Verdict: Gripping but not intended for the faint of heart, RUN RAGGED is an intriguing dystopian read.
Confinement sends a wake up call to the hideous truth behind a Re-education Center.
Rhia Malone is knocked unconscious during a fierce storm while en route to deliver supplies. Although deserters of the current female-dominated government rescue the twenty-five-year-old runner, guards step in—arresting and promptly sending the trio to a Re-education Center, a façade designed to brainwash and silent “anyone who disagrees with the [government’s] rules.” Since Rhia is resilient to the center’s brainwashing techniques, Deacon (the warden) and Captain Banks, her commanding officer, have Rhia constantly on their radar, especially when Rhia meets William and the two fall in love. Even though Rhia spies a possible escape route, it is uncertain whether or not she makes it out alive.
Award-winning author Kari Aguila’s newest novel gives a glimpse into life within a contemporary matriarchal society. Set in the mid-21st Century on the Pacific Coast, Aguila’s third-person narrative is reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. While replete with themes of incessant propaganda and a totalitarian regime, Aquila also embellishes her dystopian plot with unsettling barbarous scenes. Aguila surrounds Rhia and William, her central characters, with a well rounded and well-developed cast that covers the list of character types—round (multi-dimensional), flat (not very changeable), dynamic (changeable), protagonists, and antagonists.
Key to Aguila’s unique storyline are the constant scene changes made up of complex characters that are designed within mini sub plots. Good sub plot examples are often found in relationships, such as Carol and John, and Laura and Nadine. Aguila keeps her narrative fluid by collecting all of the elements thus mentioned and weaving them into cliffhanging chapters, engaging dialogue, and alternating tension-laced characters scenes that include plenty of twists and turns.
Gripping but not intended for the faint of heart, RUN RAGGED is an intriguing dystopian read.