The Rebel Within–Expectations

While developing new stories, this blog has been quiet for a time. Now that we’re working to release a sequel to The Rebel Within and an unrelated short story, we plan a few blog posts to recap the two published stories and provide a sneak preview of the pending new release.

While The Rebel Within has received eight great reviews on Amazon, I’d like to respond to expectations and misconceptions. The story is near term science fiction with a young adult protagonist that explores gender in a potentially new age. It’s a first book in a series that soon will have three novels. As such, one Amazon reviewer referred to it as an “exciting set-up for a potentially interesting dystopian YA series.” After noting that she was looking for more story in this novel, this reviewer went on to say: “As with most YA series, the first book has the task of setting the scene for a story that must span several volumes.” Fair enough. The Rebel Within does have more setup than its two sequels, which are much more action-oriented. I hope you will check them out.

The Rebel Within: Annabelle (16) lives in a world where men are exiled, quarantined or forced to fight to the death to train the military elite. The first boy Annabelle has ever met just escaped prison. As a cop intern, she’s expected to capture him. Instead, she risks everything to help the boy, even while, in order to avoid exile, she’s forced into the elite military that took her parents.

In response to some reader comments:

Yes, there’s violence in The Rebel Within, but only what’s relevant to the storyline: Annabelle is forced to join the military unit that took her parents. One Amazon reviewer said that: “Even though there is fair amount of violence in the book, it should be acceptable reading for teens, and is sure to result in a good discussion in school or library environment.”

No, Annabelle’s military training is not a traditional 2014 American basic training because her society has different values and constraints than ours.

Yes, The Rebel Within is told in present-tense narration, which was a conscious choice. The two sequels are told in past tense, which made more sense for those stories. But my early reviewers believed The Rebel Within worked best in present tense. One Goodreads reviewer notes: “I should not have allowed that dislike to delay my reading this novel. After a few pages, I didn’t care about tense, and after a few more, I didn’t even really notice.”

Yes, in a world without men, there will be … lesbians. It would be one aspect of such a society. No, there is no graphic sex because that’s not relevant to the story line.

Then there were the positive reviews: “Over all, it was really enjoyable, and a thought-provoking read.” (Amazon reviewer)

“This was an exciting, very well-written read which kept my attention right to the end.” (Amazon and Goodreads reviewer)

“Belle herself is an interesting enough protagonist – she has a snarky, sarcastic wit that colors her narration, and it’s clear that she’s no fan of the world that has developed since her birth.” (Amazon and Goodreads reviewer).

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Lance Erlick