Regina Shen: Vigilance


Vigilance: Regina Shen: Lance Erlick

Imagine living in a prison with no walls yet you can see and feel the barriers all around you. Imagine having your sister ripped out of your arms and knowing you might never see her again. Imagine living in a world filled with rules, regulations and demands made upon you in a society filled with no love, no warmth or any chance for escape. Imagine knowing that you have been caste aside because you were not born into the right family or in this case caste. The caste system might be evident when presented in detail within the pages of this culture and society created by the author but if you really think about it we live in one too. Upper class, wealth, middle class not as wealthy and lower class those that whose incomes are below you might say 20 thousand dollars a year or less. Within this society Regina Shen has survived along with her sister until 2 year ago when she was taken from her side and is now being probed and prodded for her DNA. But, the Department of Antiquities inspector is after her and will stop at nothing until she captures Regina and brings her to the Governor.

Living in a relatively safe environment with Mo-Mere and the twins and Wendy, Regina worked hard, learned a lot from her teacher and thrived. Survival skills and her keen memory would guide her but Regina is vigilant and would never give up her quest to find her sister Colleen and answers to what happened to her mother. But, within this society you can trust no one and even DeMarco the Head Investigator learns that too.

As the novel progresses we learn more about why they are after Regina to what lengths DeMarco will go to get her and the lies and deceits that her second in command puts forth to the Governor to get her position and make her downgrade her in order to make her look bad. Added in Regina is concerned about Wendy and is not sure whether she is alive or dead and is mourning her loss as she arrives over the wall and is greeted by Ester who was sent by Mo-Mere.

Staying with Ester’s family was the first step before they both entered the University. But, first DeMarco comes often to harass Mo-Mere insisting that she turn over Regina and complaining that only Marginals are able to provide DNA to have children and they need Regina’s in order to build the population. Worried about her sister who has been taken to the fertility clinic she has no idea what her state of mind or physical state might be. Regina is smart and to be honest DeMarco wanted her on her team and not turned over to the Governor but she had her orders and the other girls DNA was damaged and she was their only hope.

With the patrol boats everywhere watching the waters and with the hope that they would make it over the Wall, Mo-Mere led Wendy and Regina but the end result was not what they expected and as Regina assimilates into Ester’s family she realizes that she cannot remain there. Preparing to become a Professional and learning how to act with Elites and Grand Old Dames, would take a lot of time, restraint on her part. Listening to DeMarco talk, harass everyone she meets and hopefully find Regina her time is up the Governor is fed up and she had better not use the salvage and presents she has given her in order to remain in her good graces. With her skills in gardening, fishing, combat and her photographic memory and her ability to farm Regina is an asset wherever she winds up. But, things turn in an unusual direction while staying with Ester. Meeting Alice is eye opening in a world without men or boys girls find each other and Regina learns about Alice’s fixation with Ester and from then on it’s war.

Going to the Federation’s Harmony University in Charlottesville would prove not much different than living with Mo-Mere and hiding from the patrol boats and DeMarco. Rules and regulations had to be followed her Regina needed to keep a low profile and not let anyone know the real reason she was there and what she was trying to do. Entering each class the professors presented the way the course would be taught, the information that they needed to learn and where to find it on their mesh-readers which you might say are like our computers. But, information was sparse and only what they wanted them to know. Nothing before certain time periods was an available and asking question in class or questioning the professors would bring notice to you and a complaint filed. Professor Cordoba reminded Regina of Mo-Mere in many ways and the link will surprise readers. Professor Weaver thought much of Regina and together with Cordoba would risk quite a bit to help her reach her goals. But, Regina is relentless, hardnosed and would stop at nothing to find Colleen, breeching the rules, finding herself in places that she should not be and taunting the head of the school, Ms. Rehnquist to throw her out. Regina tells and related the story in her own way and she relates that she knows her sister has been mistreated, her DNA used to help other women have babies and then that did not work they tried to get her pregnant. Anything for the goal to have been children and no regard for the donors. In a world filled with greed, hate, manipulation, power and control could a 17 year old girl out fox, outsmart and do some heavy manipulation of her own to get what she wanted and find her sister? Finding and meeting her Aunt Margo was enlightening and the reason she shunned Regina and banned her from her home will surprise readers as she is blamed for someone else’s deeds.

Will she find Colleen? Will she find Kara and Carmen and what will be their final fate? What is going to happen to Mo-Mere if both Demarco and Volpe realize that they might not give up Regina to the governor? What was the governor’s real reason and what did she hope to gain and why?

When DeMarco finds her way into a heated sauna and meets with Director Wang what does she learn about the governor, her DNA and what does she tell her about Regina? While Regina takes her classes and tries to hide the knowledge and information she already knows from those teaching she can’t resist asking questions and her reasons for why. A school that wants the girls to submit to their rules, no questions asked and another who won’t stop until she gets the answers she feels she deserves.

What happens at the end will surprise readers as you the reader will decide just where Regina’s loyalties, faith and hope lies with finding her sister or a deal that is given to her that would change it all? An ending filled with twists, turns and surprises and a 17 year old girl who has a final decision to make that will alter many lives including her own. What is next for Regina? Will she ever find her mother and will she and Colleen ever live as sisters again? These questions and more can only be answered if our author writes another chapter in her life and we hope he does. In a world without love how do these young people survive? What about hugs, warmth, compliments and understanding? Would you want to trade places with Regina? Do you think teens today could survive in a world where you need to learn to fight to get what you want, steal what you can to bribe those in charge and pray that you have a roof over your head? Thought provoking!

Fran Lewis: Just reviews

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