Three Alberta authors, Natasha Deen, Judith Graves, and Sigmund Brouwer, have collaborated to co-write the “Retribution” trilogy for young adult readers. Each author developed one character and the story for that character – Exposed (Graves) featuring Raven; Burned (Deen) with protagonist Josie/Jo; and Unleashed (Brouwer) with Jace. All three teens are intelligent, independent and looking for retribution for an injustice that has wronged their families in some way. All three teens find themselves either on the street, or in places that take them to the seamier side of Vancouver’s lower east side. When Raven lost her parents to drugs, she was “rescued” and became part of a car theft ring. She was able to attend school and had saved enough money to leave until she discovered that her boss was responsible for the death of her young apprentice. Jo is seeking revenge for the death of her family in a house fire that was set by a “dirty cop”; and Jace, while he comes from a seriously wealthy family, finds more love and respect at the inner city gym where he is an excellent boxer. Jace has never understood his father’s neglect for both himself, and his younger brother who suffers from a genetic disorder, but after receiving an anonymous email, he sets out to discover the truth about his past. Circumstances bring the three misfits together as each possesses unique skills that are needed to bring about justice. All three teens help each other and become reluctant friends. The three stories intersect, and scenes of each story appear in the other two novels of the trilogy. However, there is enough back story included that each novel stands alone and the novels can be read in any order. The books are plot-driven and fast-paced, with characters that are resourceful and loyal to their cause and to each other. Themes of truth, honesty, integrity, and street survival will appeal to a range of readers. The readable text, short chapters and high interest makes this series especially accessible to struggling readers in junior and senior high school.
Other novels in the trilogy are: Exposed by Judith Graves, and Burned by Natasha Deen