Pocket, 2001 (2001)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n the first of this exciting SF duo,
, Angel Eastland discovered all she believed about her life to be false. She was raised as a test subject in Chinchaga, a historical reconstruction of a 1987 Canadian town (unknown to her, the year was actually 2098). Her parents were actors and she was watched by cameras, behind which was '
'. She and her violet-eyed friends resulted from the genetic experimentation project Renaissance. Fortunately, the genetic engineering enhanced Angel's intelligence and athletic abilities, and she and Michael Vallant, after initial conflict, got together to uncover the truth and to escape.
s the sequel begins, they are separated. Angel works for the SilverDollar Mining Company and is being trained by the silver-eyed, augmented Anaximander. The latter appears to fear his boss, Eddy, Head of Operations. The author quickly displays Angel's intelligence as she thinks her way through winning a maze race against Anaximander. She also presents a puzzle to the reader - different events trigger a memory of drowning in Angel, who also discovers crytpic messages written in pinpricks, starting with '
Violet eyes lie
.' When Angel is assigned by Eddy to assist Anaximander to catch a fugitive, it turns out to be a Michael, though she does not remember him.
oon after they discover that SilverDollar controls Angel with an illegal Loyalty chip, she is sent to join a symposium of young people. It is the brainchild of the company's young heir, Timothy, a past kidnap victim who admires his uncle Eddy. There is also the fragile but feisty wheelchair-bound Rianne, to whom Timothy is attracted, Michael and a pair of clones. Plots and counter-plots abound, with corporate rivalries and spacer terrorists. Angel must work her way through all this and her distrust of Michael, and find ways to circumvent the mind control she is under. Though the story can stand on its own, the plot would be more clear if
is read first.
verall, despite some awkward plot transitions,
is a highly entertaining read. Full of imaginative ideas, engaging characters and fast-paced action, it would be enjoyed by fans of T. A. Barron's
or John Marsden's
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