. So even just reading of a sinister force latching onto faith, parasitic and conniving, twisting it into something force-fed and wrong. Even those who do not ascribe to a particular faith with feel a visceral response to the hijacking of a person's most private, personal thoughts.I truly enjoyed reading Sinless, but I did have a few frustrations. I struggled a bit with the sheer number of foreshadowing instances. They were blatant and so frequent. For me, these gave the impression of a narrator trying to force their audience to keep paying attention. "Don't stop reading, there's more coming. It will be worth it. You'll see." I didn't like these foreshadowing statements for the simple fact that they were unnecessary. The story is enthralling in its own right. The author's development of Grace and the other characters is superb.The writing felt very episodic, to me. It's an interesting writing style, and I think adds something to the story, but it was difficult for me as I am not used to it. The novel felt broken up into bite-sized climactic moments that did not necessarily feel like they led up to something, but resolved issues one at a time. Because I am not used to it, it felt very odd to me while reading Sinless. Upon reflection, the style does not detract from the story in the slightest, but rather adds something as I mentioned.The ending was the last frustration for me - literally. This is the first book in a series, and I am now simply dying to read the second installment! I typically wait for at least two or three of a series to be published before I start reading, so that I don't have to go through the agony of waiting for the next release date, but I couldn't wait to start and finish Sinless. So now I wait. I do look forward to the second book in the series with great anticipation!
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  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    January 1, 1970
    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyWhen I pick up a new dystopian novel, I'm always hopeful that the author will put a new spin on the genre. But at it's core, SINLESS is nothing new. Tarkoff has found a different, problematic way to divide society, but the same beats exist. The hero is at first blind to the horrors of her world, then her eyes open, and she decides to revolt and become the savior everyone apparently needs.I had many problems with SINLESS. The first being that Grace is th Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyWhen I pick up a new dystopian novel, I'm always hopeful that the author will put a new spin on the genre. But at it's core, SINLESS is nothing new. Tarkoff has found a different, problematic way to divide society, but the same beats exist. The hero is at first blind to the horrors of her world, then her eyes open, and she decides to revolt and become the savior everyone apparently needs.I had many problems with SINLESS. The first being that Grace is the least interesting person in the story. She comes from a place of intense privilege. She's beautiful. Her family is important. She's told again and again that she is irreplaceable. Her only obstacle is overcoming that privilege and recognizing that ugly people are still people and should be treated as such. As I made my way through SINLESS, I couldn't help thinking how much more interesting the book would be if the POV was from someone set up for failure rather than success.Another issue I had was that Tarkoff is obviously a screenwriter first and an author second. SINLESS is largely dialogue without dialogue tags or descriptions. It's entirely up to the reader to imagine the details. Chapters are as short as two pages. And while it's a quick read at 304 pages, SINLESS is divided into multiple books. I couldn't fathom that decision.Overall, I wish SINLESS had examined its themes more closely. Its plot device relies on a convoluted explanation made for television. People in our society are already judged by how they look and put into different boxes because of faith and perceived sin. We don't need a dystopian world to do it for us.Sexual Content: Kissing
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  • Silanur
    January 1, 1970
    I read this as part of my job as a sensitivity reader for the second book, so I will not be rating/reviewing either of the books for professional purposes.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! The concept of good and evil manifesting in physical appearance is fascinating. But this book is much more than teenage angst and young love. Concepts of religion, spirituality, politics, and social class really challenge the reader to ponder their own actions (real and hypothetical) and how they would respond. Do you question teachings or follow along? Do you judge people based on appearances? Are there shades of grey and varying degrees of sin and “goodness”? I cannot wait t I loved this book! The concept of good and evil manifesting in physical appearance is fascinating. But this book is much more than teenage angst and young love. Concepts of religion, spirituality, politics, and social class really challenge the reader to ponder their own actions (real and hypothetical) and how they would respond. Do you question teachings or follow along? Do you judge people based on appearances? Are there shades of grey and varying degrees of sin and “goodness”? I cannot wait to read the next two books to see how this story continues!
