Into The Fire – The Detainee Trilogy #2 – Peter Liney
Ageing ‘Big Guy’ Clancy thought escape from the Island would be enough, but with the punishment satellites gone hell has been unleashed.
Having escaped the Island – a wasteland that housed those no longer able to contribute to society – ageing ‘Big Guy’ Clancy thought his fight was over. But they have returned to the mainland to find that it is not the haven they anticipated. With the punishment satellites that kept them on the Island – and the city under control – gone, hell has been unleashed. Clancy is about to discover that his work is far from over.
This review may contain spoilers from the first book, The Detainee, so I would advise to only read this review after you’ve read the first book.
At the end of The Detainee, Clancy and his companions managed to escape the island and were making their way to the mainland, full of hope. No time has passed at the beginning of Into The Fire and we see all of the people from the island reaching the shore and experiencing the mainland for the first time again. We all know by now that Clancy, though he doesn’t think so, is a pretty clever dude. He notices right away that something isn’t right and that there’s more going on than meets the eye. Pretty soon it’s clear that they’ve gone out of the frying pan and into the fire (I see what you did there!). With the satellites down, there is no easy policing system on the mainland anymore either. The City has erupted in chaos, there’s looting everywhere, violence around every corner and a palpable fear. It also seems like the Media Giant, Infinity, has taken over control of the city. They come eerily close to Big Brother from 1984. Clancy, Lena, Jimmy, Delilah and the kids have to find a place to hide again if they want to survive. The people working for Infinity have no mercy and are not afraid to kill off everyone that comes along their path.
If you remember my review about The Detainee, though I enjoyed it very, very much, I thought some parts were a bit predictable. With Into The Fire I didn’t have that feeling at all, which made me really happy, because Clancy’s is an interesting story. This sort of dystopian representations of the future always scare me, because I can somehow see it happening one day if everything goes horribly wrong. This time Liney also added some other plausible aspect that may threaten humanity in the future: incurable disease. When I first read the word “Zombie-sick” in the book, I groaned a bit, because I didn’t want any zombies in this story. But they aren’t the living dead, there’s actually an explanation for why some people are like this and it gives us a whole new, interesting storyline.
There are a lot of strong emotions going on here: the tangible hope after they escaped the island, the sinking feeling that they rejoiced too soon and are no better off on the mainland, the fear of the violence and death, the immense sadness when something horrible happens to one of them and the despair and helplessness when Clancy isn’t able to protect those he loves . It’s a powerful rollercoaster that manages to drag you along and makes you feel all of it together with the characters. Next to all of the negative emotions, there are also little sparkles of positive ones, the ones that give hope for the future. Young love, the promise of something they couldn’t have imagined was possible and the strong belief that they will get away from this horrible city and find a better place to live.
I liked this second book in the Detainee Trilogy better than the first book, which is rare. There’s more than enough going on to keep the reader entertained and it’s such an interesting and emotional story that it will appeal to all kinds of genre readers. I’m curious about what the third book will bring and look forward to finding out!