Regina Shen: Resilience (Book 1)
Regina Shen is an outcast forced to fend for herself in a world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse. An approaching storm could be the least of her problems. The World Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. Those walls were built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change and as a place to dump outcasts.
A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home. Now Federation agents claim she has unique DNA that could prevent human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule the all-female Federation using a rigid caste system. Their notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome.
Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic (eidetic) memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming salvaged books not available in the Federation, which makes her an outcast even among her exiled peers. With Antiquities in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family. Does she have the resilience to survive both the storm and Antiquities?
Regina Shen: Resilience by Lance Erlick is the story of a fifteen year old girl trying to survive in the receding swamps of what was once Richmond, Virginia during a hurricane. This is an apoplectic story in a world where greedy, ruthless Grand Old Dames rule; nature has turned hostile; and all the men have long since been wiped out. That’s right, there are no men. As a female, myself, I do not find that future wholly idyllic. Women have managed to get by for several centuries by using Egg Fusion in which someone takes the DNA of one female and morphs it into a sperm; however, that process is failing (guess you shouldn’t have eliminated all the men). It seems that the only hope for all mankind… uh, I mean womankind, lies in the marginals, people who have been cast out of society and sent to die in the swamps, who Egg Fusion miraculously still works on. More specifically the hope of a continued existence for all women lies in Regina Shen, a tough, scrappy young marginal. However, Regina isn’t so sure she wants to let the corrupt Department of Antiquities take her in to study her DNA and probably keep her locked up as a lab rat for the rest of her life; especially not after they kidnap her younger sister Colleen, who she is determined to get back.
This book has both mild language and violence, and I would warn that it is not for the faint of heart. It also not for romantics, who like to have at least two people they can ship for to get together, as there are, and I know I am repeating this, no men (I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that fact).
My thanks go to iRead Book Tours for providing me with a copy for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewed by Nicki
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.
MY MAIN CHARACTERS by Lance Erlick
While Annabelle Scott (the Rebel series) and Regina Shen (the Regina Shen series) are both strong female protagonists, they are very different characters and yet I felt I could identify with them both.
Annabelle had both of her parents taken from her as traitors when she was three by the military elite, a memory that resides more in her gut than in her mind. A state senator in the opposition adopts her and raises her in as much of a loving family as she can in a society filled with suspicions and conflict. While her sister is the “perfect” child in this world, Annabelle simmers. She and her sister are marked for security careers she believes is in retaliation either for her biological parents being traitors or her adoptive mother being in the weak opposition. When she is drafted into the elite military that took her parents, Annabelle has to walk a tight line between duty and conscience.
As an outcast, Regina Shen has grown up in the swamps on the seaward side of barrier walls built to keep her out. She lives with her often-absent mother and babied younger sister. She has a beloved teacher who has picked up on Regina’s eidetic memory, an ability to quickly absorb illegal print books from before the Federation. When Regina isn’t in school or watching her sister, she’s diving salvage from sunken cities for anything to barter for survival. Already, she salvaged preserved cookware she was able to barter for a goat that provided milk to her and her sister. She carves canoes out of fallen tree trunks and salvaged a well-preserved hunter’s crossbow that she has become quite adept with. She is the quintessential survivor, but now faces a hurricane that threatens to destroy her entire world and agents who are chasing her. Then her mom vanishes and her sister gets captured by slavers who sell their catch to the Federation..
I sometimes wonder what it would be like if Regina and Annabelle met, though they live in different centuries. Maybe I’ll invent a time machine and have them meet to find out.