Title: Seneca Rebel
Author: Rayya Deeb
Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Amazon Description: “What if your one chance to change the world means you have to leave everything you love behind?
In the not-too-distant future, math genius Doro Campbell is introduced to the Seneca Society: a secretive, technologically-advanced subterranean utopia dedicated to inventing and perfecting the most effective ways to benefit our planet.
But there’s a hitch. Like all that have come before her, Doro is given the ultimatum: Stay in Seneca forever, or leave now with no memory of the place, its goals, and its inhabitants.
Her ideals are shattered when, together with biotechnology whiz, Dominic Ambrosia, Doro uncovers profound deceptions beneath the surface of this all too-perfect community.
Will one teenage girl have what it takes to go up against swarms of drones, psychological manipulation and biological attacks, to uncover the truth and change the trajectory of the world?”
I can’t not get over Dorothy Campbell. Here is this this intelligent, adventurous teen who is always getting into trouble. It’s not that she’s doing it for attention, though. Instead, she is doing it because, in her own words, “everyone around me was so boring, that I needed to be proactive and inventive in order to have any fun.” Her personality is one you can’t help but admire in a young character. Throughout the story, she rises to take her place amongst the other current strong woman Dystopian characters. However, she adds her own spin to her world by using her intelligence in order to discover the problems instead of them being revealed openly like in other books.
She lost her father, only to be granted the ability to explore a new society. The Seneca Society grants her the chance to use her knowledge in order to create, invent, be who she was meant to be. As we know, in every secret society, there is always a catch and secrets. If she leaves, her mind is erased of the knowledge of Seneca. The secrets, you’ll have to discover on your own.
The whole story flows in such a way where it adds another layer to the genre. It was difficult to put down the more I read. The pacing is perfect, giving you enough to want to continue the series after the last page is finished. I honestly enjoyed it better than The Hunger Games series, it’s that good. I can’t wait to see what else will happen to Doro!
Interview with Author Rayya Deeb
C.C.: Where did you get your inspiration for the story?
R.D.: My main sources for writing The Seneca Society Series are my two little girls and a documentary film called Transendant Man. I love reading about emerging technologies and advances in science too, so I wanted to write this story that would explore the possible future of the world that they could live in.
C.C.: When did you discover you had a passion for writing? Where did it all begin?
R.D.: My 3rd grade teacher at Oakton Elementary, Mrs. Cooper, told me to “never stop writing.” At the time I had no idea why she said that, but in retrospect I totally get it and so appreciate it. I absolutely loved it every time we had story exercises in elementary school– it always felt like bonus time, not work.
C.C.: I heard you were working on a sequel to the novel, can you give us any possible hints on what may happen?
R.D.: I am working on the next two books now… there are super subtle hints in Seneca Rebel, but to answer your question, things will have to get a whole lot worse for Doro before they can get better. And she is headed to South America.
C.C.: Here at Charmed Haven Book Reviews, all books are given a rating in what I call book charms. Each charm represents a certain requirement books should have. As the author, out of these Ten Charms (i.e. Charm of Intelligence, Worthiness, Agility, Romance, Length, Imagery, Learning, Character, Believability, and Everlasting) which Book Charm would you give it overall?
R.D.: Hopefully, if I’ve done my job, all of them BUT…To me the most applicable would be worthiness. I want Seneca Rebel to be something that inspires people to be curious about the future, to ask questions, and make a difference.
C.C.: Do you have another author who is your writing role model? What is your favorite book they wrote and why?
R.D.: Judy Blume– Superfudge. I couldn’t believe how fun and cool a book could be. After I read Superfudge, I took some paper and staples, made a book, wrote it, illustrated it and sent it to Ms. Blume. A month or so later I got a letter back from her that she loved my book. That had a lifelong impression on me. I hope she’ll love this one too.
C.C.: How many books are you planning for your series?
R.D.: Right now three books are mapped out, but I want to keep going. And just a little FYI– there is more to the cover than meets the eye. The Seneca storyworld already expands beyond book one, for those that take the leap to discover it…
My Rating: 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms!