The weather has improved, but the storms still rage for those in the Community, in the second book of the Paradigm trilogy.
15 year old Alice Davenport, one of the first people to return to the surface after the waters that destroyed the old world receded, is now living domestic misery with fellow scout, Filip, and his adopted siblings, Marcus and Izzy. One of the first to fall pregnant as part as a Community initiative to boost the population, Alice is starting to question the ideals that she followed so readily when she sheltered below ground.
Meanwhile, 15 year old Carter Warren has found a village of outsiders thriving in the Deadlands. Coming to terms with the fact that everything he was taught was a lie, he decides to help those still trapped in the Community learn the truth.
As in the first book, Alice and Carter’s stories, separated by 100 years, are told in alternating chapters. One of the things I loved about The Rising Storm was how the stories mirrored each other, with Alice starting out in the old world and moving towards the Community, while Carter took the opposite path.
In book two, both characters journeys are the same, rather than reversed, about resisting the evils of the Community. While I understand the desire to avoid repetition, I would have liked there to be a slight thematic variation between the two stories.
Carter’s chapters were my favorite in this volume, his adventures with the outsiders adding a different perspective to the vision of the future. I liked the surprise revelations and hints at a bigger, more complex plot than Carter can imagine. His stepping into his own and showing the skills that would have made him such a great Controller General was also nice to see.
Unfortunately, Alice didn’t work for me this time around. Gone was the assertive, almost brusque girl from the first book, who longed to do away with all the poverty, inequality and misery from the old world. Instead she touched her stomach at every mention of pregnancy and longed to play mother with Filip’s foster siblings. While the theme of family, especially the parental bonds, was strong in both the storylines, and is a theme that I like, I felt that Carter’s was better handled.
Despite these criticisms, it continues to be a well written, exciting series and I look forward to reading how the trilogy wraps up in the next book.
I award The Girl in the Storm…
The Girl in the Storm is available for $2.50 ebook and $10.99 print book on Amazon.