Regina Shen: Vigilance
by Lance Erlick
File Size: 3295 KB
Print Length: 249 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books (April 18, 2015)
Genre: Dystopian, YA
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
After two years of training, outcast Regina Shen prepares to jump the barrier wall into the World Federation to hunt for her sister, but nothing goes according to plan.
Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner series, Regina Shen: Vigilance is the second book in an action-packed, science fiction thriller with an ordinary yet strong female heroine facing extraordinary hurdles with tenacity. With the young protagonist having to grow up fast, it appeals to both young adult and adult audiences.
The Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change. For two years she avoided capture. Now the Federation is desperate to exploit her unique DNA in order to stop human extinction. She would rather die than help the people who kidnapped her sister.
The Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome. Now Demarco has a ruthless rival who aims to use Regina to overthrow Demarco.
Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming books not available in the Federation. That makes her an outcast among peers but may help her reach the university town where they’re holding her sister.
Pursued by Antiquities, Regina jumps the wall into the Federation. While making new friends and enemies, she learns that Federation life isn’t any better than the swamps. Regina must use her wits to avoid letting either of two rival inspectors capture her. Can she rescue her sister from an obvious trap?
Regina is an outsider in a world that is run by Grand Old Dames (Gods) who have extended their lives for over 300 years. They eliminated men years before and control the population by restricting education and punishing free thinking. Regina and her family are ‘Marginals” who life in the swamps outside of the wall that keep the 'harmonious' citizens within the Federation.
Regina and her younger sister Colleen revealed blood work that could help with the growing infertility problems of the society. Colleen was captured two years before but Regina has managed to evade the Federation agents who have sought her. Now Regina starts her new life as a university student but she doesn’t blend in or make friends like she is supposed to.
Regina still refuses to see the bigger picture or acknowledge her ‘destiny’, as her swamp teacher, Mo-Mere, puts it. I can’t help but seeing Regina’s actions as selfish, with narrow focus and little concern for her friends and those who are trying to help her. I have to be honest that I found this annoying. I was glad to note that as this book nears the end it appears that Regina is finally growing up and acknowledging the consequences effecting others. I liked the new characters who help Regina in this episode and I think the difficult positions of Regina’s ‘enemy’, Federal Agent DeMarco, adds an interesting dynamic.
This is book two in this YA, dystopian series. The pacing of the story is good. The society is all female and some of the relationships are leaning into the lesbian genre although there is nothing overt at this point. I really appreciated the author’s expressions regarding government control through limiting truth, education and discouragement of free thinking. I am not enthralled but I do find the series engaging. I am curious where the author will be taking Regina, DeMarco and the story.
Please check out my review for Book 1, Regina Shen: Resilience.
I received this through iReads Book Tours. I will be reading and reviewing the third and fourth books in July.
Win 1 signed copy of Resilience + $15 Amazon gift card + 2 sets of postcards / 2 winners will receive a signed copy of Resilience / a free ebook copy of The Rebel Within (open to USA)
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