Sampson, N. C. (2015). Aptitude. Canada: Fierce Ink Press.
Age Range: 15+
Hessa was getting ready to mark assignments when men called “The Protectors” arrived at her door. Unaware that she’s being arrested until it’s too late, Hessa finds herself locked away in a prison awaiting a murder trial for a crime she did not commit. Her state-given lawyers eventually tell her why: a man she loves is dead, but that man wasn’t the husband the state had chosen for her. Aptitude is another dystopian novel with several similar trends to other dystopian novels: a caste system where every individual has a decided role in society, a lack of personal choices, and a corrupt government. The reader may struggle with understanding Hessa’s choices, as her actions and reactions seem almost too childish for a woman of her age and education. A large portion of the novel is set in flashbacks as her statement is taken, making it difficult to read at parts. On the whole, this novel is still all about a woman’s choice between two men, and the detailed plot and world-building ends up being defined by a love triangle.