The Prominence League

January 8, 2013 at 8:18 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , )

the-prominence-leagueTitle: The Prominence League

Author: C. David Cannon

Publisher: Lucid Books

Genre: Young Adult

Length: 197 pages

C. David Cannon is friendly, jovial even.  I don’t know if he is like this all the time or if he was just on a high from his first official book signing, but I would consider him quite pleasant.

His book, on the other hand, is not jovial.  Instead, it’s a social commentary on freedom, discussed in the form of a dystopian fiction piece.  ‘Ah, yes, a dystopian society young adult novel… you’re a sucker for those,’ I can hear the blogosphere groan.  I AM! I am a sucker for those, because they’re inevitably so darn good!

“I think to myself that I am tired of being a captive.  I am tired of living under their tyrannical guidelines, being monitored every minute, and rationed food and resources.  I finally admit to myself that the President was right.  I have been caught up in the adventure, and cannot turn back now.”

Like Carriane, you’ll get caught up in the adventure too, and you won’t want to turn back.

Fans of Invitation to the Game, the Cathy’s Book series, and Seed Savers will love The Prominence League. Young adult titles with elements of science fiction, fantasy, dystopian societies, or all three, these books – along with Cannon’s – are great for everyone’s inner twelve year old.

The Prominence League, though a completely different story with a totally different style, continuously reminded me of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, a book by Dai Sijie about adolescents discovering banned books in China.  Between Dai Sijie’s historic novelization of China in the 1970’s and Cannon’s futuristic version of America gone wrong circa 2024, the concept of a government hijacking citizens for “re-education” is solidly hit home.  Both authors completely address the value of a revolutionary heart and the importance of resisting group-think.

Those are values you expect to find in a Chinese man who fled to France in the 80’s to publish copies of his own illegal work, but not in a fifth grade teacher in suburbia.  For that, I find Cannon refreshing.

January 2013 009At the Half Price Books Humble book signing, Cannon told a story about his fifth grade class and how he read chapters to his students.  He talked of a running joke they had together about how often a character passed out at the end of each segment.  If the book has one flaw, it would be that Carriane McAdams does indeed have a hard time getting from chapter to chapter while remaining conscious.  Summoning my middle-grade self, however, I found I enjoyed the game of ‘how does she get conked out this time?’ It gave the book an interactive air and kept it from feeling too dark.

I would have liked to see the book about a 50 pages longer, develop Carriane’s relationship with her own environment and Caleb prior to his disappearing act and her re-education.  I would have liked to see her spend more time in training, get a better understanding of what that training feels like to the characters, but wrap up the novel exactly the same.  There is nothing wrong with how Cannon handled his story, it is highly entertaining, and I think it would make a strong impact on a young reader.  The opening just moved more quickly than I would have liked, which is probably the same quality that makes it perfect for intermediate readers – he gets right to the point.  Cannon’s book would be a great gift for enticing kids to love the written word.

The Prominence League Two and Three are yet to come.  When they do, I would be psyched to purchase a Prominence League Omnibus complete with all three books in one volume… hint, hint to the marketing department at Lucid Books.

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