CSFF Blog Tour: Sneak

When you are a refugee from an evil government and its secret police, when your ambition is to pull a prison break at a fortress of a prison, when you are variously counted a criminal, a traitor, an outcast, and a target – what do you do? Well, for starters, you sneak.

Sneak is the second installment of the story Evan Angler began in Swipe. Logan, now among the Dust, is on a mission to save his sister; he has a city to go to, a name to look for – Acheron, the ultimate bane of the Markless. On the road they find stories of Acheron. Whether or not they’ve found truth – well, that they won’t know until they can get to Acheron and see for themselves.

Sneak explores deeper the world rising from the devastation of global warming and Total War. That world grows more elaborately dystopian, and in this second book, the series becomes definitely Christian and unmistakably End Times. I had hoped the books were not going in that direction, because it’s not the sort of thing that naturally appeals to me. But if you’re going to do it, this is the way to.

Knowing Revelation, one can see various fulfillments in Swipe and Sneak. Yet they come in unexpected ways, flavored and influenced by the particular world of the novels. And they come unheralded, and even gradually – far more interesting, and even more believable, than the seven years of cataclysm found in other End Times works.

The pace of Sneak is brisk enough to keep away boredom, and slow enough that readers are not left confused. Certain events were skimmed past with hardly a glance, but they were peripheral to the actual experiences of the characters, and maybe that is the nature of a middle-grade book. On the same front, I found the main character too rash – but again, maybe that is the nature of thirteen-year-old boys who have abruptly been torn from all that was stable in their lives.

What I appreciated most about this book was the inventiveness with which the author handled his world and End Times prophecies. He had a flair with his characters, too, and managed to support a large cast and make most of them distinctive. Sneak leaves more going than Swipe did, while also leaving less of an idea of where the characters will turn next. So here’s to the next book, and the author’s skill that keeps readers coming back.


Sneak is the second book in the Swipe series. Yes, we are getting there: to Storm, the one under the spotlight.

CSFF Blog Tour: Swipe

Logan Langly is afraid. He’s afraid of the dark, of crowds, of empty spaces behind him. He’s afraid of footsteps and shadows in the street; he’s afraid of eyes he’s never seen, but always feels.

Most of all, he’s afraid of getting the Mark. The Mark is the passport to adulthood, granting the right to buy, to have a job, to go to a doctor. No civilized life is possible without it. But Logan’s afraid.

Swipe, by Evan Angler, is a dystopian novel, and it could go as post-apocalyptic, too. The earth has been devastated by war and global warming, but in Logan’s time it’s getting back on its feet. Beneath its feet are the Dust – the Markless, outcasts for whom no one cares.

Swipe is also middle-grade fiction. This is why the age of receiving the Mark is thirteen. I thought that Evan Angler handled his cast of twelve- and thirteen-year-olds well. There were lines of dialogue I thought beyond such (I’ll say it) children, and it is always hard for me to seriously care for romance between (I’ll say it again) children. It would have been better, I thought, if the age of receiving the Mark had been put two or three years older.

Yet the negative effect was minimal. It did work. I was impressed, moreover, by the mature complexity of the story. There are themes of choices made and paid for, of friends who become enemies and enemies who can be friends. Angler brings out a diversity of motivations in his characters.

Any Christian reading this book will quickly pick out the specters of Revelation: the Mark, the rising world-empire. It is not clear, however, if Swipe is the beginning of an End Times series, or simply drawing inspiration from the Bible. I prefer the latter.

Religion, as such, has a small place in Swipe; I guess it will have a large place in the series. Angler inserts, with admirable subtlety, clues that his characters don’t understand but that his readers do. Some who show doubts about the new regime wear a “charm” – the Cross, we can easily guess. A forsaken building we recognize, by the description of a spire and stained glass windows, as a church is mistaken by the children for a warehouse on account of the crates of books they find in it.

A number of the characters use the names of two world leaders in quasi-religious phrases: “For Cylis’s sake”; “In Lamson’s name”. And we see another specter: the Anti-Christ.

I enjoyed Swipe; the characters were finely and realistically drawn, the story made unexpected turns, the world was grimly interesting. The book is the first in a series; the story goes on, and I plan to be there.


Note: Swipe is the first book of the Swipe series; the third book, Storm, is the subject of this month’s CSFF blog tour.

