The Rebel Within

The Rebel Within

by Lance Erlick

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“Readers will easily engage with this well-written tale. Annabelle is believably stubborn, yet also vulnerable and likable … plenty of action and suspense … A stimulating, worthwhile story of a dystopian future.” – Kirkus Reviews

“If you like action, suspense, and vivid characters, look no further.” – Serena Wadhwa (Windy City Reviews)

“Like Hunger Games, it's science fiction set in a bleak future, but the story transcends genre. You don't have to be a fan of science fiction to love it. Great read!” – Mike Lynch

Annabelle Scott tries to keep her rebellious thoughts to herself, avoid the draft, and protect her younger sister. The Federal Union forces her to be a police intern. She gets into trouble and is offered an impossible choice.

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner. The Rebel Within is the first book in a science fiction thriller series in which a young woman is drafted into the police and then into the elite military to enforce laws she believes are wrong.

A second American Civil War ended in a shaky stalemate dividing the country into the “civilized” Federal Union and the warlord-controlled mountainous Outland. Annabelle lost her biological parents to the conflict when she was little and was adopted by a member of the Union’s political opposition. The loss of her parents and her adoptive mother’s opposition lead Annabelle to be rebellious in a society that promotes conformity and punishes disobedience.

Annabelle has never met a boy. The only time she sees them is at a prison across from her school while she’s in detention or when she escapes to the roof. A redhead has caught her attention, but boys are forbidden.

When the redheaded Morgan escapes prison, Annabelle feels compelled to help him and almost gets caught. Frustrated, she fights an amazon bully to protect her sister and is arrested. To avoid prison, which would take her from her family, Annabelle joins the dreaded Mechanized Warriors, tasked with capturing escaped boys.

If she fails the arduous military requirements, Annabelle risks death, imprisonment or being sent to the Outland as a slave. She also endangers her beloved sister and adoptive mom. Can Annabelle survive rigorous training under a tough commander, stay true to her conscience, and help Morgan without destroying herself and her family?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940044627598
Publisher: Lance Erlick
Publication date: 07/04/2013
Series: Rebel , #1
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 416 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Lance Erlick likes to explore the mysteries of intriguing worlds with interesting, often strong female guides facing and overcoming adversity as they try to change their world. He writes science fiction thrillers, appealing to young adults and adult readers, including the Rebel series, the Regina Shen series, and several published short stories.

