Nine by Rachelle Dekker is a contemporary thriller about a girl with special abilities who is on the run from the government and who fights internal battles about what it means to be human and whether she can choose to be different than she was “programmed.”
There are three major characters in this story — the teen, Lucy, who was trained by the government but who is on the run, initially with no memories. Zoe is the one who found the memory-less Lucy and, against her better judgment, decided to help. And Seeley, the government agent chasing them down.
Much of the story is told as a thriller generally is, with characters getting chased, fighting, getting caught, escaping, lying and double crossing, meeting shady characters, and much more. It was a very well-done thriller.
But the real story is the one each character experienced internally. Each one of them had battles to face, and it all came back to these questions — what does it mean to be human? Can we change the way we were programmed to think?
Seeley thinks he lost his humanity when he chose his job and lost his family. He picked the dark side and doesn’t think he can return. And as for the second question, all three of the character recognize that they were trained by their experiences. Zoe was “trained” not to trust or love anyone because so many people broke her trust. But what if re-training is possible? Or is it?
It was a very insightful story, and I appreciated the thought the author put into writing it. The only thing I think would make it better would be to talk about God. (It’s written by a Christian and published by a Christian author, and yet there’s barely a mention of God at all.) He is the one who is truly, fully capable of changing our programming, better than we ever could, if we would but ask. His power, love, and life are what we should truly be seeking in order to change.
I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.