I can’t say too much about the plot without spoiling it so I’m just going to go with what I thought! The Rebel Within was a really unique and somewhat fascinating read. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the females rule and the males are on the run!! I’m all for girl power and this takes it a step forward.
Annabelle was an awesome character. She is strong, tough, smart but also kind and compassionate. In a world where women think men as nothing more than things to be hated, Annabelle finds herself questioning everything. She hates the thought of hurting any boy or man but how can she do anything else? She has been drafted into the Mechs, an elite group of women who patrol and police the Outlands. Mechs are meant to capture men, they are meant to release them into the Outlands and make sure none enter their lands, but Annabelle doesn’t want to be one of those! She longs to meet a boy and find out exactly what they are. I loved her inner strength and her need to be the best.
There are quite a few characters in the book but each adds something to the overall feel of The Rebel Within. Sam is the epitome of a strong independent woman. She trains the Mechs and pushes them all to be the best. Dara is the main competitor for Annabelle in the Mech competition. She is a huge aggressive girl and I found it hard to like her. Yet she pushes Annabelle to always be and do more. Then we have Annabelle’s sister, Janine. Annabelle will do anything to protect her from harm. She doesn’t want Janine joining the Mechs because its not a place for a softhearted girl. I really liked their relationship and the trust Janine has in Annabelle.
I liked the idea of the Rebel Within, an all-female society where women are trained to become the strongest, toughest cops out there. Men are all forced to wear collars and are used for what the women need. You may think it would be everything any women needs, but not so. They are ruled with an iron fist. There is no joy in the world as such, the Union doesn’t allow any loud music, any additives like salt or sugar is banned and its all Union regulations for everything. This is why Annabelle longs for more and I could totally relate to her in that.
I did have a few things about the book that stopped me from enjoying it more. They were only minor though, like Annabelle’s’ fascination with Morgan. She only sees him 2 or 3 times yet she thinks about him constantly. I know she has never met a boy but I do think it was a little overboard! I also wanted to know more about the Underground movement and what Annabelle’s mum had to do with them. We could of done with a little more of the boys perspective in this as well. We see glimpses of them fleeing but we never get to meet one or see what they were doing. As I said only minor things and they didn’t detract from the story that much.
So overall, I really enjoyed the Rebel Within. It’s an action packed and tense read and a solid start to the series. The training of the Mechs was really well described and very scary stuff. The poor girls go through an awful lot to become Mechs. The characters as well were well developed and for the most part likable. There are a lot of unanswered questions and I’m hoping we get the answers in future books. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for Annabelle and hope to see more of the Outlands.