Regina Shen: Vigilance (Regina Shen #2) by Lance Erlick Review
Regina Shen: Vigilance (Regina Shen #2) by Lance Erlick
After reading Resilience I was disappointed to discover that there was a lot less action in most of Vigilance. Instead the main action in Vigilance happens near the end of the book. That is not to say that Vigilance was a slow paced book as it was packed with suspense I just would have liked some more action in the beginning and middle of the book.
This book focuses a lot on Regina trying to figure out who she is as she tries to find and rescue her sister, Colleen, without being captured. I really liked the role Mo-Mere played in this book as she is the one who is telling Regina that she is special and that she is ready to go to the University. Mo-Mere reminds me a lot of an old wise mentor, much like Yoda in the Star Wars series. I really liked how she taught Regina in both books.
I really enjoyed reading Vigilance and I look forward to reading book 3.
I was sent this book for free for only my honest and unbiased review.
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Interview with Lance Erlick
What inspired you to write this series?
I was imagining various worlds of the future and in particular a world after abrupt climate change led to some rather drastic changes. At the same time I kept getting visions of this amazingly resilient young woman who had little to live for and yet refused to give up. I grew up surrounded by strong women and that influence has rubbed off on my writing. So, Regina Shen parachuted into this world with little more than her wits. I find her inspiring.
How did you decide on the number of books to put in the series?
As the pieces of the story rattled around in my mind, I realize it would be more than one book. At first I thought it might be two or three based on everything that was going on, but it has grown into four books. I can envision more stories in this universe as long as I can find interesting adventures for her.
Which book was the hardest for you to write and why?
Of the Regina Shen series, the hardest book to write was the fourth (Endurance). I didn’t want the story to duplicate anything from the earlier books and yet I knew where it had to begin. I considered jumping from there to where the action took off, but there was an interesting set of scenes that came to me in between. Also, the book twists in a different direction (I don’t want to give it away) and it was a challenge to get this right.
Which book was the easiest for you to write and why?
The easiest book for me to write was The Rebel Within. I had actually written Rebels Divided first with two co-protagonists, including Annabelle Scott. After I finished the story, Annabelle got into my head and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote her story (The Rebel Within), which is now the first book in the series. I would wake in the middle of the night with complete scenes. Basically, I knew the entire story before I wrote the first word. It was a race to get it all down while it was fresh in my mind.
Which character was the hardest to write and why?
One of the harder characters for me was Dara from The Rebel Within. She’s a bully and was inspired by some strong bully-type girls I’d met along the way. The challenge was to not let her become a stereotype or caricature. In fact, there is nothing she does that I haven’t witnessed or had good evidence of girls doing against other girls, sad to say. She was definitely a tough write.
Which character was the easiest to write and why?
Annabelle Scott was the easiest character to write because she got into my head and guided me. I could easily identify with her moral dilemmas and her need to do the right thing even when being forced down a different path.
Who was your favorite character and why?
This is tough. I have a strong fondness for both Annabelle Scott and Regina Shen. They are very different and yet I felt I could identify with them both. Not sure what that says—maybe a prior life. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if they met, though they live in different centuries. Maybe I’ll invent a time machine and have them meet to find out.
Were there any characters that you did not like?
There have been several characters I didn’t like. Inspector Volpe (Regina Shen series) is power hungry, driven by personal values that make sense for her and yet trample on innocent people she needs in order to succeed. InThe Rebel Within, I didn’t like some of the power figures who were trying to perpetuate their power at the expense of others. I guess there is a theme here. Yet I try to portray each in terms of working toward what makes sense to them (heroes of their own stories).
What made you choose to write a series on this subject?
The Regina Shen series is both about abrupt climate change and the underdog. Climate has been rattling around in my head. In the long perspective, the climate we’ve seen over the past 200 years is unusual and thus we can expect to see some radical changes going forward. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the underdog and decided to marry both into this story. Once I decided on those, there was far too much material for a single story.
Did you base any of the characters off of real people?
None of my characters are based on any real people. I’ve been very careful about that. Yet I can only write what I’ve seen, heard or read, and thus I can’t deny that there are bits and pieces of my experiences and observations that filter into the development of characters. Fundamentally, I try to put myself into the minds and hearts of my lead characters and write as if I’d become that person. In doing so, I’m drawing on experiences.