A genetically enhanced man, designed to be a super-gladiator, must break out of a prison in a quarantined city and rescue a pair of gifted children.
ROTVILLE is a quarantine city, designed to hold victims of a rot plague that has devastated the United States. Titus Maxim North, director of its Colosseo prison and regional governor of Rotville, has a secret plan involving the creation of genetically enhanced and memory-altered super soldiers, which he shows off in a gladiator-like arena to select clients. However, his efforts to build Experiment 501, also known as Dylan, into the ultimate soldier hit a snag. During an uprising at the prison, Dr. Jun Sun, the neural inseminator ordered to alter his memories to make him docile and obedient, decides on the spur of the moment to turn him into an honorable warrior – and send him to rescue her gifted but traumatized son Kevin and his friend Aria. Titus’s plans will never be the same . . .
ROTVILLE is an exciting and fast-paced action story, not for the squeamish, set in a chillingly dystopian world of the near future. The good characters are well developed and powerfully human, with believable personalities, though the villain is a bit cartoonishly evil. Dylan, even with his ferocity and violence, is a truly likeable hero, and it’s not hard to root for him. Nate and Kale, the ex-military rebels hired by Aria’s mother to rescue her, are similarly admirable, and add a welcome touch of snarky humor as well. Summers’ writing style relies a bit too repetitively on flashbacks and on simple declarative sentences, which take away some of the emotional power of the tale and make it a bit monotonous. In addition, the author has a tendency to put adverbs before verbs – “he saw him impossibly leap” – which interrupts the sentences’ action and flow.
ROTVILLE is an adrenaline rush with a touch of philosophy and humor.