Stranded in what appears to be Ancient Rome, but certain they are in the present, a group of teens tries to survive and escape. The “present” is 2055, where technology has permeated society. These teens are glued to their PDD’s (Personal Data Devices.)
They all happen to be on the last voyage of an old steamship heading to Boston, where it will be scrapped. The world is now going to be totally free of dependence on fossil fuels.
Soon after departure, Your/World (what we would call the World Wide Web) goes down, then the ship runs aground in the middle of the ocean. The survivors are captured by Roman soldiers. But weird, magical things happen, and although the society is primitive, there are anomalies, such as a printing press. The teens are understandably confused, but fear for their lives as they are each assigned a job. There is a soldier, a printer, a prostitute, and an acolyte in the temple. The other survivors have been assimilated and remember nothing of their past. It is unclear why this group of teens remembers everything. They band together to attempt escape.
There are eight teens that are the main characters. It was hard to keep track of them. It would have been nice if one or two stood out more than the others. They were introduced quickly and weren't very distinct. I also didn't realize they were teens, until I was reminded. The author refers to "the teens" often. It's a good thing, because they don't act like teens and if not reminded I would have forgotten.
I didn't feel much tension throughout their daring escape attempt. Maybe this was because of the lack of connection to the characters. Some of their decisions and responses were difficult to understand, but once again, the characters weren't distinct so I couldn't relate to each personality separately.
Throughout this very short book, I was apprehensive about how all this strangeness was going to be explained. I was worried that it would be contrived or not make sense. I needn't have worried because THERE IS NO EXPLANATION! I'm assuming another book is planned, so we have yet another book that is really only a partial a book. There is no resolution. Only a huge cliffhanger.
I wish that I had connected more with the story and characters, because the premise of Lost Republic has a lot of appeal.
Published by Scarlet Voyage, September 1, 2014
ARC obtained from Library Media Connection Magazine
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