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!
It’s rare when I review children’s books. Perhaps I may need to do it more, especially my favorites from childhood. When I think of books from my childhood pertaining to horses, Black Beauty and Seabiscuit immediately come to mind. A couple months ago, I received an email from young writer Cathy Kennedy about her new novel Meeting the Mustangs for an honest review. I dare say, hands down, it is one of the most imagininative books I’ve ever read about horses to this day that is appropriate for both young middle school readers up to adults who adore horses and adventures. It is short, sweet, and is set in a realistic background where children will fall in love with the horses.
The story surrounds the tale of a black colt born into a heard of wild mustangs. At first, we experience the innocence of this young black colt thrust into of the world of the unknown. He is separated from his family, spurring the longing he has to reconnect with his family. His journey does not continue without a variety other challenges and dangers in his midst. One in particular deals with being captured by strangers who force him into captivity for future plans of selling for money.
I’m a huge animal lover hence the millions of pictures of my cat Josie on my Facebook, Instagram, etc.. My heart always breaks hearing the dangers that befall animals whether they are horses or other species. But this story shows that regardless of the trials that befall him, the colt always presses on in his growth both physically and also his personal story.
If you are looking for a new story for your child or even know someone who may enjoy this book, it is available via Amazon.
My Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms
Stunned. Stunned. Stunned…..I have to say it three times because it’s how I truly feel after reading the second book in The Annika Brisby Series. If you haven’t read the first book or even my first review, do NOT read this one and read the first book because this review contains minor SPOILERS! You can read my review on the first book here.
To review the ending of the last novel, Annika was whisked (more like sucked) back into her dimension, leaving Talvi alone. For three months, they both walked along in their own worlds, depressed because of their separation. Annika is considered slightly crazy by her family considering she had disappeared without a trace for several months only to suddenly appear in the middle of France, rambling about her misadventures in Talvi’s world.
The book shifts among their story, Talvi’s former elf now vampire twin sister Yuri and her lover Constantine’s trysts, and Annika’s elf family member who is finally re-discovering love herself. The only downside I saw with this one is it barely touched the other two side-stories compared to Talvi and Annika’s own. BUT there is a great lesson in this book that I believe all couples should take to heart. Sappy, I know, but trust me on this!
Talvi Marinossian has slain maenads and fought off vampire attacks, but nothing has prepared him for getting involved with one of these forbidden ‘Modern Girls’. When he finally tracks down Annika it’s obvious that she’s changed since her recent adventure in his homeland.It’s also clear that she’s not ready to embrace the next chapter in her life. He tries to persuade her to open up to him, but she finds it difficult since he won’t even explain how he earns a living, why he has a secret cell phone, or the reason he keeps another woman’s handkerchief in his pocket. Instead of relying on Talvi to help her adjust, Annika delves into her music and her job, and it isn’t long before the new lovers find themselves completely out of sync with one another. Just when they start to find their rhythm, Talvi is called away on business and whisks Annika off to Paris for what is supposed to be a working vacation. But one bad decision leads to another, and the chaos that ensues may cost someone their life.
As I sit here patiently awaiting for Emigh Cannaday to release her third book, I am literally shaking from the ending of this last book. Many have compared the second book to be slower than the first and I have to slightly agree. Yes, it was slower, however to me, I think the author did it so readers could capture the lesson.
Communication, truthfulness, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, and proving ones love is hard when you barely know your partner like in Talvi and Annika’s situation. It takes a true couple to battle through the remains of past sins and current circumstances in order for love to bloom. It’s a slow process and that’s how I compare it to the pace of the second novel. Much like the battle and growth of a marriage, relationship, or even friendship-it takes time.
If you didn’t heed my warning in the beginning and read this anyway, click HERE to get your copy of the first book.
If you’ve read the first book, click HERE to get a copy of the sequel.
About the Author
After bouncing around from Paris to Portland, Emigh Cannaday now lives in Wisconsin with her husband and a pack of Welsh Corgis. She grew up drawing, painting, and writing down her elaborate daydreams that focus on nature, intuition, and a bit of magic. She spends her free time testing out new recipes in the kitchen and playing with houseplants and horses.
She also co-hosts the Wine Wars podcast, a well-edited but uncensored show dedicated to all things wine and Star Wars.
My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms