Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Tom Raines has made it past the first stage of the super-human military training school. We get a better picture of the world dominated by corrupt corporate oligarchs. The government is merely a stooge in their pockets. Tom has pride and refuses to bow to these corrupt rulers. However, this limits his possibilities of advancement in his training program. He has a series of mishaps that seem to drag him further and further down. Only after talking with friends and introspecting does he realize that his pride and behavior are bringing him down. He must be willing to play along with the system in order to destroy it. At the same time, he learns that being too self-centered does not pay off either. One girl (Heather) wanted to be the face of the fighters. The current "face" (Elliot) wanted to leave the position and was eager to hand it to her. However, her attempts at bringing down others led to her losing that opportunity. Further attempts at blackmailing others led to her own demise. Elliot and Tom both learn from each other that giving a little can be beneficial.
The role of Blackburn remains complicated. He still seems to be a sympathetic character. However, just as the characters in the book seem to warming to him, he does things that make his character seem more diabolical. He does seem to have some of the kids best interest in mind - but only to the extent they help him bring down the oligarchs.
This book has the "middle" book feel. It transitions the characters from mere participants in a dystopian state to people that can actual make a difference. I have a sneaky suspicion that the next book will see them rise up against the oligarchs.

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