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Book Review: Vigilance

Vigilance. VigilanceLance Erlick. Finlee Augare Books, March 30, 2015, Trade Paperback and Kindle, 249 pages. 

Reviewed by Serena Wadhwa.

In the second of a four-part series, it is not only the adventures of Regina Shen that continue, but also the growing despair of the Federation to maintain harmony while figuring out the key to ensure the population’s survival. We begin to learn of the growing interest the Federation has in Regina and what makes her so special. We begin to see the struggle Regina has with this new found attention and her ambivalence with this “specialness.” Regina harbors unique DNA the GODs (Grand Old Dames) believe will ensure the survival of the female population. When Regina finds out this is the reason the Federation is hunting her and kidnapped her sister, she realizes she has leverage. Her focus, however, is in finding her sister as she wrestles with older sibling guilt about not being able to protect her younger sister from the Federation.

Regina doesn’t understand her growing popularity. We are introduced to a legend, through Mo-Mere (a woman who teaches Regina about the world that once was), and Regina slowly learns about a prophecy of a rebellion. Who will lead it? Regina finds herself adjusting to her modified appearance, hoping to throw off those that pursue her. Living up to parental expectations is one thing; living up to a legend is another. “Everyone’s confidence in me was both a comfort and a burden.” Giving hope to other Marginals that a different life may be possible, Regina finds herself at the University as she moves closer to finding her sister and the truth about her mother and her existence. As Regina’s vigilance to elude the Federation grows, the Federation is desperate to capture her, particularly the Inspectors who both have their own agenda and reasons.

If you like action, this book provides that. The plot focuses on Regina finding her family and on her growing awareness of the discrepancies within the castes. Subplots compliment the main storyline and the character descriptions paint a picture of what these individuals are like and how the world they live in shape most of that. Erlick maintains his artistic ability to move the reader through the story, offer unexpected twists, and has the reader rooting for the heroine.


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