Book review: ‘A Nothing Named Silas’ is a dystopian winner

By Elizabeth Reid

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 16 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

"A NOTHING NAMED SILAS," by Steve Westover, Sweetwater Books, $17.99, 304 pages (f)

Silas has been raised for an important leadership position. But life takes a sudden change when his dreams and aspirations crash to a halt during the most important event of his life. Mormon author Steve Westover delivers a powerful book similar to other dystopian best-sellers, yet with enough unique characteristics that “A Nothing Named Silas” has no problems standing on its own.

Life in Silas’ world consists of citizens and non-citizens. As a non-citizen, Silas has been cautioned regarding the dangers outside the Shield. Now, as he moves to his new home, he starts to realize exactly what life holds for the thousands of non-citizens like him. As this understanding hits, Silas begins to question whether the Shields were created to protect or imprison.

While he comes to know his new family, Silas starts to wonder who he can trust as various powerful players vie for his allegiance. He questions not only his acquaintances, but the very society he was raised in. Silas is torn between the power offered by Regent Taelori, the ruler of his new city, and the mysterious Gideon, the quiet leader of a group of insurgents. As he struggles to understand the truth, he finds himself attracted to Kezziah, an intelligent and beautiful girl. When his path becomes clear, Silas knows that his choices will ruin someone’s life; he just hopes that it won’t be his own.

The pace in Westover’s book is fabulous; the tempo keeps readers eagerly turning pages, yet characters are also well-developed. Fortunately there will be future books in this series because reading about Silas can be addicting.

“A Nothing Named Silas” has clean language and little romance. There is one small innuendo and various violent activities, particularly one scene describing a brutal murder.

Westover is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a graduate of Brigham Young University. He lives in Missouri with his wife and four children.

Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. Her email is bizziereid@gmail.com.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS