Anthem by Ayn Rand

I found this novella for Read Harder’s task 17, a sci-fi/fantasy novella. I originally wanted to read the last of the Binti books for this one, since I read the first one for Read Harder last year (task 5, a book by an author of color about or set in space), but the last one isn’t under 120 pages and that count is called out in the challenge. The page count, despite being the last of a novella series, is kinda high but I mostly wanted to stick to the count listed. I could still read it for task 9, but there are several series of which I am on the last book coming out this year, so we’ll see which one I get to first. (Imagine Me, A Conjuring of Light which is doorstopper and better for that task, the last Noah Shaw book, but I’ll have to wait until 2021 for the last Ember in the Ashes book which doesn’t even have a name yet).

It’s a dystopian, which I am that basic reader that loves a good dystopian. There are allusions to what brought about the downfall of the last civilization but nothing spells it right out. What the reader can easily gather is that selfishness, lust and, pride are responsible and therefore stripped from the new world order. The men and women are only allowed to be in the vicinity of each other during the mating season, and only if selected, and only with the person they are paired with.

The world is interesting and the main character, Equality 7-2521, is equally interesting. I love the way he paints the world and his discontent with it and the path his discontent takes him on. In a world where you cannot make your own decisions or be your own person, what happens when disagree with your path? What happens when you can’t quell that feel that life is meant for something more? What happens when you can’t quiet your mind?

Further, the book itself asks the question of what happens when people decide that to be your own person is the greatest sin?

Altogether, I loved it. The writing is captivating and Equality 7-2521 takes us on more of a mental journey than anything else. It’s the kind of journey a lot of us take to a smaller extent but a necessary one. Add Anthem to your Goodreads or Litsy TBR!

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