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, Dystopia, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) Review

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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!
  • 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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  • 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!!!!
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Cristine Mermaid
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book well enough. The plot was brilliant. Raptures take over the world and change people so that when you commit a sin, you become deformed and may even die if it was severe enough. Those who are virtuous are beautiful and unblemished. The main character, a cleric's daughter (under the new one world religion of worshiping 'the great spirit') is one of the beautiful and a believer until conflicting circumstances cause her to question. Her quest for the truth is riveting and I read th I liked this book well enough. The plot was brilliant. Raptures take over the world and change people so that when you commit a sin, you become deformed and may even die if it was severe enough. Those who are virtuous are beautiful and unblemished. The main character, a cleric's daughter (under the new one world religion of worshiping 'the great spirit') is one of the beautiful and a believer until conflicting circumstances cause her to question. Her quest for the truth is riveting and I read the book in one sitting because I wanted to know the answers. I didn't actually feel like I 'knew' the characters however I was also coming off a 600 page book so that could have influenced me. However, the story moved fast and the plot was intriguing so it was a solid "I liked it". It was also thought provoking and I will read the next one when it comes out.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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!
  • Krissy
    January 1, 1970
    Ridiculous and annoying teenage angst.
  • Doug
    January 1, 1970
    meh
  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    There is definite Young Adult Crossover potential here. Dystopian novels can be bleak, with major consequences and this debut novel skyrockets with great influence. Humanity always searches for constant passage; even though with this genres of novels, there isn't a beautiful endpoint, it seeks to plummet into a reasonable future.
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    Review posted at Fantasy Literature.
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