“According to science, humans have no souls. There is no afterlife or guardian angels or ghosts or spirits or anything at all supernatural. Our world is purely physical. The government has systematically removed God from society.” So begins The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert, a dystopian science fiction story where “science won.”
The protagonist of the story, seventeen-year-old Tess, has a problem. If there is no supernatural, why is she having visions and dreams that come true? Before the government can classify her as a danger because of her “delusions”, her parents move the family to another town where there is one of the few private clinics remaining that deals with psychological problems. However, everything is not as it seems, because Tess uncovers information about her family and about her society that doesn’t make sense. She is determined to get to the bottom of it all and, fortunately, there enters a love interest, but Tess is not sure that he can be trusted.
I liked this book, which is the first of a series. The world making was good and it unfolded with the story. I never felt lost. The characters were generally believable and the action flowed at a good pace. When reading the book someone asked me what I was up to and I told them I was reading this book and described the premise that government had removed everything spiritual. They were very religious and nodded sagely. I thought to myself humorously, mixing the real world with this fictional one, “You have no idea what the government is up to! It’s much worse than you imagine.”
One of the only downsides of The Gifting was that it ended very abruptly. I like books that have some closure, even when part of a series. Be prepared to fetch the second book or be left in limbo.