The Rift Uprising, Book 1
by Amy S. Foster
Review by Mel Jacob
Harper Voyager Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780062443120
Date: 04 October 2016 List Price $21.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The first of a projected trilogy, The Right Uprising, features teenagers with superhuman strength and fighting skills. They protect the earth from aliens that emerge from the Rift, a gateway of sorts to or from other Earths with different developmental paths. Only some of the aliens who come through the gateway are humanoids. Many other species have emerged on the divergent Earths, and some of these seek only to kill and maim humans.
Genetically modified humans have been used by many writers of science fiction. However, these teenagers are still human but trained to ensure they develop their skills to the highest level and are called Citadels. They are smarter, quicker, and stronger than ordinary teens, but have one flaw. The loving touch of a potential lover will send them on a killing rampage. This was done to ensure they would not be affected by normal teenage sexual desires while on duty. The program is assisted by a group of aliens, the Roone, once caught up when the Rift was inadvertently created.
Ryn Whittaker, seventeen, leads a squad of five Citadel teens as guards for the Riff in their area. Smart, strong, and dedicated, she takes the task seriously. She has family and has witnessed the variety of creatures who stumble through the Rift. She knows firsthand how dangerous they can be. Her squad helps subdue dangerous creatures by killing or incapacitating them. Survivors are taken by others to a processing facility. She has no idea what actually happens to them after that.
When a lone young human male arrives, she finds him attractive and is determined to see more of him. He is taken to a debriefing and then to the holding facility. Ryn is determined to see him again and gains the cooperation of a friend assigned duty in the Village where the humanoids are kept. She successful manages to get to the village and locate the young man.
While Ryn has been questioning her existence and that of the Citadel program, she has discovered few answers so far. The young man, Ezra, knows much more and suggests the Rift actively seeks some of those caught in it. He is a quantum cryptologist and posits a vast conspiracy by those controlling the Rift to make use of other Earths for unknown purposes.
The novel ends with much more to be learned about the Rift, the Roone, and the dangers of Rift travel. Ryn is determined to find answers, but first she has to survive.
The novel has good and bad people involved with the Rift project. The roles are not always clear. Ryn remains suspicious and feels betrayed by all except for her own squad. The premise of the novel requires a considerable suspension of disbelief. Others have also explored the ideas of alterative Earths, yet the presence of the Roone may imply something quite different.
Overall, Foster provides plenty of action and danger. Two more volumes of the trilogy lie ahead.