“One world. One currency. One bright future.” Rielle is quite bitter due to her parent’s rejection of the commerce chip that leads her to becoming a slave. Sold to a wealthy banker for the crimes of her parents she must work off an imaginary debt. When she meets two boys one a slave and the other a chipped master she must decide which side she’s going to choose: rebellion or stay a good little girl?
One Bright Future, #1
by Melinda Friesen
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.
My initial reaction to the opening scene is this: “Wow! That was a powerful opening chapter. I really felt a part of her family as it was ripped from her. Silas was great as her brother. The insect device to search the house was perfect world building to start off, I hope it keeps coming hot and heavy like this!” The book does keep coming hot and heavy but not quite the way I anticipated. This is truly a view of slavery, not one of the deep south and plantations but one where technology sends a group of teenagers back to the dark ages. I was hoping for more slick technology but I still like the direction this book headed.
The setup is really tight with the best sort of storycraft! We understand her slave situation and Rielle’s resolution as to her way to fight her captivity. I really loved this aspect of the story. In such a helpless situation Rielle showed us she was a strong woman by making such a resolution then sticking to her decision despite the consequences. I could really respect her after that! The plot was equally well developed.
-The breakdown with Nina, the banker’s wife.
-The challenging house guest, Justin.
-The reverse psychology with Uncle Rex.
-The sneaky and conniving Roberta.
-The Smiles-a-lot double dealer.
I also really enjoyed the other slaves that made Rielle’s life more bearable… Lydia! What a girl, bashed for doing what she had to do to make it as a slave, but without her Rielle would not have made it! The secretary girl who Rielle didn’t realize was going through hell and the boy who tried to relieve it some by making her laugh… Nathan who strong armed while also waiting patiently. And last but not least ELI! Who changed everything when he was suddenly bought by the Banker…
What didn’t I like? The middle where Justin was laying out his plan was a little obvious and so Rielle being so obtuse got boring after a time. When she finally got a clue the revelation became anticlimactic. Nathan suddenly acting like he was head over heels in love with Rielle when we hadn’t even read of them interacting much… I just didn’t get where his sudden explosive feelings were coming from. It felt very contrived. Devote some pages to this please! Also this has the worst sort of love triangle… I don’t mind when two boys like a girl protagonist and at different times she relies on one and then then the other, especially when she really sees one as a friend and one as the guy she really, really likes. I DO NOT enjoy when a girl goes back and forth between two guys as if she really can’t decide which she likes better, especially when one she’s spent hours and hours with and the other she’s only ate lunch/dinner with in a big group!
I liked some things about the end and I didn’t like other things… it felt like the story lost some of its direction in order for there to be a second book. For a dystopian world the story fit well and explored Rielle’s plight, a plight worth experiencing due to the slave aspect.
BOTTOM LINE: A unique slave story set in a dystopian future. 3.5 Stars.
Thanks to Chapter-by-Chapter and Rebelight Publishing Inc. for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.