At birth everyone is implanted with a microchip in their skull; for the Cillineese, these chips are used to control them and to keep them working as slaves. One slave, Monica, is a 16-year-old girl who managed to escape the implanting and is now in hiding. She lives amongst the slaves in the Cantral palace and is the only one who can go around without a trace. The fate of millions rest on Monica's shoulders as the only chip-less person in the world. She must find a way to destroy the computers and free the slaves from the nobles' iron fist before it's too late.
This grandly imagined and ambitious kickoff to a dystopian series for young adults, written by a young adult author who is the daughter of fantasy novelist Bryan Davis, needs patience. Set 800 years in the future, the first of the three Cantral Chronicles introduces Monica. She is a noble child too young to have the computer chip that authorities implant to control the movements of all and eliminate the rebellious. Monica alone escapes the gassing of her home city of Cillineese and grows up disguised as a slave. Thanks to a paper she escaped with, she has the means to disable the computers that control everyones chips. Monica moves through a world of uncertain alliances as she comes to realize her responsibility. This is classic coming of age fare with a dystopian twist. Readers not only need to pay attention as the world is slowly constructed; they also need patience with the slow pace of events. Monica and others spend lots of time in tunnels. This book would have been livelier if shorter; it shows a young author with potential in need of a more exacting editor. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.