16285057New dystopian thriller The Registry begs us to imagine a world in which the government exercises ultimate control over the future of every boy and girl. Stoker fails to create an environment as evocative as say, District 12. To her advantage, it is not hard to imagine a world where marriages are bought and arranged, and mandatory enlistment exists for males.

The novel opens as our heroine, Mia Morrisey, receives a grave warning from her sister about “The Registry.” Mia’s older sister, Corinna, returns home (one year after being bought off the registry and then married) in a bruised, weak and desperate state. She warns Mia about the dangers of the registry and not to believe the brainwashing of the government. The girls’ parents send Corinna back to her husband and one week later, they receive a letter in the mail that she has passed away.

When Mia is appraised and added to the registry with a higher price tag then anyone could have imagined, she swiftly makes plans to sidestep her fate by enlisting her best friend in an escape. Stoker attempts to portray Mia as a strong heroine, but in many places that portrayal is lacking. For starters Mia and Whitney need a man (Andrew, Mia’s father’s farm hand) to escort them in their escape, as it is clear they are not capable of making it on their own. Overall, The Registry is a fast paced read, if predictable at times. The book might be better classified as a YA novel. It does, issue a crucial warning of what could happen when citizens allow themselves give up all control to the government.