Author : Lance Erlick
Series : Regina Shen, Book 3
Genre : Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source : Free copy from the author in exchange for a review.
Abrupt climate change melted ice caps, flooded coasts, and expanded deserts. Outcast Regina Shen is a fugitive the World Federation believes has DNA that can stop human extinction. Rival Federation agents fight over capturing Regina to gain power amidst turmoil over who will become the new World Premier. Regina has to flee from Virginia through desert and wilderness to Alaska to hunt a treasure big enough to barter for her freedom and that of her sister. Can she find allies and tools to remain free long enough to find something to trade?
My Musings :
This book held my attention less when compared to the first 2 books in the series while it kind of opened my eyes on valuing what I have right now in my life. At the same time, I loved the interactions among the characters.
The book started off at a point a bit later than where it ended in the second book. It took few pages to get confusion out of the way and to start getting reacquainted with the characters and the situation.
I felt that Regina was not at the top of her game and that caused a lot of friction during my reading. I guess I was expecting more from her since her adventures are always exciting and adrenaline pumping intensive. More than half of the book was spent in, what felt like, fleeing to me and this caused my attention to wander. The pace was off in my opinion with Regina journeying to Alaska to free Colleen. I was literally yelling ( in my thoughts, of course ) at her to wake up and smell the roses aka to know what Demarco has planned. I could explain her ineptitude away with the reason of pure tiredness. But something wasn't feeling right to write everything off on it.
The second half of the tale picked up and had some spice to it with no more monotonous and lethargic wanderings and a few action scenes. I waited a long time for it! And finally the old Regina surfaces to add to the charm of the story with her inventiveness and hard headedness.
But it was interesting in other contexts like the characters and their interactions and the elaborate insight into Regina's world. The author has expanded more about the world he has created in this book. This made me get immersed in the sights and thoughts of Regina and Ester during their struggles to reach their destination. I felt that the Earth portrayed in the book might as well be one of our futures. But what a lonely world without males!
Among the supporting cast, Kona Bear stood out for me but I was suspicious of her at times. There were a few too many coincidences. The reappearance of Regina's mother was a surprise and she is still a mystery to me. I seriously couldn't understand her actions till date. Two persons surprised me with the changes in them. One was Colleen with her toughness and the other was Ester with her few risky actions. At times, I felt that Ester was too good for Regina but she shows promise.
The ending was a cliff hanger but with less intensive one. Now I can't wait to see where Regina goes next and what she does. Overall, in spite of the slow pace in the first half, I would go with 4 stars especially for the world building and the complexity of the characters.
My one line review : It sates our curiosity and again inflames it with the unsolved riddles in this well written tale.
My rating : 4/5
My reread factor : 3.5/5