A city controlled by authorities, its inhabitants – proles – have a built-in Chip and are living to a set scheme, monitored by drones – no one dares to challenge the powers that be for fear of being eliminated. Except for Theo, who lives in Rainbow City’s Blue Zone…
THE PROLE SOLDIER
Rainbow City #1
On the brink of being caught trespassing in the City’s Yellow Zone, Theo runs back to safety knowing only too well that getting caught means his built-in Chip will be activated and he will die. He is almost sixteen and has no intention of being drafted upon his sixteenth birthday. The little spare time until then finds him seeking entrance into the other parts of the City, where life is a little more bearable than in Theo’s Blue Zone. He regularly explores the Yellow Zone through the secret underground passageways underneath the building where he and his ‘assigned’ Mother live in one of the many apartments. Those are the rules in the Blue Zone and life of its inhabitants – proles – is dictated by sirens and daily work of “stupefying boredom” in the factories.
Life for the proles in Rainbow City’s Blue Zone is tough and individualism is rooted out. Everyone’s clothes are the same and everyone has to follow the rules without exceptions. The “Don’t Work, Don’t Eat” sign is clearly visible to all, a reminder that without making your two daily shifts in the factories, you would not get anything to eat. Food at home was non-existent as were food markets – the Ministry of Health had seen to that. Basically, all the proles are dependent on what was given to them and failing to obey means the Chip inside of you will be activated to kill you and leave you on the streets as a piece of trash. Apart from the proles going to and fro from the factories, the streets are dominated by the Enforcers – the City’s army of executors. His upcoming sixteenth birthday reminds Theo of the terrible choice he has to make: military or mines. Four years or more of conscription to go through. For girls, there is no option: their sixteenth birthday means they have to start ‘childbearing.’ Such is life in the Blue Zone.
No wonder Theo dreams of a life, uncontrolled by his Chip and the Enforcers. Is it even possible? In the other Zones, such as the Red one, it seems Rebels are actively engaged in violent actions so perhaps they could also free the Blue Zone? The arrival of another Mother and her daughter into their tiny apartment proves to be life changing for Theo and the friendship with the girl, Dee, motivates him to go out once again through his secret passageways and find an escape. For all those other poor sods living in the Blue Zone but mostly, for a brighter future for Dee and him, in which they would not be obliged to enter four years of subscription. Then, a stranger enters his life with a dangerous proposition. Can he be trusted or is he too good to be true? Will they be able to fight the system from within? The stranger needs his special skills and Theo is thrilled to finally be doing something. A dark and dangerous mission lies before him…
What a fascinating and gripping read! The atmosphere in the Blue Zone feels chilling and simply suffocating. A built-in chip, no privacy nor anything that looks like independency.. plain horrible! I shudder to think how it would feel living there and wondered whether having your Chip activated would not be the solution… Theo is a great character, the author portrays his so well you can almost picture him before you. I had an issue with him about something but that would be giving the plot away. Let us just say that ‘men will be men’ even if they live in Rainbow City! The book is divided into two sections and, for the sake of the story, I will not tell you the major transition into the second half of the book but it is utterly captivating and shocking and you will not see it coming! There’s also a bit of dark humour shining through that, despite the horrors of the situation in which Theo finds himself, made me chuckle. ‘The Prole Soldier’ is an intriguing and well-paced engrossing dystopian thriller with elements of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘The Hunger Games’!
About the Author
Crime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a bookshop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works. He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago. Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large, readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.
Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books. Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.
The Jess Albion Series:
#1 The Fallen Agent (my review)
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