In the first sequel of author Lance Erlick’s series featuring Regina Shen as protagonist, which critics have compared to other dystopian youth fiction such as the Hunger Games trilogy, two years of training have elapsed for Regina, after which she seeks to leap beyond the barrier into the World Federation in search of her sister Colleen, although fate has different plans in store for her. As in the book’s predecessor, the Federation has condemned Regina and her family to live outside the barriers sheltering the country from rising waters caused by climate change, with Regina avoiding capture during her training.
The Federation yearns to use Regina’s distinctive DNA in want of supposedly saving the human race from its downfall, although she would rather perish that assist those that kidnapped her sibling. Department of Antiquities Inspector Joanne Demarco continues her pursuit of Regina, although she has a new rival who wishes to use Regina to her own advantage. During her adventure, Regina consumes written word forbidden by the Federation, with her consequential distinctive knowledge making her something of an outcast to her peers, although it helps her reach a University beyond the walls, and she finds that life within the Federation isn’t necessarily any better than that outside.
Most of the sequel’s action occurs at the University, where Regina befriends a few Professors that shield her from the Department of Antiquities agents. Aside from Regina’s first-person narration, there are frequent third-person excerpts focusing on the rival Antiquities Investigators, which consequentially keep the story fresh, with the action very rarely letting down. Ultimately, the first Regina Shen sequel is a good one, with endearing heroes and villains, although there are occasional errors in the print version that the editor overlooked such as a reference to “the Demarco’s trunk,” and it can be easy to forget the characters certain nicknames refer to such as “Coarse-face.” Even so, the second book is easily recommended to fans of the first.
He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.
Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.
In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.
Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.