escape-by-inna-hardisonThis book has a good plot—It is a futuristic look at life, after civilization as we know it today has collapsed. In 2107, Doctor Sandra Groning, Manchester, UK, is shocked by the constant discovery of dead infants, in an overpopulated world, where a lack of food and necessities prevail. She and her team search for a way to correct the problem. All she wanted was to make pregnancy be a choice that required a physician’s intervention, so people would not bring children into the world that they could not care for. Eventually, they created a “pill”—but it is awhile before they realize that it would cause decades of consequences for those who used it.

The story leaps ahead to 2226, in Waller, NY where the story of Riley begins. Riley is a Zoriner. For several decades, the Alliance had been kidnapping people. Two years earlier his parents had tried to fight off men from the Alliance when they took his sister Ella. One day Riley comes home from school to find the house deserted; even his dog Sampson is gone. He learns that the Alliance had taken them all. He had no family left.

In 2236, Drake sees Ella being brought into the Female Replenishers Compound, 480 Kilometers from Carthage, NY. This is where girls were groomed to become wives to provide babies for the Alliance. His heart aches when he sees her, submissive and disorient, wearing slave bands. Drake was originally from Waller, NY and he knew Ella, and her family (including Riley) before the Alliance began to attack them. Drake works as a guard at the compound. Everyone thinks he is mute and he makes certain that he maintains that charade.

In March 2236, he also sees Riley trying to break into the compound. Riley has been searching for Ella since he left Waller. Drake hurries down the tower, hoping to warn Riley away, but before he gets there, Reily is captured. He is taken to see Hassinger, the headmistress. She demands to know who he is and who he was hoping to find. When Riley refuses to answer her, she cruelly abuses him, leaving him close to death. She orders Drake to take him out of the compound gate and let him go.

Later that night, Amelia finds Riley after he throws himself over the wall around the compound. She knew she should have used her stun gun on him, and turned him over to the headmistress, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. He was young and beaten, bleeding profusely. Knowing she would be punished if anyone found out what she was doing, she took him into the compound and upstairs into the attic. He was a Zoriner, and they were the enemy.

From this point Amelia and Riley develop a relationship, at first uneasy, then one off mutual respect and finally an innocent love. When the time comes for him to leave, Amelia and her friend Laurel, and a couple of others who join them escape the compound and journey out into a frightening world that they do not know.

This journey is filled with heartache, suspense, and regret. It ends with a cliffhanger.

I was conflicted about this book; there were times I felt confused when the story line switched between different time periods and different points of view. To be honest, at times, I thought “why am I reading this?”  But at other times I was quite involved. This book also has editing flaws. I give it 3 stars, but if you love futuristic Dystopian novels you will probably enjoy it.

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