- Series: The Seneca Society
- Paperback: 340 pages
- Publisher: Across the Margin Publishing; 1 edition (June 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0997241705
- ISBN-13: 978-0997241709
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,663,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seneca Rebel (The Seneca Society) (Volume 1) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Rayya Deeb is a Virginia Tech Hokie, born in London, England and raised in Northern Virginia. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. Rayya has worked in television production and film development, but her true passion is writing. She has spent over a decade screenwriting, collaborating with some seriously incredible, world–renowned directors, actors and top–notch producers. Most recently she wrote her first novel, SENECA REBEL.
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The novel’s heroine, Doro Campbell, is a complex protagonist whom readers will identify with as she traverses a strange futuristic landscape in which an elite society attempts to set up a Utopian Noah’s Ark. Character introduction and development take up the first act of the story, as readers—through Doro—discover the nature of the Seneca Society. As is usually the case when something seems too good to be true, Doro soon discovers to her dismay that not everything is as it seems. The narrative becomes more complex as she continues to peel back the layers that the true architects of Seneca are hiding behind. Doro must use her inherent math genius and computer hacker talents to discover the truth behind the machinations.
Seneca Rebel explores universal themes such as first love or innocence lost, but what I found most intriguing was Deeb’s ability to write science fiction that speaks directly to our current troubled times and the dire environmental situation this planet faces, more so than many of the authors who’ve written in this sub-genre in the last ten years. This includes how the few who hold the power under the guise of an elected government attempt to take on the challenge, and how this elitist form of thinking ultimately finds itself at odds with the very people it’s purported to be helping.
The author is to be commended for her insight in producing a story with such depth and thematic relevance to the real life society it’s intended to mirror and socially comment on. Deeb has successfully launched an exciting new series that over time will prove to be a game-changer in young adult science fiction.
Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review.
Seneca Rebel immediately caught my attention with its beautiful cover and curious title. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. It's no secret that I'm a fan of science fiction and dystopian books, so this one was a definite win for me. While it may not be typical dystopian, the book definitely gives off a very dystopian vibe with the underground city and research into the betterment of humanity, among other things. Once I actually sat down and started reading, I absolutely flew through this book!
Doro is a math genius who is caught by the FBI for breaking the algorithm for every major gambling site in the world and setting up offshore accounts for her winnings. When the FBI shows up at her door, so does Ellen Malone. She offers Doro a chance to put her skills to good use at Seneca, a technologically-advanced underground society dedicated to finding ways to protect and advance the planet. It's a dream come true when Doro first arrives, but then she's given an ultimatum: stay in Seneca and leave behind her friends and family, or leave and have her memory completely wiped of her time in the city. She chooses to stay. But after being in Seneca for a while, she begins to realize that it's not all that she thought it would be. With a mysterious biotechnology whiz named Dom, Doro discovers there is more than meets the eye to Seneca, and sets out to change the course of Seneca forever.
This book was an interesting one. While I absolutely loved the premise, and really liked how the book played out, I was not a fan of the instant-romance. I mean, Doro sees this guy for the first time and becomes obsessed with him to the point of almost stalking him. I really liked the idea of a super smart female main character, but not one that gets jelly legs about a guy she's never even talked to before. I understand that a lot of YA books have a tendency to have insta-love, so when it happened, I wasn't too surprised, but I kind of wish that if it had to happen, that it was a bit of a "slow burn" love. Also, they don't spend hardly any time together and when they get separated, she acts as if a piece of her soul has been ripped out. Slightly dramatic, but that may just be my personal feelings on it. Even though the romance was meh, Doro thankfully still ended up being a pretty strong character and was able to use her super cool code writing and hacking skills to do some really nifty things!
Despite my dislike of the romance between Doro and Dom, I liked the characters individually. Doro was a math genius and Dom was into biotechnology, and I am all about the science stuff! Following them through the story and reading about them putting their individual skills to good use, whether it was hacking into something or testing blood, was really cool. I felt like Doro was able to really expand her knowledge and learn more and really evolved on her own as the book went on. Dom felt a little flat on his own, but his desire to do good no matter what with his skills really made me have a soft spot for him!
The plot of the book was really unique and one I haven't come across. I liked the idea of an underground city that was basically a utopia, simply because I knew there would be more to it than was on its surface. Of course, there was! I don't want to give too much away, but there are some definite "cultish" signs that are pretty much everywhere in Seneca. The city itself isn't a cult, but boy oh boy does it feel like one. From controlling government circa 1989, to "necessary vaccinations," Seneca gives off some incredibly cult-like vibes. And I ate up every single bit of it!
I'm not sure if it's just me, but I got a very Wizard of Oz feeling from this book. Not only because the main character is named Dorothy, but she also has a dog, travels to a city that is pretty much too good to be true, makes some quirky friends along the way, and is judged at the end by the leader of Seneca. I can't be the only one making the connection, right? Even if I am, that just made me love the story even more. It was so creative, and very well executed, and I couldn't put it down once I got started!
With the super smart female main character, some really subtle 1989 and Wizard of Oz vibes, and really cool science thrown in there, Seneca Rebel is a recipe for a stellar science-fiction novel. Not only was this book fast-paced and action filled, the ending is a really killer cliffhanger! I am crossing my fingers for a sequel because I am dying to know what happens next! If you're looking for a wild science-fiction book with some really detailed and engaging writing, then Seneca Rebel is the book for you!
I won't get into spoilers in this review, and if you're looking for a synopsis, check the other reviews. But I will says this, Doro is a hero for the ages and no doubt destined to follow in the literary footsteps of Katniss Everdeen and Beatrice Prior. The author has created a timely, profoundly entertaining and inspirational work. I'm a techie guy/nerd, and if I had teenage daughters, we would be reading this together. Talk about a strong role model for young women in an age where so many are not being encouraged to pursue careers in STEM. If you were looking for a book to make math or coding cool to young women, you've found your Huckleberry in a PG version of Lisbeth Salander without the anger issues.
One of my favorite aspects of this engrossing new series is the immersive online story world companion. The author has created a ton of supporting interactive content, that will pull you deeper into this exciting new world than you can imagine. So when it comes to fully experiencing the world of Seneca, it is safe to say the books are just the beginning! Grab a copy of this book and checkout the links to the online world and get swept up in your next YA addiction.