By: Carolyn Wada
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication Date: February 2009
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: March 23, 2009
Roci is a fourteen-year-old boy living a terrible life. His home planet of Cory has been devastated by fear of ‘The Bomb,’ and Roci now lives in a crowded barrack with many other teenagers, as well as grown men. In order to escape the obstacles that face him, Roci retreats into the safe world of his imagination. His daydreaming often gets him in trouble, but for Roci, the peace his stories bring him are worth the punishments.
Just four pages into For Cory’s Sake the plot shifts from Roci’s plight to that of William Bentler and his family. William Bentler is part of the rebel movement, a group doing their best to free planet Cory from the grasp of the Borrynzian race. This evil group keeps the Coryian people in line with fear of ‘The Bomb.’ At this point in the novel, the reader is uncertain whether this is another of Roci’s fantasies, or if the Bentler scenario is reality. The reader will have to continue the story to discover the answer.
There are various ways to contribute to the fight for freedom and William has chosen to do his part by writing exposés on the Borrynzians and one of their leaders, Captain Prackerd. These articles are passed around via cyberspace and when discovered, the writers, known as Lightning Rods, are brought before the Captain for punishment. Again and again, William is punished for his writing, with each punishment escalating in severity, yet he refuses to stop.
Bentler’s family strongly supports his rebel behavior and indeed, his children hope to join the cause. When a local orphan, Kerry, is brought to William’s attention for his sympathies to Cory’s plight, the Bentler‘s hold a family meeting and decide to invite Kerry to join them.
The bulk of For Cory’s Sake follows the exploits of the Bentlers (and Kerry) as they struggle to free their planet from the stranglehold of the Borrynzian empire. Kerry becomes a valuable ally, especially when it is revealed that his father is alive and well. The Bentlers hope to use Kerry’s relationship to spy on the Borrynzians, then secure information on ‘The Bomb,’ to learn the ways of their captors.
There is much to recommend For Cory’s Sake. The storyline is unique, interesting, and relevant to today’s dangerous world. Holding an entire planet in check simply by threatening the use of a bomb will keep readers wondering how the heroes will stop the menace. Will they overtake the government, destroy the bomb, or build their own device? The outcome is fascinating, with a clever twist to the plot near the end.
Unfortunately, For Cory’s Sake suffers from a lack of careful editing that makes reading difficult in places and frequently hard to follow. Sentence structure is often cumbersome with verbiage such as, “I do know,” continued Terrence, “that if Captain Prackerd was my father and he had got me arrested exactly like how I heard you got arrested, there’s no way I would’ve been all meek and good-behaved after that.”
The character of Roci seems irrelevant to the story as he is introduced in the first few pages of the book and then does not reappear until near the end when he makes a brief, somewhat extraneous, appearance. Finally, it is unclear why the author chose to name two of her main characters ‘Kerry.’ One is a young man, the other a teenage girl. This duplicate use of Kerry adds confusion with lines such as “You are stunningly handsome,” said Kerry to Kerry. Kerry smiled his quiet smile.” or “Come,” said William. Kerry went. The other Kerry stayed …”
Quill says: A good first novel that could be a stronger novel with some judicious editing.
For more information on For Cory's Sake, please visit the book's website at: Outskirts Press.