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  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    A compelling tale that grips you from the very first page. Not only is this story fascinating and Grace an endearing character, this is a book that incites high emotions. Faith is expected to be a journey of individuals. Each person finding their own way in a dark, confusing cacophony of swirling religions and beliefs that covers our world. Part of growing up is learning the difference between right and wrong and determining our own sense of justice and fairness. Our cultures, our parents, our p A compelling tale that grips you from the very first page. Not only is this story fascinating and Grace an endearing character, this is a book that incites high emotions. Faith is expected to be a journey of individuals. Each person finding their own way in a dark, confusing cacophony of swirling religions and beliefs that covers our world. Part of growing up is learning the difference between right and wrong and determining our own sense of justice and fairness. Our cultures, our parents, our peers, our laws teach us society's expected moral actions, as well as consequences for immoral actions. For so many people, faith is a fundamental part of themselves. It is a hugely shaping and identifying piece of their makeup, giving them support, encouragement, guidance, hope. So even just reading of a sinister force latching onto faith, parasitic and conniving, twisting it into something force-fed and wrong. Even those who do not ascribe to a particular faith with feel a visceral response to the hijacking of a person's most private, personal thoughts.I truly enjoyed reading Sinless, but I did have a few frustrations. I struggled a bit with the sheer number of foreshadowing instances. They were blatant and so frequent. For me, these gave the impression of a narrator trying to force their audience to keep paying attention. "Don't stop reading, there's more coming. It will be worth it. You'll see." I didn't like these foreshadowing statements for the simple fact that they were unnecessary. The story is enthralling in its own right. The author's development of Grace and the other characters is superb.The writing felt very episodic, to me. It's an interesting writing style, and I think adds something to the story, but it was difficult for me as I am not used to it. The novel felt broken up into bite-sized climactic moments that did not necessarily feel like they led up to something, but resolved issues one at a time. Because I am not used to it, it felt very odd to me while reading Sinless. Upon reflection, the style does not detract from the story in the slightest, but rather adds something as I mentioned.The ending was the last frustration for me - literally. This is the first book in a series, and I am now simply dying to read the second installment! I typically wait for at least two or three of a series to be published before I start reading, so that I don't have to go through the agony of waiting for the next release date, but I couldn't wait to start and finish Sinless. So now I wait. I do look forward to the second book in the series with great anticipation!
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  • Jennifer Jamieson
    January 1, 1970
    Grace barely remembers what life was like before Great Spirit was there to personally ensure every person on earth lived a rightous life. Since Great Spirit let their will be known via the Prophets, the righteous, pious and good are rewarded with beauty and health. Any wrongful act is Punished immediately, and Punishment can consist of everything from just looking a little dull and ill to outright swelling of the skin and death. In this world, you know who is 'good' and who isn't at a glance.Tee Grace barely remembers what life was like before Great Spirit was there to personally ensure every person on earth lived a rightous life. Since Great Spirit let their will be known via the Prophets, the righteous, pious and good are rewarded with beauty and health. Any wrongful act is Punished immediately, and Punishment can consist of everything from just looking a little dull and ill to outright swelling of the skin and death. In this world, you know who is 'good' and who isn't at a glance.Teenage Grace is a preacher's daughter, and her face tells everyone how pious she is. She volunteers to help the less fortunate, she regularly attends her father's services. People aspire to be like her.Driving along with her best friend Jude one evening, they end up in an auto accident. Grace is pretty sure it wasn't her friend's fault--but in an instant, he's Punished to death.Depressed, Grace throws herself into her charity work. That's where she meets a boy that will change her view of this new world forever.Sinless is an interesting dystopian YA novel that at first glance looks like a future fantasy. It quickly changes into a dystopian conspiracy that draws you in deeply, fusing new ideas and classic science fiction themes. It's the first in a new series, and I'm interested to see where Tarkoff takes this richly crafted near future world.
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Edelweiss*Genre* Young Adult, Dystopian*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*Sinless, by author Sarah Tarkoff, is the first installment in what appears to be a trilogy called Eye of the Beholder. Set in the year 2031, where a supposed Revelation took place 7 years before that brought about the arrival of the Great Spirit, Grace Luther’s world is a place where morality is physically enforced. Those who are “good” are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences, disfigurem *Source* Edelweiss*Genre* Young Adult, Dystopian*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*Sinless, by author Sarah Tarkoff, is the first installment in what appears to be a trilogy called Eye of the Beholder. Set in the year 2031, where a supposed Revelation took place 7 years before that brought about the arrival of the Great Spirit, Grace Luther’s world is a place where morality is physically enforced. Those who are “good” are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences, disfigurement, or even death under what is called Punishment.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...
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  • Kimberly Read
    January 1, 1970
    This book was too much hopeless-teen-girl-saves-the-world. She repeatedly screws up and has to be rescued by men. Gah!
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    This book was pushing some sort of agenda... but I'm still not sure what.....
