Series: The Line #1
Author: Anne Tibbets
Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: June 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
From the publisher—
Twenty-two -year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. When she’s kicked out after getting pregnant with twins, she’s got no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her, or have her babies taken in her stead.
A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, Ric Bennett, wants to help. He runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya’s records and free her forever. But when The Line sniffs out his plan, things get bloody, fast. Naya means more to them than just a chance at fresh faces—her twins are part of the government’s larger plan.
As they hide from government search parties, Ric comes to admire Naya’s quiet strength. And Naya realizes Ric might be a man she can trust. If they make it off the grid, they could build a new life. But first they’ll have to survive the long, vicious reach of The Line.
If I leave a potential reader with only one impression, it must be this: don’t let the synopsis of this book deter you from reading this book because you don’t care for sexual themes. Carrier is so much more than that and, in fact, the author takes the admonition to “show, not tell” to heart but stops short of making this important theme too graphic, in my opinion. Yes, Naya has been a sex slave for years but we first meet her at the end of her captivity. There are other uncomfortable elements, such as a tyrannical and evil government and an economy brought to its knees, but these are themes that we should not ignore in today’s uncertain times.
In this future society, Naya has had a life that would be considered horrendous in any day and age and is now faced with an impossible choice. Can she really betray another young girl by convincing her a life of constant prostitution is favorable to the abject poverty and oppression she now lives? Would it be possible for Naya to hand her babies over to the government or is she destined to return to The Line?
My only real quibble with Ms. Tibbets’ story is that coincidence seems to come into play a little too often, putting Naya and other characters in the right place at the right time, so to speak. Beyond that, the premise is a good one on several levels, not least of which is the strong reminder that many, many women and girls around the world today are in dire situations much like Naya’s and it’s far too easy for us to look the other way or just to forget.
Naya is, of course, the central character of Carrier and is remarkably resilient considering her past and her present but there are others who also stand out. Ric, the young doctor who wants to help, has his own past but has found a way to make a difference and to fight back against the government which is, in reality, a huge corporation run amok. Evie is a young girl who could be Naya at a much younger age and she grips our hearts with fear for what her future might become while Shirel is a stark reminder of what economic ruin can mean to people with no way out.
One dream sequence is bound to make any reader uneasy at best but I believe it’s important and is at the heart of the story. Skip it if you must but don’t skip the entire book. Fiction makes harsh themes a little more palatable but, when all is said and done, it does no good to intellectually object to certain human behaviors unless we have emotional knowledge of what they really mean. Still, it’s the little touches that elevate Carrier above the usual dystopian pack, things like Naya’s fear of being touched and, yet, her strength and her hope in the face of nearly impossible odds.
Book Two is Walled, in progress now, and I will be be impatiently waiting for it so I can spend more time with characters I’ve come to know and admire.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2014.
About the Author
Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Smashwords.com Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.
Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.
Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.
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