Emmaline, David, Elsa, and Micah have escaped from the compound, but they are being hunted by the Earth Protection Agency. David’s parents, John and Joan, follow them through the hole in the fence and attempt to throw the EPA agents off the little family’s trail.
I really liked the first Agenda 21 book and had high hopes for Into the Shadows, but it just wasn’t very good. There were giant plot holes that left me yelling in my head (and occasionally out loud) about how it didn’t make sense. For example, the little family walked for days and were still very near the mansion where the compound leaders live and the farm commune where the food is grown. That’s fine and explained by saying the river they were following meanders. The problem is, they ended up being taken in by an elderly couple. The elderly couple lived in a cave right by the mansion and farm commune and yet, somehow, they escaped detection for 17 years. Emmaline is constantly worried that their presence would bring the Earth Protection Agency people to the elderly couple. While that could happen, if they had survived without being discovered for almost two decades, why in the world would they be likely to suddenly be found just because the little family was there. The way the points of view switched was good except for one thing. The Emmaline chapters were told in first person while all other were in third person. That was actually rather annoying to me. Then there was the preachiness. The book would be going along fine and then there would be a section with hit-you-over-the-head “this is what you must learn from what you are reading” preaching (religious and political). I never quite figured out why the insistence that people only would want to be free if they knew their history (after all, Emmaline wanted to be free before she ever learned any of the history). The characters are all very flat. They never changed and most of them were quite dull. Many parts of the story moved very slowly. It’s a dystopian novel about running from human predators and learning how to live in the mostly uninhabited wild world. It should have been anything but slow. The afterword was written by Glenn Beck and warned of the evils of Agenda 21. Into the Shadows was a definite disappointment. I don’t really recommend reading it.
2 (out of 5) Stars