Friday, 2 December 2011

The Rosie Black Chronicles: Book 2 - Equinox

The Rosie Black Chronicles: Book 2 - Equinox by Lara Morgan (Walker Books)
PB RRP $ 24.95
ISBN 9781921529405
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The second Rosie Black book is riveting. It has an action-packed storyline and the symbolism in the language gives the writing richness. Emotional tension between Rosie and Pip threads through the story and juxtaposes the violence and death with soft and subtle romance.

Set five hundred years into the future, Equinox is an underlying theme of environmental negligence. Food, water, and shelter are scarce. There are three social classes of people fighting for survival in different ways. The deadly MalX virus created by the Helios Enclave determined to rule the world, has spread, and fear of mutation and transfer is everywhere.

Rosie Black has escaped Mars after blowing up Helios’ Enclave. Pip and Riley helped save her father who is slowly recovering from the virus thanks to a transfusion from Pip whose blood acts as an antidote. From his hiding place, he has been transfusing to save as many people as he can.

Rosie is fearless in mind and body, and immune to the deadly virus; a virtual superwoman. Pip walked away from her and went into hiding, leaving behind feelings of betrayal to haunt her. But Pip surfaces again. So does Riley, believed to be dead. A third and enigmatic character, rich boy Dalton Curtis, enters the trios’ sphere. Part of Rosie’s flight class at the Academy, she is initially suspicious of Dalton’s friendliness till she discovers that he’s working for Riley.

The four pick up the war against Helios with urgency for Riley discovers that Helios is now building a wormhole that will access travel across great distances in a moment. Riley inserts a cortex implant of the plans in Rosie’s brain then disappears in fear of his life. Rosie now owns the security protocols of Helios, the number of staff, their names and positions. They set a plan in action as Rosie knows who the Pantheon – the ruling five, are.

But the war against MalX and Helios are not the only wars raging. Friendship and loyalty are shadowed and betrayal is as common as breathing. So the group remain vigilant for there is the burning animosity of Cassie, Riley’s sister, and the suspect Agent Sulawayo, a former Helios, who now leads a breakaway faction claiming altruistic intentions. How can Rosie trust them? What is Sulawayo’s real interest in Pip? Why did she tape vision of her father’s transfusion and then threaten exposure? Highly Flammable reading!

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