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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Sleight of Eye by Elaine McCullough is a compelling story for dystopian fans everywhere. It's set in the future, but hits a little close to present-day situations in a lot of ways, making you wonder if the world is heading in the direction that McCullough describes. Heroes Sam and Ava try to help those that they can, fighting against greed, political corruption, and corporate terrorism in an America that can't be called "The United States" now, because it's been divided into zones. But they aren't comic book heroes. You'll be immersed in a future America you hope never to see, and may find yourself wondering if we aren't living in the foreshadow of it already. The author is a fantastic writer who knows how to build a world you can believe in, dialogue that crackles with life, and characters you can relate to. Her characters have quirks, strengths, and shortcomings, just like the rest of us. These elements ground you in the story and compel you to keep reading until you reach the end, because you want, or need, to know what happens.
Given today's world of Covid-19 and the ramifications, not to mention our country's division due to politics, religion, racism, and other factors, it isn't hard to imagine a dystopian society where things have fallen into chaos. The plot is well-paced, the action keeps the pages turning, and the characters in such intense situations are what really drive this story and make it shine in the midst of murky possibilities. Wolf is admirable, and the Native American themes are intriguing. McCullough's descriptions are exquisitely detailed, especially of the devastated landscape once known as America, made more poignant and chilling by the ever-present specter of the pandemic in our psyches. Sleight of Eye by Elaine McCullough is a dystopian novel for today's world.