Silver Blackthorn lives in the northern village of Martindale with her mother and younger brother Colt in what was once England. She is a bit of a free spirit, who doesn't necessary lock herself into societies expectations for her, and that is perfectly fine with me. She loves to hang out with her best friend Colt, and pushes the limits of what she can, and shouldn't do including her love of tinkering with old discarded electronics which ultimately comes in handy.
Silver faces what's called the Reckoning where every Sixteen-year old is separated into four categories via a Divergent like test. The categories are Elite, Member, Intermediates, and Trog. The higher the position you are chosen for, the better off your family will be once you are assigned to your new duties.
After the Reckoning, some are chosen to become Offerings. Again, think The Hunger Games where teens from the four districts, North, South, East, and West (30 each year), are brought to the capital, Windsor, where they face even more dangerous challenges in order to survive the Kings machinations. It is a dog eat dog world where you really can't trust ANYONE, and one slip of the lip, will end up getting you killed.
I believe that readers will be interested in learning that Wilkinson mixes a bit of historical aspects, as well as present warfare into her story. The Windsor setting takes place in a castle, which is armed with state of the art electronics. The Kingsmen who protect the King and Minister Prime, are all armed with swords. It will be interesting to visit with the so called Rebellion and see what tools they have at their disposal.
Obviously, Silver can't carry the entire story alone without some secondary characters that stand out from the others. I'll start with Imrin, an Offering from the West, who is of Indian descent. People rage that there isn't enough diversity in young adult, and here is YET another example that it is right in front of your eyes were you to actually LOOK closer. Imrin is also the romantic interest of the story which brings an interesting question for Silver. Does she completely forget about Opie and her friendship with him? Does she move on with Imrin and forget about everything Opien and his family has done for her? Can she actually TRUST anyone else, including Imrin?
The other notable secondary characters are Hart, a boy from Silver's village of Martindale who was chosen two years ago. I don't think we've seen the last of the Prime Minister Bathix (Minister Prime) or King Victor. I'm also wondering if any of the so called survivors will make it to the end of the story, or will they be sacrificed to the writing gods for enjoyment purposes?
I think this series has some unique opportunities to keep readers entertained, while obviously expanding on what has already been written with the Reckoning. I didn't mind the darkness of the story, or the brutality. It was a bit bloody in certain parts, and yes, descriptive. When Silver goes through her series or trials and tribulations, you can actually feel your hand reading for your body and then holding back the visual of what these characters are experiencing.
Renegade (Silver Blackthorn, #2) releases January 6, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin.
Author - Kerry Wilkinson
Title - Reckoning (Silver Blackthorn # 1)
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Released: July 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Format: E-Book 368 pages