Provoke Not The Children by Michael W. Anderson

Posted 7 May, 2014 by Paige in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Release Date: December 16th 2013
About Provoke Not the Children:
In the United States, in the not-too-distant future, Americans are focused on one thing to the exclusion of all else: self-maximization. Every aspect of life which impedes the pursuit of Maximization is pushed aside, including the raising of children. Within one week of birth, all children are permanently turned over to professional child-rearing experts – Proxies – to be raised, educated and cultivated.

Chase Stern, a Proxy Review Officer tasked with the regulation of the Proxy Industry, is plagued by guilt – the consequence of his own dogged pursuit of Maximization. Seeking redemption, he has pledged his life to save the lost but dangerous youth of the Deep Suburbs – the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden majority of society located far from the wealthy, civilized Inner Cities. When Chase uncovers widespread child abuse, the Government is forced to admit failure and shut down the Proxy Industry. All children under the age of eighteen are sent to a remote facility to be indoctrinated and reprogrammed to populate a new, functional society. Three years later, the first group of “children” return very much changed….

My Thoughts:
Provoke Not the Children is not a type of book I read a lot of, but(as I’m sure you all must know by now) stepping out of my comfort zone is something I do practically all the time. So when I read the synopsis I was more than ready to jump straight on in. It’s a speculative fiction, and takes place not too far from now in the future. Chase Stern is a Proxy Review Officer who is plagued by the choices he has made in the past. I found him to be a strongly written character which made this story all the more fascinating. The world, too, that Michael created is equally enthralling. This book was so hard to put down, but in an almost scary way. It really made me stop and think and that is honestly the highest compliment I, myself, can ever give a book.

At times, there were these parts where I actually had to stop and read a few paragraphs over not because I couldn’t process them, but because I just, well, felt that I needed to read the words over again. This novel would be the perfect one for a nice book discussion or debate because it has the content that is perfect for it. Don’t get me wrong, though, that aspect is not the only thing I found myself loving about the story. The entire thing was engaging and I might have been so anxious to turn the page at times that I ended ended up with a paper cut once. 

This world is such an interesting creation, but one that really has me wondering. Can you imagine what it feels like to pretty much only care about yourself? I honestly cannot. I’m just not built that way. The world that Anderson built, however, has me shivering. I loved the story, and I’m going to be completely honest here and say there are few people that I personally know that I would recommend it to. So, I recommend you check it out as well!
*I received this book for review from the author, but this in no way affected my thoughts as expressed in this review*

About Michael W. Anderson:
 It was 2008. I had taken a year and a half hiatus from law school at the University of Pennsylvania and moved half-way across the world (maybe further), to Doha, Qatar. I had been granted a Fulbright Fellowship by the U.S. Department of State, and in between conducting my research, teaching at Qatar University, battling intermittent internet access and exploring the country (camel races, cross country motorcycle rides, visiting the souqs, etc.), I found myself with extra time on my hands and, for the first time in my life, an insatiable desire to write. 

I’ve always been an “ideas guy.” But I soon found out that writing was more than simply putting ideas on paper. There is not only an art to it, but a science. A writer must understand concepts such as show, don’t tell, proportion, beats, characterization and exposition, and voice. My earliest attempts at writing left a lot to be desired.

But when you work hard at something, anything, eventually you will get a break. Mine came in the form of a really pretty girl (one who I eventually married). She was a writing major and taught English at the university level. She showed an interest in my writing and, through much cajoling, convinced me to read the first few chapters of my first book to her. Then she re-organized it, slashed dross, and re-read it to me. A light went on in my head. From then on I was on the path toward becoming a true writer.
Follow Michael’s blog ( to get an inside look at the life of a self-published author (both the victories and defeats, and all the lessons learned along the way). And don’t miss the unveiling of three new novels in the near future! 

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