Regina Shen: Endurance
by Lance Erlick
Print Length: 297 pages
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books (July 1, 2016)
Genre: Sci Fi, Dystopian, YA
My Rating 4.25 of 5.0
Outcast Regina Shen continues her adventure as a hunted fugitive and as a pawn in a worldwide grab for power.
Competing World Federation power brokers seek to control Regina for her unique DNA that could reverse a global fertility collapse. They make use of her unique memory for ancient forbidden texts that help her locate illegal artifacts from before the Federation, which agents then destroy.
For months Regina has been treading a fine line, trying not to let the Federation destroy any more of their past while doing all she can to rescue her kidnapped sister from agents who dangle the sister as bait. Betrayed again by her mom, Regina flees to the Southwest Desert with a close companion to hunt down a vault to exchange for her sister’s freedom. Nothing goes according to plan.
Before her journey concludes, tragedy will shake Regina to her core. It will also open up new possibilities that could lead down an even more dangerous path closer to her destiny but farther from her sister.
Regina is a young girl in an all female society. She was raised as one of the many outcasts, known as 'marginals' living in the swamps outside the Barrier walls Within the walls the society is divided into castes of working stiffs, professionals and elites. With the direction of her teacher, Mo Mere, Regina escaped under the wall to try to make it at university. But, like many independent marginals, Regina couldn’t fit in, and, unlike a good quiet citizen, Regina could not stop challenging the limits and restrictions of the Federation order. Regina left university with her new friend, Ester, still intent on rescuing her sister, Colleen.
The Federation has a serious fertility problem and they are seeking to capture Regina as they think her blood/DNA will prove a solution. Although the Federation inspectors have been close on her trail, Regina found friends along the way who helped her get to Alaska. Inspector DeMarco keeps dangling Colleen’s release as a reward if Regina will find other DNA vaults and deliver healthy samples to DeMarco. Even though Inspectors Volpe and Wendt destroyed the Alaska vault, DeMarco directs Regina to the Southwest vault.
Once again Regina gets aid from the truckers to get her from Fairbanks, Alaska to Flagstaff. There she and Ester find another DNA vault but DeMarco and Volpe are still on her tail, seeking to fight over the DNA coolers and, in the case of Volpe, determined to destroy the entire vault, no matter how valuable the contents might be to the future of society.
It is fairly obvious to the reader, if not to Regina, that DeMarco has been arranging help all along the road. Still, DeMarco doesn’t keep her bargains very well and Regina has little reason to trust her. DeMarco again sends Regina off to another vault, this time back over the barrier wall to the underwater city of Philadelphia. While Regina makes her way back across the country to her home in the swamps, DeMarco continues to lose control of her backing in the Department of Antiquities.
The infighting among the inspectors intensifies in this book and Regina faces more danger and tragic loses. I appreciated the good pacing and action in this story and liked the excitement of the find in the Philadelphia salvage. Regina’s ‘legend’ and gift of hope to others grows even as a plot twist sets the stage for a new stage in Regina’s life. The ending of this volume left me wanting to follow the new journey and adventure. There are still too many unanswered questions so I do hope there is to be another book.
See my reviews of books one through four in this series through this link.