Fear Justice (The Fear Chronicles Book 1) brings us a fast-paced, young adult, spy thriller from the pen of C. C. Bolick. Seventeen-year-old Rena Mason has one thing on her mind; graduating her senior year at high-school, getting a full scholarship so she can study aeronautical engineering and most of all, getting out of the hick Florida town she has lived in since she was six-years-old. Rena used to love their life there but all that changed three years ago when they were involved in a car accident that saw Rena’s beloved mother killed. With her father taking to the bottle, Rena was forced to grow up way too soon and assume full responsibility for looking after her little brother. Little did Rena realise the appearance of a new boy at school would change her life forever. When her father is kidnapped by terrorists, Rena needs to confront the idea that her father had a secret existence and life before they moved to their tiny trailer-home in their small town. When it seems the terrorists are actually after her, Rena starts to understand that she may be much more than she originally thought, also and that her mother might not have been just the loving housewife and mother she had always known and missed every single day since her death.
C. C. Bolick has produced an extremely readable and exciting action thriller that is tailor-made for the young adult audience it is undoubtedly aimed at. Fear Justice (The Fear Chronicles Book 1) is doubtless the start of what promises to be an exciting series featuring these young “secret agents”. I would probably describe best this story, as a cross between Men in Black and X-Men. The idea of a super-secret government agency tasked with dealing with aliens and those humans with enhanced powers, either genetically received or by accident is certainly one that has been done before but I found Bolick’s slant on the story to be refreshing and novel. I particularly liked the developing relationship between Rena and Travis. The idea that they are falling for each other and yet are not able to actually touch each other; skin to skin, is intriguing and opens up all sorts of possible story arcs in the next book in the series. I also found the “super power” attributed to Rena to be odd and unusual enough to lift the story above the run-of-the-mill young adult thrillers. Rena is a superb character with strength and vulnerability that shines through in every page. If you like action-packed, aliens, paranormal, and a whole helping of romance, this is definitely the book and series for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am about as far from a young adult as it’s possible to get.