J.H. Soder’s Element 238: The Search for Truth was written atop a strong dystopian foundation and born from a solid blueprint. However, the construction itself could use a bit of touching up; the first half of the short novel felt heavy with the repetition of an overplayed practical joke and was slow in picking up. The interest level began to gain speed with the second half, in which Thomas Harding took the spotlight and began to heat the plot up with a futuristic Bunsen burner. With his character’s development, readers began to really understand the impact of Mensam and its actions on the world as we know it, plus the action became more relevant to the overall plot. Also, there were a few structural mishaps as there was an abundance of exclamation points and a paucity of contractions, especially in dialogue. That being said, Soder’s Element 238 was an interesting read that would be a potential read for science fiction fans in middle school or above.