I received this free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Violet is the sixteen year-old daughter of the founding father New Earth and she has lived a life of prosperity, peace, safety, and comfort. Life is easy thanks in part to the Intercept, a crime prevention device that monitors your thoughts and emotions and can potentially use them against you in order to keep the peace for all on New Earth. When Danny, her long time crush gets into a dangerous situation down on Old Earth, Violet decides to secretly begin investigating. Her findings lead her to question everything she knows about Danny, her father, and the Intercept.
I was really looking forward to to reading The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. This is actually one of those stories where I preferred the concept to the final execution. Basically, it's a YA sci-fi dystopian that deals with the issue of the state controlling your emotions and thoughts. Think 1984, except instead of Big Brother you have the Intercept. The Intercept monitors everything - if you try to commit a crime, it makes you relive your worst memory and feel all of emotions that went along with it. It's pretty effective that way at stopping crimes - and it's a government approved program. Sounds pretty intriguing, doesn't it? I was totally expecting something along the lines of 1984, Minority Report, and a dash of the Dementors from the Harry Potter series. The first half seemed fairly promising as it begins to set up our characters and the world although at a slower pace. By the end, though, I realized I wasn't invested in the characters and there's not enough development in the individuals, or when it building their relationships. I was also disappointed with the world-building of New Earth, the background on it and Old Earth, and the Intercept itself. Unfortunately, all of these are lacking as well - I should have had less questions regarding each by the time I made it through that rushed ending.
Overall, The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller has a lot of potential to be a good YA sci-fi dystopian in the vein of a couple of classics. It didn't quite work out for me as I felt there wasn't enough world building or character development to really be invested in the long run. You may want to try this series opener if you are looking for a YA novel with the flavor of 1984 or Minority Report. By the way, I have to admit that I was totally waiting for a cat nun to show up!
I read this ARC from September 21 - 23, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads. This novel is due to be released on November 7th.