Come On Home Children by Victoria Randall

Come On Home Children by Victoria Randall
Book Two of Children in Hiding
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (261 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

In the future, when an unlicensed pregnancy is a felony, Willa’s daughter Katy has been abducted by the ruthless Bureau of Population Management. Unless Willa can rescue her she faces a life of stigma, toil, and despair. With the help of some unlikely allies, Willa devises an audacious scheme to free Katy, but it will only work if she can find the courage to reinvent herself.

When no one is what they seem, the truth can be a dangerous luxury. Come on Home, Children is a dystopian thriller that tests whether love can outwit bureaucratic greed, and whether Willa can tread a treacherous path between reality and illusion.

Willa escapes from the Renton Children’s Center when she is sixteen years old. Four years later she has a young daughter and she is attending college with a fake ID, trying to earn her degree in nursing. She never would have survived it weren’t for her friend Adele, an older woman who allowed Willa and her daughter Katy to live with her in the underground labyrinth beneath the Pike Place Market. But when the Bureau of Population Management arrives on Adele’s doorstep, the fake birth certificate for Katy doesn’t work and Katy is dragged off to the Renton Children’s Home as an illegal child, just as Willa had been twenty years earlier.

Willa is a heartwarming character, determined to make a life for her and her small daughter. She works hard and is a very loving mother. When Katy is taken from her, she is determined to get her back. Thankfully, she has friends, new and old, poor and wealthy, who band together to help her. But will all the help be enough? In the end, it is Willa who has to become someone new, to put on a different front, to legitimize herself so that she can rescue Katy.

I liked Willa and found her to be very believable. I also liked her friend Jake Reed, a double amputee from the war in Afghanistan thirty years ago, who watches over and protects Willa. The plot is well crafted and the pacing is good. The suspense builds throughout and it isn’t until the very end that things are resolved. I enjoyed the descriptions of Seattle, similar to today’s city, and yet definitely changed. The setting definitely enhanced the plot.

This is the second novel in a series, but it works just fine as a standalone. I have not read the first novel in the series, but I was instantly hooked by this story and did not feel as if I’d missed anything.

Readers of dystopian science fiction are sure to enjoy this exciting, heartfelt story.

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