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RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone Paperback – May, 2005

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: RebelFire Press (May 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0964230488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964230484
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,999,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Wally Conger on June 4, 2005
Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman are doing something quite wonderful. They're talking to kids. And what they're talking about is freedom, determination, and self-reliance.

OUT OF THE GRAY ZONE is the first in a projected series of "young adult" novels, a category of fiction dominated until now by adolescent warlocks, happy dragons, and high school girls angst-ridden over their latest crush. You won't find any of that in this initial "RebelFire" book. This is the story of teenaged Jeremy, whose rock 'n roll inspired dreams are being quashed by CentGov-sanctioned spycams, sensors, monitors, permits, and doses of dope - "all for his own good." In the Gray Zone of America's Pacific Northwest, even his favorite rock band, RebelFire, has been silenced and replaced by "a cheerful bleat of very bad march music" on the satellite link. Jeremy's always lived under the control of CentGov and its Departments of Firearms Elimination, Drug Enforcement, Homeland Serenity, ad nauseum, but he's become increasingly dissatisfied. And now that they've taken RebelFire away...

Jeremy's adventures are exciting, sometimes shocking, often violent. The characters he meets will stir you. And if you don't fall in love with Hero, the furry mutt who joins Jeremy along the way, you've got a heart made of steel wool. Shame on you.

This new RebelFire series is just what the Freedom Movement ordered. I can't recall a libertarian novel as truly perfect for teenagers (yet entertaining for adults) since J. Neil Schulman's ALONGSIDE NIGHT, and that was 25 years ago. If you have a kid, or even know a kid, who enjoys reading, drop OUT OF THE GRAY ZONE into their hands. It's a terrific tale of despair, perseverance and, ultimately, hope. It may turn their heads around. And you'll like it, too.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By GPotter on July 21, 2005
I am not going to tell you about the plot of this book. All you need to know about the plot is in the little blurb above the reviews. I'm not going to gush about how thrilling, engrossing, well written and vibrantly emotional this book happens to be -- though it's all those things.

I'm addressing this review to two groups:

Science Fiction fans, because this is the real deal, my fellow brothers and sisters in sense o' wonder. And to parents, because this is a book both you and your children need to read. This is a book about the world your children are going to inherit.

I won't lecture you on politics (neither will the book) but I'll extend you the benefit of the doubt that you are observant, thoughtful and interested enough in your life to notice those little changes that seem to come a little quicker with each passing day. Those little sacrifices you are asked to endure. While they happen, they tend to be painless, like a mosquito bite. But...they do pile up on you. What happens ten years down the road as these daily little sacrifices are counted? Fifteen?

That's where the SF part comes in. Wolfe and Zelman tackle what I consider the toughest nut in literary SF: the near term immersive novel. They pull it off spectacularly. This is no guided tour through a future. It's not a dystopia or a utopia. The authors do not fall to the temptation to take the easy way out. Instead, they give us a vivid, believable, but scarily different society that resembles today the way a gangly teenager resembles his baby pictures. I say this as an absolute and utter science fiction snob. Rebelfire is a wonderful first novel for any genre, but for the authors to tackle such a difficult type of SF novel on the first go and succeed so well is quite the feat.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Coleman on June 2, 2005
Having read Ms Wolfe's non-fiction books("The Freedom Outlaw's Handbook" and "I Am Not a Number") and liking her friendly one-on-one writing style, I pre-ordered a copy of "Rebelfire: Out of the Gray Zone" anxious to see her first foray into fiction.

My creative writing teachers alway preached hooking the reader in the first sentence. I'm not a teenager and the first couple of pages dealing with Jeremy's music/light fantasies didn't hook me. Neither could I identify with his teen angst before he decides to make his break for freedom. Thank goodness I didn't stop there or I would have missed a great story that not only has a message but is a good adventure as well.

Once Jeremy is on his own and starts to learn what the outside world is like the story takes off like a missile and I could not put it down (always my sign of a good book). His education reflects my own, though not as dramatically, in how the government wants to track and domesticate us. His future world is easily seen in what's is going on in our world now.

And the comparison to Harry Potter, you might ask? Harry, like Jeremy, is youngster trying to reach his potential. In the last two Potter books, I found Harry something of a petulant teen and my liking for him declined. But I think Ms Rowling knows that he has to go through this phase, like any teenager, and will bring him back to being the hero we know and love. Jeremy, being older than Harry, matures a little more quickly under some equally dire circumstances--practical rather than magical.

Once I got fully immersed in Jeremy's story, like Harry's, it rang a deep chord in me. I may be chronologically older than these protagonists, but in my heart, nothing's changed.
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