Format: E-Book, 352 pages
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
The Rebel is the third and final installment in Gerald Brandt’s near-future science fiction San Angeles seriesKris Merrill is a member of a small insurgent group operating within a multi-level metropolis that stretches from San Francisco to the Mexican border. Her attempt at rescuing Ian Miller failed, leaving her alone and her unborn son without a father. The insurgents don’t trust her, Kai has disappeared completely, and Pat is trying to control how Kris should mourn the loss of Ian. Without the trust of the insurgents, Kris is relegated to low level assignments for them, and trying desperately to keep her pregnancy a secret. She is alone.
War has started between the corporations. The people living in the lower levels of San Angeles have become the victims, starving and being rounded up to be soldiers in the war. Torn between working with the insurgents as they become more like the corporations they are fighting, and helping the people of the lower levels, Kris doesn’t know what to do. Facing the return of an enemy who will stop at nothing to have revenge, Kris struggles with loss and discovering who she really is.
The Rebel is the third and final installment in author Gerald Brandt's San Angeles trilogy. Set in the year 2141, The Rebel is a cyberpunk, science fiction, action adventure novel with plenty of unexpected twists. Brandt has created a world where large corporations (SoCal, Kadokawa, and IBC) control most of the world's resources and production. Kris Merrill is a resident of the sprawling West Coast megapolis known as San Angeles. She's former motorcycle courier who found herself unexpectedly entangled in a deadly web of corporate politics, assassins, and underground rebellions.
It has been 2 weeks since the ending of The Operative and Kris's life hasn't exactly changed for the better. The boy she loved is dead, she's 8 weeks pregnant, two of the corporations are on the brink of a full-scale war, and the insurgents she chose to join, don't fully trust her because she attempted to save someone who was captured by the evil corporations. They've also become rather like those they are fighting against. Instead of helping the lower level citizens who are struggling to feed themselves thanks to the higher levels keeping the best food and water, they're fighting amongst themselves.
I've been calling Kris the protagonist of this series because the story really does revolve around her life as both a courier and now a insurgent intent on taking the large corporations down that control every aspect of life. Let me say this. Kris is a mess. But, she's not a Mary Sue character who runs away from trouble at every turn. Thanks to the training she was given at boot camp, she can handle her own against most any challenge that comes to her. However, she spends a whole of time feeling sorry for her situation. She has no real purpose in this story, until she finally finds one in an Aunt who she ran away from years before, and a mission that is so dangerous, there is no guarantee she or her baby will survive.
One could say that the synopsis does a decent job of explaining the story without fully diving into any spoiler issues. There are several other secondary characters worth mentioning. The first is Dr. Bryson Searls, the son of Doc Searls who has helped Kris and the rebellion. Bryson's story takes place entirely on So Cal Sat City 2 where he is being forced into building plans for a quantum jump drive. The others are Pat, an operative formerly of Meridian who has PTSD issues, and Kai, who knew Kris's parents and ran away before they were killed.
Andrew Ito is probably my favorite character in this whole story. Why? Because his story takes place onboard Kadokawa Sat City 2 which is on the front lines of a war between Kadokawa and So Cal. At any moment, millions could be killed in an instant if So Cal chooses to attack. His choices are above and beyond anything that Kris or her insurgents could ever dream about. His choices actually stand out because he makes a choice against the orders of those above him, and doesn't fear the consequences.
The author does a fairly good job of wrapping up the series, but perhaps the ending was a bit on the rushed side. After all, Kris makes a snap decision that takes place onboard a Sat City and all hell breaks loose. I would have loved to see Kris onboard the station sooner. This is the real place where her enemies are. Enemies who have put a target on her back for whatever maddening reason they can come up with.