Shield by Rachael Craw

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Walker Books Australia, 2016, ISBN 9781922179647
(Age: Secondary) Recommended. Science fiction. Future. Dystopian fiction. 'Love, freedom and future, in a final attempt to right the wrongs of the Affinity Project and save her family' (New Zealand author, Rachael Craw's elevator pitch for Shield says it all) as the third volume in the Spark trilogy continues the story of Evie (Evangeline Everton) who begins to develop powers beyond her imagination. She finds that she is part of a genetic experiment called the Affinity Project, where a synthetic gene has been implanted to produce the perfect soldier, but she rebels. In the second book, Stray, the Affinity Project wants to take Evie back to control her, forcing her to do the work she had been genetically manipulated to do, even if innocent people must die. Evie is forced to take sides in a struggle with the Affinity Project which ends with her being held in a psych ward, and the third, Shield, has Evie sent back to the Affinity Project for retraining. Here she is resented after what happened in book two, and is forced to take sides once again to survive. But she has secrets and after Counsellor Knox takes a blood sample she knows it will not be long before he works out what she is. Knox is wrestling for power within the Affinity Project, using Evie as a tool to undermine those who would bring him down. She eventually finds a group trying to initiate change but she is forced to make some decisions in the face of fierce opposition.
The series is a heart stopping sci-fi thriller. Set in a complex dystopian society with a little romance and sympathetic characters, this fast paced tale will appeal to many teens.
Fran Knight