A unique spin on the themes of dystopian literature
Welcome to the Dystopian States of America, circa 2250. Natural disasters and a war have wiped out a large part of the population and much of the technology. In a 3-caste society where God has been outlawed, high-school-age Hana must cope with a mother who has cancer, a government whose supposedly "well-intentioned" policies are so repressive that she cannot search for the truth about the deepest issues of life. She has been squeezed into the middle class, the class most naïve about the real nature of the government. Hana sees friends struggling with issues like drugs, abortion, and obeying curfews and other highly restrictive laws imposed on the people. In that respect, the issues mirror much of present day society.
The suspense grows steadily as Hana seeks the truth about life, God, and the Greater Class, the ruling class that supposedly has the wisdom to run the government while looking out for the interests of everyone. To avoid spoilers, I won't give any more specifics from the story.
This is my first YA read in quite some time, and my first dystopian novel, ever.
This story will appeal to young adults who enjoy the dystopian themes of a heroine/hero who fights against a society gone dreadfully wrong and who grows in the process. Vanquished, at times, includes Christian teachings about God and man's relationship to him. The story is written in 1st person, from the heroine's point-of-view -- not my personal preference, but the author did a good job, and 1st person does give the reader a deep understanding of the heroine. When the story ends, it's not a cliffhanger, but it's obvious to the reader that there's more to it. I'm guessing that you'll need to read the entire series to reach what feels like an end to the story.
For people who like dystopian, YA novels with Christian elements in the story, I would give this 5 stars.