  • Susan Gottfried
    January 1, 1970
    I found Sarah Tarkoff via Littsburgh, which celebrates all of us writers and publishing pros with ties to Pittsburgh. And then I read the opening of Sinless, and I was hooked.This is, indeed, beautifully written. Tarkoff is the real deal, there's no doubt about that.So why only three stars? Why am I essentially saying, "Meh," to this book?Because the plot's not fresh enough, even though the concept for the world building is. This ticks off all the checkmarks, and for that, it'll be wildly succes I found Sarah Tarkoff via Littsburgh, which celebrates all of us writers and publishing pros with ties to Pittsburgh. And then I read the opening of Sinless, and I was hooked.This is, indeed, beautifully written. Tarkoff is the real deal, there's no doubt about that.So why only three stars? Why am I essentially saying, "Meh," to this book?Because the plot's not fresh enough, even though the concept for the world building is. This ticks off all the checkmarks, and for that, it'll be wildly successful -- and perhaps it should be, raised over its peers simply due to the strength of the craftmanship in its wordsmithing. I'm a bit pickier. Okay, I'm a LOT pickier, and I was hoping for more new ideas beyond the premise of Great Spirit and Punishments and the concept of beauty.
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  • Jes
    January 1, 1970
    An intriguing sci-fi setting that kept me wanting to dig for more answers alongside the protaganist. The writing was reminiscent of the agency and sense of discovery in Animorphs as the characters take saving the world and seeing beyond the surface of things into their own hands. While Sinless does in its plot question religion, it does not brush it off nor denounce it blindly or bitterly, something I found rare and refreshing and built a deeper world in the case of the questions about mortality An intriguing sci-fi setting that kept me wanting to dig for more answers alongside the protaganist. The writing was reminiscent of the agency and sense of discovery in Animorphs as the characters take saving the world and seeing beyond the surface of things into their own hands. While Sinless does in its plot question religion, it does not brush it off nor denounce it blindly or bitterly, something I found rare and refreshing and built a deeper world in the case of the questions about mortality that the book touches upon. Really enjoyed reading one!
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  • Abby
    January 1, 1970
    2 starsIt was a quick read, but sadly I didn't feel much.(view spoiler)[I think that the Prophet was supposed to be "creepy" but all they ever said was that he basically "radiated holiness." *shrug*When someone radiates holiness, they don't exactly give off a creepy vibe. It might be just me, but I didn't think he was all that bad, just weird. Samuel, on the other hand, probably runs the show. He gave off a creepier vibe anyway.Honestly, the first half is probably the best part. And I think this 2 starsIt was a quick read, but sadly I didn't feel much.(view spoiler)[I think that the Prophet was supposed to be "creepy" but all they ever said was that he basically "radiated holiness." *shrug*When someone radiates holiness, they don't exactly give off a creepy vibe. It might be just me, but I didn't think he was all that bad, just weird. Samuel, on the other hand, probably runs the show. He gave off a creepier vibe anyway.Honestly, the first half is probably the best part. And I think this would have been better if this idea had been set in a separate world than just the near future. I think it was the 2020's? The 2030's? The 2040's? Not sure though because they never gave what year they were actually in. They gave dates of the Revelations, but other than that... nothing.And I felt like the story was too fast. Things kept happening with no time to think or process. Boom, boom, boom. I am still having trouble believing the story because of it.AND, I'm sorry, but the story wasn't believable for me because it was really focused on religion and that was the politics of this future world. I don't see very many people really praying or being religious at all today and this sudden turn around in the year 2024/25 - which is only 6-7 years from now - doesn't make sense with today's society. Again, this would have been more believable if it had been set in a totally separate time frame, perhaps so much farther into the future that we cannot possibly predict what would have happened or in a time where religion did play a huge role. Also putting this idea into a totally made up world where the author can bend the rules would have worked better. (hide spoiler)]This might be just my opinion, but it is something to think about. Read the spoiler at your own risk if you want to, just to prepare yourself or if you need another opinion before reading.I do have to say that the cover is gorgeous, but I don't exactly know how it relates. Maybe her world is shattering?? I don't know, but it does catch the eye and is beautiful.
