by Isamu Fukui
Cover Artist: Photo: Andy & Michelle Kerry / Trevillian Images
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Teen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765322630
Date: 13 November 2012 List Price $19.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
They don't want this education; they don't want any thought control, so the students rose up. The educators are near defeat, and the Truancy is about to end the long experiment. Unfortunately, there is a higher power than the Mayor, and it is coming.
Cross leads the Student Militia, a counter to the Truancy. Students joined as a way to get out of the system. When victory comes on the heels of defeat, Cross and the others think that their long fight is over. When they find out that they need to be reeducated, the Student Militia decides to work with the Truancy.
Two years after the death of Zyid, the Truancy is now lead by Takan. He is supported by Umasi, the Mayor's remaining adoptive son. Takan struggles to protect his Truants from the Government, led by Iris, Umasi's half-sister. If the Truancy and Student Militia can find a way to continue the fight, other dangers await.
When I read Truancy, the first thing that came to mind was Another Brick in the Wall. The education system of Education City could fit in to that song perfectly. It is also the type of education you would expect in 1984. It is also how many children view our own education system. Although Truancy City is the third book it is the sequel to the first book Truancy.
All of the surviving characters return to action. The action takes place about four years after the rise of the Truancy. The true motivations of the characters come out. I was most surprised by the change in Iris and what she believed and was trying to accomplish.
The growth of the author as a writer continues. The improvement from first to third novel is significant. He moved from a simple rage against education to a complex web of intrigue and activity. As the third book in this series it isn't the best starting point, although I do believe that someone could follow the basics without reading the earlier books. To truly appreciate all of the action though, readers should go back and read the earlier volumes.
I think that this is a worthwhile read. It taps into the emotions that many students feel about the institution that is a huge part of their daily lives. One review called Truancy a Hunger Games for boys. I think this is a disservice as I feel that it is closer to a new 1984.