Book Review: Walled by Anne Tibbets

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Title: Walled
Series: The Line #2
Author: Anne Tibbets
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: December 1st 2014
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult

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WalledWalled
The Line #2
Anne Tibbets
Carina Press, December 2014
ISBN 9781426899294  Ebook

From the publisher—

Freedom means making brutal choices.

Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.

When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden… or commit an unspeakable act.

A year and a half after getting away from the Line, Naya hasn’t really escaped the torment of those years. Even her adorable ten-month-old twins, Clea and Adena, can’t make her forget nor can her deep love for Ric make the nightmares go away. Deep inside, Naya is painfully aware that Auberge still controls life, still enslaves young girls and impoverishes entire families.

No wonder, then, that when Sonya finds them and demands Naya and Ric join the revolution, Naya finds herself drawn to what seems to be an impossible cause and, indeed, Sonya finally has to admit that the revolution consists of an “army” of six. The plan, though desperate and crazy, might just work and Naya is driven to try to destroy Auberge.

Despite everything she has been through and the horrific memories, Naya has strengthened emotionally and she’s no longer the frightened, helpless girl she used to be. Thanks to Ric and her friend, Shirel, and to her babies, Naya has learned to trust and to love. She’s a far different person from the one we met in the first book, Carrier. She’s not the only one; Shirel now believes in her own worth and Ric is completely in love with his make-shift family, as content in his life as a man can be who exists in a world of oppression.

Much more pain is ahead for these few who dare to fight back but is freedom, true freedom, worth what is about to happen? I’ll say this—I thought the ending was just a bit contrived, a little too coincidental, but still very satisfying and, as with Carrier, I appreciate the author shining a light on the kind of oppression that is all too alive and well in our world today. It never hurts to be reminded.

One word of caution to readers new to the duology—you must read the books in order or you just won’t get the full effect. This story is now done and, while I’ll miss these characters, I’m looking forward to whatever Ms. Tibbets will bring us next.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, December 2014.

About the Author

Anne TibbetsAnne 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 and WALLED, 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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Book Review: Carrier by Anne Tibbets

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Title: Carrier
Series: The Line #1
Author: Anne Tibbets
Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: June 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult

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CarrierCarrier
The Line #1
Anne Tibbets
Carina Press, June 2014
ISBN 9781426898495
Ebook

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 TibbetsAnne 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.

Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnneTibbetsAuthor or on Twitter @WriteforCoffee. To contact Anne, visit www.annetibbets.com and click the ‘CONTACT’ tab.

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