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  • Kend
    January 1, 1970
    You know, on the one hand, I'm really grateful that somebody wrote a dystopic book which reflects the hyper-religious experience of my own teen years. On the other hand, I'm curious as to whether this will really connect with its ideal audience. After all, the teens who are already disillusioned with their evangelical upbringings will love it, but the teens who would benefit most from parsing Tarkoff's embedded messages about unthinking acquiescence to systems of power (including religious syste You know, on the one hand, I'm really grateful that somebody wrote a dystopic book which reflects the hyper-religious experience of my own teen years. On the other hand, I'm curious as to whether this will really connect with its ideal audience. After all, the teens who are already disillusioned with their evangelical upbringings will love it, but the teens who would benefit most from parsing Tarkoff's embedded messages about unthinking acquiescence to systems of power (including religious systems) will find this book heretical and offensive. And yes, the reading level really and obviously targets this book at book at teens, despite the fact publishers seem at long last to have invented a new publishing genre for dystopic books that makes no mention of age. (The back of the library copy I borrowed said only "Dystopic," not "Young Adult." Cool.) That this book would have been written by a contributing screenwriter to shows like the CW's "Arrow" kills me a little, but in a good way. I like the disjointure of the mental images I get of Tarkoff writing this book, in between scripts and with a bunch of church brochures piled on a desk somewhere. I mean, her language is flawlessly accurate to the teen evangelical experience. FLAWLESS.That said, I'm not in that place anymore, either a teen or a disillusioned evangelical. (I mean, I'm disillusioned, but I'm like, fifteen years further along the disillusioned path than the characters here.) And there isn't much that's ambitious about Tarkoff's language. It's serviceable, but not exceptional. And the things which make a book "for me" (representation and advocacy) just ... well, they're not here. But yeah, I'll probably read the sequels. Sinless made for a good palate-cleanser between other reads.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    Such an interesting concept, having your good and bad deeds reflected in your appearance! Unlike some of the recent YA, futuristic, dystopian books out there, the concept in this book, especially after the later revel, seems actually plausible. And that is terrifying. That's something I really liked about this book; it was futuristic, but no so much so. The world in the book is some much like ours, that it was easy to put myself in Grace's shoes and understand what she was going through.Some of Such an interesting concept, having your good and bad deeds reflected in your appearance! Unlike some of the recent YA, futuristic, dystopian books out there, the concept in this book, especially after the later revel, seems actually plausible. And that is terrifying. That's something I really liked about this book; it was futuristic, but no so much so. The world in the book is some much like ours, that it was easy to put myself in Grace's shoes and understand what she was going through.Some of the reviews mention Grace's lack of personality. While I agree that she doesn't have the strongest personality, I think that is a deliberate choice on the author's part. The society Grace lives in immediately punishes someone for his/her bad deeds. Some of the most interesting personality traits are not inherently good - sarcasm, competitiveness, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time are all things that could be punished in this new world. Grace grew up in a society that encouraged and rewarded conforming to the norm, not having your own sense of individualism. I hope that as the series continues, Grace will develop as a character, and we'll see who she truly is.My one criticism is that, like so many books in series right now, the ending didn't really feel like an ending. I enjoy self-contained stories that work in a larger picture, much like the Harry Potter series. The ending of Sinless seemed more like an end of a chapter, not a book. I know it's the style right now, but I'm not a fan.I cannot wait to read the next book and continue with Grace in her journey!
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  • Maddison
    January 1, 1970
    This book was really original! Based on the premise that those who sin against Great Spirit turn ugly and get sick. So everyone in this book is trying to do good deeds to stay healthy. Took a little bit to understand, so I was pleased that I was focusing during this book!I like how the MC was relatable, in the way that she always tried her hardest to do good deeds because it was how she was brought up. To me, that's much more relatable than your typical rebellious defiant MC who constantly stand This book was really original! Based on the premise that those who sin against Great Spirit turn ugly and get sick. So everyone in this book is trying to do good deeds to stay healthy. Took a little bit to understand, so I was pleased that I was focusing during this book!I like how the MC was relatable, in the way that she always tried her hardest to do good deeds because it was how she was brought up. To me, that's much more relatable than your typical rebellious defiant MC who constantly stands up to people. As soon as (view spoiler)[Prophet Joshua was introduced, I knew it was a bad thing. Potential cult behaviour. But he does interest me, with the way he heals people in his vicinity, even if they don't believe. (hide spoiler)] I couldn't believe it when (view spoiler)[Jude was still alive! (hide spoiler)] And the way that Clint's character (view spoiler)[turned around so drastically for the worse concerned me. I know they were worried about their son, but still, prepared to torture someone he had known for ages? (hide spoiler)] I loved the revelation of (view spoiler)[the fact that it was doubt and guilt that caused the illness, rather than the sin. Wonder what it is that's causing it, and how they even found out about it. (hide spoiler)] I'd like to continue the series, but who knows if/when I'll do that.
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