Author: Jonah Bergan
Length: 540 Pages
At a Glance: All in all, this is a worthy book to read, although it will take some time. It’s rough and sad but also makes you think.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Well it finally happened. The world ended. It didn’t happen the way anyone expected it would. No nukes, no pandemics, just a whole lot of rage and a whole lot of violence. None of us saw it coming. There were plenty of clues, but none of us figured it out in time. The real kicker is, I’m pretty sure someone planned it. I’m pretty sure someone did it on purpose.
I’m Holden. I survived. You won’t like my story. That’s too bad, because your world’s headed the same way as mine. Everything that happened to me, is going to happen to you. The same kind of people that did this to me, will do it to you. They’re doing it right now. They’re making it worse and you don’t even see it. Sure, I could help you. I could give it a try, but you won’t listen. I’m not the same as you. I’m a different kind than you, so you won’t listen. That’s why it’ll happen to you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t say you didn’t have a clue. Not when all you had to do was listen.
Heathens is a young adult post apocalyptic science fiction novel. Heathens contains some coarse language and violence.
Can One Angry Boy Save the World?
Review: Heathens was one tough read. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where some people have developed what the author has called “talents”. Holden’s talent it to be able to push things with his mind. There are several other talents, but the main point is that people with talents are considered one “kind” while people without talents are another “kind”. In this world, those without talents want to destroy those who have them.
Holden is an angry kid and has good reason to be. The violence and suffering he’s witnessed would be enough to make anyone angry and bitter. He connects with a family, of sorts, people of his own kind, and the leader, Sol, is a pacifist who believes the problems between Kinds can be solved through understanding, not violence. Not all people with talents agree with Sol’s belief. And so, within the people with Talents, there is a divide.
What I liked about this book was how the author managed to capture themes of acceptance, vengeance, and forgiveness. The story is very long, yet all parts of it serve a purpose. There isn’t too much extra “stuff” put in as filler.
With that said, the writing style fell very heavily into the way a teenager or young adult might talk. For example, one such moment occurs when he considers the choice a boy he’s saved has to make.
“I mean, maybe he’d forgive, and maybe he wouldn’t, but now it was up to him. You can’t forgive if you’re powerless to do anything else. That’s not forgiveness. I’d given him a little more power than he had a moment before. I think he sensed that. If he decided not to forgive, he could give it back. He could choose, one or the other. Larry’s fate was up to him now.”
While this was a nice moment in the book, there are many such moments where the author could have reduced what he said by about one-third and thus reduced the size of the book.
On the other hand, there are several moments where the author really does a fantastic job of making you think about things in a different sort of way. For example:
“Later, I learned that you don’t stop being frightened until you lose everything. When all you have is your own life, and that life is nothing but pain, that’s when all your fear turns into something else.”
I found myself bouncing between wishing the author would’ve been more concise with language and admiring the kinds of thoughts he portrays on the page.
All in all, this is a worthy book to read, although it will take some time. It’s rough and sad but also makes you think.
You can buy Heathens here: