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Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the...
Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the...
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  • Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.


    Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?


    Emma Trevayne's dystopian debut novel is a little punk, a little rock, and plenty page-turning.

About the Author-

  • Emma Trevayne is a full-time writer. She is an avid music collector, a lover of computer code languages, and a photographer. She has lived in Canada, England, and America. Follow her on Twitter @EMentior.


Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 1, 2013
    Music provides both damnation and freedom in this gripping futuristic fable, first in a two-book series from newcomer Trevayne. The Corp maintains a crushing grip on the population through addictive, mood-influencing music that takes a heavy toll on its users. Anthem, 18, sells his body’s energy to fuel the city’s grid and rebels at night as part of an illegal underground band. When he loses a friend to the Corp’s music, he sparks a musical rebellion aimed at overthrowing the shadowy President Z and her cabinet. But a traitor close to Anthem could destroy everything, just as he finds the strength to go for what he wants in life and love. Atmospheric and emotionally rich, this intense story practically sings with defiance, swaggering like the rock and punk of old. Trevayne conjures up a convincingly corrupt dystopia, full of dangerously misused technology, an omnipresent Big Brother, and heroes worth rooting for. Without shying away from the story’s darker themes, she balances them with positive messages regarding family, friendship, and optimism. A strong debut from an author to watch. Ages: 13–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, FinePrint Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2013
    In a dystopian future where music is a corporate-controlled mind-altering substance, an illegal underground band revolts through pure music. It started with specially encoded music that provided pain relief when pharmaceutical medicines ran short. By the time Anthem comes of age, music has gone beyond medical and even recreational uses. It's how the Corp controls the population. All citizens are legally required to be music addicts, craving it even though it eventually destroys them. Lower-class citizens like Anthem are further destroyed by working as conduits, plugging their bodies into machines to power the Corp's Grid with their energy. Anthem's only reasons for living are protecting his younger siblings, comforting his dying father, spending time with his not-quite girlfriend and playing real, unencoded music in a secret underground band. Despite conflicting opinions on whether the band should risk playing for audiences, they stay private--until one of their own is killed immediately upon listening to a corporate music track. Anthem strikes back through his music in illegal concerts, planning a revolution. A betrayal endangers everyone Anthem loves, forcing him to make difficult choices. The fictional world doesn't hold up to close scrutiny, but the quick pace conceals it well. Anthem's personal connections to the richly written cast make the character-driven plot sing. Trevayne's debut showcases a creative concept, skillful dialogue and vivid characters. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-Music is Anthem's life-and it might be his death. In a society controlled by the Corporation, music is digitally enhanced so it acts like a drug. It's used to kill pain and to heal the sick but it's also used to control the citizenry and keep them dependent on the Corp, making them addicts and killing many at a young age. As a conduit, a person whose body is used to power the Corp's grid, Anthem, 18, has a short life expectancy and a miserable existence. His only joys are his twin siblings, whom he cares for in light of his mother's absence and his father's illness, and the illegal, "unencoded" music he makes with his band in an abandoned cellar. When it becomes clear that the Corp is taking encoding to dangerous new levels and is closing in on the renegade musicians, Anthem must risk everything to bring change to his society and free his beloved music. The story hums with tension. Plot twists and lots of action make for a riveting read with a believable and likable protagonist. The music seems almost alive, as if it were itself a character. The plot is marred only by an almost total lack of backstory (how did this dystopian society get to this state?) and a heavy-handed message (freedom is good, and mind control is bad). Band geeks, garage musicians, and teens told to "turn that garbage down" will clamor for this one.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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