The Tithe


Joshua Barstow, a crippled orphan raised among her town’s holy women, has come to terms with the fact that she will be a tithe: one of seventy people chosen to represent ten towns, who go to a bunker in the desert where each night one of them will be taken by the angels in a sacrifice to the god Elovah. The first night she is there, however, an angel touched Joshua and left her alone. Viewed as special among the other tithes for her ability to read and her knowledge of the holy books, she finds friends in Lynna, Avery, and her blind protector, Blue. Unsure why she was allowed to remain, Joshua discovers more reasons to live even as time runs out.


A complex work, “The Tithe” is a dystopia centered on tithes thrown into a bunker as a sacrifice. The Towns are strictly ordered around the holy books detailing the deal mankind made with the god Elovah and her angels after the apocalypse occurred. The holy men and women are in charge, and communities echo that of the districts from “The Hunger Games” trilogy. The raw tension in the book and the growth Joshua undergoes are both well written. Where the reader might have trouble is with the content. What this society accepts and what it doesn't will probably leave some readers pleased, while others cringe.  Also, the ending is open ended, with some questions left unanswered, and some plot threads like the romance hanging. Overall, an interesting read.


Sarah E. Bradley