I wrote this review before I read any of the later books. These are my first insights and reactions to the series; this is Swipe taken in context only of itself. I am planning to make my way through the series, ending in Storm later this week. To see what this tour is about in the meantime, visit my fellow tourers:

Julie Bihn
Beckie Burnham

Keanan Brand
Pauline Creeden
Emma or Audrey Engel
Sarah Faulkner
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Writer Rani
Chawna Schroeder

Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Rachel Wyant

Review: Sneak

When you are a refugee from an evil government and its secret police, when your ambition is to pull a prison break at a fortress of a prison, when you are variously counted a criminal, a traitor, an outcast, and a target – what do you do? Well, for starters, you sneak.

Sneak is the second installment of the story Evan Angler began in Swipe. Logan, now among the Dust, is on a mission to save his sister; he has a city to go to, a name to look for – Acheron, the ultimate bane of the Markless. On the road they find stories of Acheron. Whether or not they’ve found truth – well, that they won’t know until they can get to Acheron and see for themselves.

Sneak explores deeper the world rising from the devastation of global warming and Total War. That world grows more elaborately dystopian, and in this second book, the series becomes definitely Christian and unmistakably End Times. I had hoped the books were not going in that direction, because it’s not the sort of thing that naturally appeals to me. But if you’re going to do it, this is the way to.

Knowing Revelation, one can see various fulfillments in Swipe and Sneak. Yet they come in unexpected ways, flavored and influenced by the particular world of the novels. And they come unheralded, and even gradually – far more interesting, and even more believable, than the seven years of cataclysm found in other End Times works.

The pace of Sneak is brisk enough to keep away boredom, and slow enough that readers are not left confused. Certain events were skimmed past with hardly a glance, but they were peripheral to the actual experiences of the characters, and maybe that is the nature of a middle-grade book. On the same front, I found the main character too rash – but again, maybe that is the nature of thirteen-year-old boys who have abruptly been torn from all that was stable in their lives.

What I appreciated most about this book was the inventiveness with which the author handled his world and End Times prophecies. He had a flair with his characters, too, and managed to support a large cast and make most of them distinctive. Sneak leaves more going than Swipe did, while also leaving less of an idea of where the characters will turn next. So here’s to the next book, and the author’s skill that keeps readers coming back.

Review: Swipe

Logan Langly is afraid. He’s afraid of the dark, of crowds, of empty spaces behind him. He’s afraid of footsteps and shadows in the street; he’s afraid of eyes he’s never seen, but always feels.

Most of all, he’s afraid of getting the Mark. The Mark is the passport to adulthood, granting the right to buy, to have a job, to go to a doctor. No civilized life is possible without it. But Logan’s afraid.

Swipe, by Evan Angler, is a dystopian novel, and it could go as post-apocalyptic, too. The earth has been devastated by war and global warming, but in Logan’s time it’s getting back on its feet. Beneath its feet are the Dust – the Markless, outcasts for whom no one cares.

Swipe is also middle-grade fiction. This is why the age of receiving the Mark is thirteen. I thought that Evan Angler handled his cast of twelve- and thirteen-year-olds well. There were lines of dialogue I thought beyond such (I’ll say it) children, and it is always hard for me to seriously care for romance between (I’ll say it again) children. It would have been better, I thought, if the age of receiving the Mark was put two or three years older.

Yet the negative effect was minimal. It did work. I was impressed, moreover, by the mature complexity of the story. There are themes of choices made and paid for, of friends who become enemies and enemies who can be friends. Angler brings out a diversity of motivations in his characters.

Any Christian reading this book will quickly pick out the specters of Revelation: the Mark, the rising world-empire. It is not clear, however, if Swipe is the beginning of an End Times series, or simply drawing inspiration from the Bible. I prefer the latter.

Religion, as such, has a small place in Swipe; I guess it will have a large place in the series. Angler inserts, with admirable subtlety, clues that his characters don’t understand but that his readers do. Some who show doubts about the new regime wear a “charm” – the Cross, we can easily guess. A forsaken building we recognize, by the description of a spire and stained glass windows, as a church is mistaken by the children for a warehouse on account of the crates of books they find in it.

A number of the characters use the names of two world leaders in quasi-religious phrases: “For Cylis’s sake”; “In Lamson’s name”. And we see another specter: the Anti-Christ.

I enjoyed Swipe; the characters were finely and realistically drawn, the story made unexpected turns, the world was grimly interesting. The book is the first in a series; the story goes on, and I plan to be there.