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Broken Slate

Kelly Jennings

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : CreateSpace

Published : 2011

Copyright : Kelly Jennings 2011

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4610-7450-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4610-7450-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Taken from his family’s merchant ship at the age of fourteen, Martin Eduardo endured years in the brutal contract labour system on the planet Julian. Now a contract rebellion brews.

The precarious - and emotionally costly - safety Martin had found with his seventh contract holder is put at risk by another holder, Jeno Lord Harper, who seeks to use Martin for his own aims. Years in the system have demonstrated what happens to contracts who fight back; Martin knows resistance will prove dangerous.

As the contract labour uprising gains momentum, and as he grows more acquainted with those involved in the rebellion, Martin begins to suspect that, although the consequences of disobedience are grim - even fatal - the consequences of obedience might be worse.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (301112) Rating (8/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 8/10
This novel is about a brutal, planet-wide system of slavery. It's also about one person's attempt to push back.

Martin Eduardo was taken off his family's merchant spaceship in his mid-teens. He was put into the contract labour system on the planet Julian, where he has spent the other half of his life (perhaps "contract labour" sounds a little less awful than "slave," but it amounts to the same thing). Among the first things a contract laborer, or "cot," learns is Do Not Fight Back. Any attempt at talking back to your contract holder, or trying to stand up for yourself, leads to an automatic beating. Any attempt to run away is complicated by the computer chip implanted in each cot's shoulder bone, which makes tracking easy. It also leads to a very public murder, in front of the other cots. Also, all cots are assumed to be lazy and lying, even when they are telling the truth.

Martin's contract has been sold six times in the past. He has a decent, but very precarious, relationship with Lord Strauss, his seventh Holder. Strauss is a lecturer at the local university, and finds that Martin actually has a brain, and knows how to use it. A number of times, Martin has sat outside classrooms, listening to the lectures. Strauss has Martin run some of his classes, which does not go over well with the other students. Martin is also kept around for other tasks, which take place in the bedroom, and behind closed doors.

A cot rebellion is brewing in the hills, but it's only a little more than rumours. As it begins to gain momentum, Martin has some serious deciding to do. He is very aware of the penalty for disobedience, but the penalty for obedience may be even higher. Does Martin get his chip removed, and join the rebellion?

This is a really good story about an oppressive social system. The author has also left room for a sequel. It will keep the reader interested, and, yes, it is well worth reading.
Paul Lappen (30th November 2012)

Note: Only available as a Ebook in the UK, Paperback via, Ed.

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