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The Rebel Within 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ahhh…another one of my favorite type of books.  A mash-up.  Part dystopian, part romance, part thriller, part scifi and part YA.  I absolutely loved this series. My daughter is named Annabelle (but it is spelled differently), so it was a little disconcerting to read “Annabelle” so often and not think of my munchkin. But other than the adoption thing and living in a female dominated society, my child has a lot in common with her fictional counterpart.  Her rebellious nature for one, her looks for another. Getting past that, I truly loved the character.  She is strong, intelligent.  She has a heart.  She knows that her society isn’t the utopia it is portrayed to be.  She has an unquenched thirst for justice and determination to match. I loved learning about this “utopia”. I live in the South, and I occasionally run into the misinformed ideals of macho males who think I should be in my kitchen barefoot and pregnant.  So reading about an all-female society was very interesting. Reading about how this “utopia” came about was even more intruiging:  in the early decades of the 21st century, right-wing extremists tried to turn back the clock.  When they failed, the seceded, bringing the Second American Civil War. Well, that seems plausible.  Especially from my seat down here in Texas.  A state that regulates a woman’s body to “protect life” but promotes gun ownership and kills 300 people per year by lethal injection. But as good as “the Union” seems, all “utopia” type societies always have a nasty underbelly.  This one treats males as third class citizens.  Any males that they do encounter are jailed (including children that are sent to “schools” that are fenced in like a prison) and are forced to wear a shock collar. Annabelle starts helping boys escape.  And then a turn of events forces her into the military. The gadgets and tactics used for training were fascinating.  I loved the idea of the simulators. However, like “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, reading about the training and about young teenage girls nearly killing each other was disturbing. Even more “Hunger Games”-esque was the final test for those intending to serve in the mech forces:  a fight to the death in an arena against a male who is hopped up on steroids.  It is televised, along with a tournament among the mech recruit classes, and gambling is permitted on the participants. I admire Annabelle’s hard work and grit in doing what she feels is right for her family, despite being totally against the organization she is training for.   I loved reading about her relationship with her adopted sister and mother.  The urge for Annabelle to protect Janine is palpable. Overall, this is a wonderful book with strong characters, strong statements on politics and life in the United States, with twists of love, empathy and compassion.
ashleyjellison More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts: What, another short review? Oh, no. No, seriously guys, I'm telling you that a short review is better. It means that I am very impressed and liked the book so I can't find anything wrong with it. First off, the beginning is incredible. In my time, I've come across books with really really good intros, and then I've hit some that are just plain eh. And it's rather annoying to get the latter and then have to finish the book. Luckily, this is not one of those. Its beginning is sound and keeps the reader interested in the next part. The style of writing is so good. I'm really jealous and I might take notes because wow, I think the style is excellent. Lance knows how to write. I like how the characters are developed right away and it doesn't take two, three chapters to know who our main character is. I got a feel for Annabelle right away, from page one. Look at the synopsis if you haven't already, then come back to this paragraph. Isn't that such a great idea? I love it. And it progresses very nicely, shaping the story fully. Of course I loved this book. I need to find the sequels now... Rating: 5 stars
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
I cant say too much about the plot without spoiling it so Im just going to go with what I thought! The Rebel Within was a really unique and somewhat fascinating read. I don't think I've ever read a book where the females rule and the males are on the run!! I'm all for girl power and this takes it a step forward.  Annabelle was an awesome character. She is strong, tough, smart but also kind and compassionate. In a world where women think men as nothing more than things to be hated, Annabelle finds herself questioning everything. She hates the thought of hurting any boy or man but how can she do anything else? She has been drafted into the Mechs, an elite group of women who patrol and police the Outlands. Mechs are meant to capture men, they are meant to release them into the Outlands and make sure non enter their lands, but Annabelle doesn't want to be one of those! She longs to meet a boy and find out exactly what they are. I loved her inner strength and her need to be the best.  There are quite a few characters in the book but each adds something to the overall feel of The Rebel Within. Sam is the epitome of a strong independent woman. She trains the Mechs and pushes them all to be the best. Dara is the main competitor for Annabelle in the Mech competition. She is a huge aggressive girl and I found it hard to like her. Yet she pushes Annabelle to always be and do more. Then we have Annabelles sister, Janine. Annabelle will do anything to protect her from harm. She doesnt want Janine joining the Mechs because its not a place for a softhearted girl. I really liked their relationship and the trust Janine has in Annabelle.  I liked the idea of the Rebel Within, an all female society where women are trained to become the strongest, toughest cops out there. Men are all forced to wear collars and are used for what the women need. You may think it would be everything any women needs, but not so. They are ruled with an iron fist. There is no joy in the world as such, the Union doesn't allow any loud music, any additives like salt or sugar is banned and its all Union regulations for everything. This is why Annabelle longs for more and I could totally relate to her in that. I did have a few things about the book that stopped me from enjoying it more. They were only minor though, like Annabelles' fascination with Morgan. She only sees him 2 or 3 times yet she thinks about him constantly. I know she has never met a boy but I do think it was a little overboard! I also wanted to know more about the Underground movement and what Annabelles mum had to do with them. We could of done with a little more of the boys perspective in this as well. We see glimpses of them fleeing but we never get to meet one or see what they were doing. As I said only minor things and they didnt detract from the story that much. So overall, I really enjoyed the Rebel Within. Its an action packed and tense read and a solid start to the series. The training of the Mechs was really well described and very scary stuff. The poor girls go through an awful lot to become Mechs. The characters as well were well developed and for the most part likable. There are a lot of unanswered questions and I'm hoping we get the answers in future books. Im looking forward to seeing what happens next for Annabelle and hope to see more of the Outlands. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Rebel Within is a YA (?) science fiction novel set in the near future, in the kind of subtle dystopia that makes for an interesting story. And not only is that dystopia subtle (for some people), it's also plausible, which makes it even scarier. To one degree or another, this stuff could really happen, folks, so wise up and pay attention... As I read, I found myself wanting to know more -- lots, lots more -- about the setting. I want maps and background history of the war and what happened immediately afterward to lead to the situation we see in the novel itself. This is not to say that the author should have included all those things. In fact, including them would have bogged the novel down with too much information and overshadowed what's important, which is what is happening with the protagonist and how her worldview is challenged and changed. Rather, my desire to have that additional information means that the author has done an excellent job of creating a setting that readers will want to learn more about through the course of additional novels. And you betcha I'll be reading those, too. I'm not usually a fan of YA fiction, or of present-tense narration (cannot stand that, usually), but this story is so good that I didn't care. I highly recommend The Rebel Within.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot was based on an interesting premise. This was an exciting, very well-written read which kept my attention right to the end. However, I didn't enjoy her constant inner monologue about her sexual confusion. I found her attraction to her adopted sister particularly distasteful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not usually a fan of dystopia, but the concept and characters of this drew me in. A cast almost entirely composed of strong female characters is a serious draw especially when combined with the very near futuristic setting. Definitely worth a read for fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, or the Y: The Last Man graphic novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the story. It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did it moved quickly. I really enjoyed it and was glad I read it. I am amazed at how well the author got into the mind of a 16 year-old girl.
franellan More than 1 year ago
Rebel Within: Lance Erlick Without structure many fail but too much rigidity can cause more problems. What about living in a world with just young girls and being forced to become a security cog and then encouraged to enter training more stringent than most would encounter going to a regular military school. Annabelle is the main character and it is her voice, thoughts and feelings that readers hear. Living in a society that has rigid rules, bans boys from their school, their presence and keeps them locked behind barbed wired fences, Annabelle has the urge and need to break out but something is holding her back. A group called the mechs is the ones trained to take down anyone that causes dissent. Although in security, trained in police procedures, she hesitates each time she is called on to report a boy that escapes, one that is sighted in the wrong place and hopes to find a way to help them escape. Seeing a young man with red hair, claiming to report him but to the authorities not fast enough, Annabelle winds up with a four week suspension from basketball, a stern reprimand and anything else those in charge can think of. But, she is not discouraged, her primary focus is to protect her young sister, and hopefully her adoptive mother will have enough clout to overturn some of what she is enduring. But, the mayor’s daughter seems to rate privileges, Annabelle has many who dislike her, and yet she seems tough, smart and determined to find a way out. Living in a world where everything is regimented, decided for you and your input is limited makes it difficult for young girls to thrive on their own. Devoid of any male friendship, torn between two separate worlds Annabelle needs decide whether she wants the life of a security cog and work for the people that took her real parents from her or be ripped apart once again and lose the family she now has. Things spiral out of control and her choices become limited as Annabelle decides to take up the offer of becoming a mech, finds herself in difficult situations, confides in her adoptive mother, wants to learn more about her son and hopes to protect her younger sister, Janine from the same fate she is about to undertake. Training quite unique, tests that require immediate answers and results, physical training quite rigid and the end result could mean her life. With others trying to protect her family Belle manages to bring too much attention to herself. The rigorous training and her competitive attitude often keep her in check with her superiors. One girl named Dara seems to have it in for Belle and the rivalry soars, their competitiveness and their desire to be number one just might take them both into the final arena but the winner might lose you more than you think. Added in we learn more about Belle’s birth mother, what happened to her and her father, plus her relationship with her adoptive mothers. One that would criticize her and the other that would do anything to protect her and her sister even risking her own life. The training continues. The war begins within herself and the end result remains to be seen as loyalties, trusts and family ties are tested. Annabelle is our narrator who takes us through each situation, discusses her training and her fears for her sister and her hopes to meet her adoptive brother George and have a relationship with boys. Balance, training, pushing herself to the limits, dealing with a commander named Sam and hoping to become a mech, what else will Annabelle do in order to save her family and not be sent away? Chemicals that enhance her abilities, creams to heal her injuries and many questions that remain unanswered. Simulator fights, virtual reality reviews, and simulator martial arts training are part of the program created by author Lance Erlick for these powerful girls. With Janine, her sister trying emulate all that she does and wants to be like her, with Dara her prime rival each warrior as they are called hopes to return to mech gear training and make a difference. But, who will win out and who will remain? Who will wash out? But, fear encompasses Belle when the issue of the escaped boys comes up and some implications are made that she might know who is helping them escape and if she had a hand in it. Just where is her mom and what has she got to do with these boys? Is there really an Underground Railroad similar to the one Harriet Tubman ran? Is there someone that is actually helping boys find a better place to be? Living in a town called Harmony in order creates balance and peace you might say. Defining Harmony it means . Agreement in feeling or opinion; according to free dictionary .com and according to the Macmillan Dictionary: a situation in which people live and work well with other people, or in a way that does not damage things around them. Somehow these two definitions do not seem to blend in with what we see, hear and learn about this place and the way the Harmony staff or administrators treat their population. They even monitor their drink lists and have GPS tracking devices within each girl and many other ways to make sure they always know where they are. Some even have to wear awful collars. Her sister trains with the cop program and Belle with Renee and her recruits each with their own goals and mission. Belle with her fears about Mama Grace and hoping to someday reconnect with her real mother. The tournament is near, the training is almost over and the end result might cost more than one life. What happens is quite starling as Dara faces off with several men and so does Belle. The outcomes you won’t believe and the end result will make you wonder just why anyone has not stopped this town from their brutal ways and why no one has fought back. An ending so explosive and surprising you won’t see it coming. The final outcome of the tournament will change the complexion of Belle’s life forever. Will she become a mech or will she wash out? What about Belle? What secrets are revealed at the end and what is in store for them next as I can tell from reading this novel that this is just the beginning for Belle, Janine and the rest. What about the boys? What is the final outcome? Read Rebel Within and find out what happens? A rebel is defined as: a person who rises in armed resistance against an established government or ruler or even 16 year old girl who likes to live by her own rules. Two sisters different yet alike. One mother willing to risk it all. What would you do to protect the ones you love? The author raises this question along with many others. The training is intense and you can feel the emotional strain as each girl fights to the finish hoping to become warriors. Although some might feel that the training should be similar to that of army boot camp, it is not. The feats are quite different, the hand-to-hand combat seems like there are not holds barred and the end result is quite different as many are hurt, some might lose their lives and others come out victors. Fast paced, action packed and definitely filled with energy and characters that will keep you wondering what is going to happen next as Annabelle leads the way and Janine well there is more to follow. Fran Lewis: reviewer