Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe is a dystopian YA novel. The readers follow the third person POV of Alice Davenport and Carter Warren, who exist 87 years apart. Young Alice lives with her neglectful mother and a desire to escape the confines of her life. As if responding to her thoughts, The Storm, a cataclysmic event, rocks Earth to its core. Alice must now combat the immediate aftereffects and attempt to survive in a new world. Conversely, Carter, the son of a Scout and a Storm survivor’s family line, is destined to become the Controller General of the Community. Carter is frozen so that he may contribute to the Community and fulfill his destiny. But are there other motives behind his freezing? What connects these two individuals and the lives they touch?
An immensely enjoyable novel, I would recommend this to anyone. I will outline some key points below but the biggest take-aways are: 1) It is a story for all ages. Very well written. 2) It explores the dystopian novel with a fresh perspective so it should be well received. 3) It is the first in a trilogy so there will be more!
Lowe is creative in all aspects of her writing but her style was exceptional. It is easy to distinguish the narration from the characters’ thoughts with the sentences blocked out from each other. Many of the action scenes have a sense of urgency that the characters ey seem to create themselves because they are so lifelike.
Paradigm will be a great companion to 1984. Both share elements of TeleScreens (which is honestly not far from the truth), a “corporate” type takeover, and of course the pulse of humanity.
Building upon Lowe’s writing style, her use of contrasting characters and their point of views worked splendidly. The creation of the Community from both ends of the spectrum completed Lowe’s world. It can be difficult to view dystopian themes from both angles since many novels are written from one POV or a predominate political stance is allowed to reign. The novel did a fantastic job at not only tying loose ends but it allowed for multiple POV’s to coexist.
Character and World Development
Overall, each major character was introduced and built upon in a succinct fashion. It is obvious that Lowe has a careful plot design because every aspect of her novel relates to another. She knows when to allow the readers to venture a guess and when to guide them to a conclusion. Readers will have an easy time empathizing with at least one character, which will set the pace. Either way, each reader will have their own journey.
Please read this book. Educators should consider bringing this novel into their literature curriculum as a modern take on 1984. Paradigm is thoroughly enjoyable and an outstanding novel. The rest of the trilogy is sure to please!
*I have received this book in exchange for an honest review*
Author: Ceri A. Lowe
Number of Pages: 378
Original Publication: 13 June 2014
What if the end of the world was just the beginning?
Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors.
When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.
87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry.
Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed.
But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past…