________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 15. . . .December 16, 2017


Subversion. (One Bright Future; Book Two).

Melinda Friesen.
Steinbach, MB: Rebelight, 2016.
249 pp., trade pbk. & ebook, $15.99 (pbk.), $9.99 (ebook).
ISBN 978-1-988258-00-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-988258-01-0 (ebook).

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4



People have words for what Iím about to attempt. Reckless. Crazy. Stupid. Those are the words Justin used anyway. But I see it differently. Iíll be a slave again, but on my terms and for a purposeórescuing my friend Nathan. I have another set of words. Brave. Loyal. Selfless.

I glance at Justin again and swallow hard. Thereís only one way to take away his pain, and thatís to stay here and abandon this mission. But I canít do that. If I had made different decisions in the past, this path would be unnecessary. How many times have I nearly drowned in regret for leaving Nathan behind when I escaped? Now Justin has to suffer for my mistake. Iíve hurt them both. I have to set this right.

I rub my fingers over the tender skin where the tracker chip containing my new identity is concealed. Sarah, Uncle Rexís staff nurse, made the switch a couple of days ago. She cut out Jessicaís chip and implanted it in my hand. I now have Jessicaís name and history.


Subversion is the second volume in the "One Bright FutureĒ series directed toward teenage readers. The plot follows a world sunk into a dystopian culture where OneEarth Bank has assumed control. The population enjoys the benefits of this new civilization as long as they submit to the insertion of a commerce chip in their arm. Young people are enslaved on the slightest pretext to work as Contacts, a form of slavery. Many people simply disappear.

     The heroine and narrator of this story is Rielle, a teenager sold to an abusive banker in Texas. She obtains her freedom in the first book, Enslavement, but now, instead of accepting it, goes undercover and back into slavery to attempt to free Nathan. An angst-laden romantic triangle continues amongst Rielle, Justin, the nephew of the man who arranged her freedom, and Nathan, a slave and youth from her former masterís house.

     Rielle is now sold as a kitchen worker at a lumber camp where Nathan was sent. The camp is a rough and dangerous place with several secrets. She locates Nathan and uncovers OneEarthís connection to a global pandemic. Now, with winter coming on, she and Nathan must escape from the camp to carry news of their discovery to the Resistance.

     Subversion ends with Rielle and Nathan still in peril and uncertainty about Justinís motives. This leaves the author with plenty of loose ends and material to weave a final tale...


Ronald Hore, involved with writersí groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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