The second installment of the Insurrection short story serial–which Anela, the indie author champion behind Amid The Imaginary, offered me in exchange for my honest review–ups the ante on its predecessor. After devouring Subversive in one sitting, I plunged immediately into the sequel.
Operative focuses on Ellie, a young analyst forced to choose between love and duty. Following the cliffhanger events of Subversive, Ellie discovers the true identity of the rebellion’s leader…or thinks she does. The man known as the Albatross still holds secrets, like his history with the totalitarian Establishment and his connection to an alien invasion that almost destroyed the human race. Meanwhile, the government closes in on the rebels, who might be more like the loathsome Establishment than they claim. Ellie needs to think and act fast, taking readers on science fiction roller coaster ride.
Ms. Deen gives us an engaging protagonist: clever and courageous without being implausible, and conflicted without dissolving into romantic mush as some heroines (irritatingly) do. She also puts an impressive number of twists into her short story (not an easy feat, trust me!). Operative reads like an gripping TV episode, packed to the margins with action and intrigue. I spotted a few technical/grammatical errors in the text, but not enough to distract from the drama. I’m holding my breath for part three! Join me in suspense and start reading it now.