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The Digging Crew

Nathalie Mallet

Published By:
LTD Books


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The Digging Crew

Fifteen-year-old Samantha Chang has been sentenced to ten years of hard labor at the tallac mines for stealing a watch. While young for a convict, the sentence is required under the Dominion’s First Strike Law. Unfortunately, Sammy is still impulsive, and, through an unthinking transgression, manages to earn an added life sentence. Chosen for The Digging Crew, a group of women who live deep underground and blast the tunnels to dig the tallac, Sammy discovers that if she just does her job, the group is like a family.

But all is not peaceful, even under the protection of Crew 56. There is a constant conflict with Crew 79, and it's a life-threatening conflict. The women of the crews are not wimps; they are physically strong, armed with mining tools and explosives, and, with nothing else to live for, they're willing to inflict damage to get what they want. This strength stands them in good stead when they undertake a plan to escape and things go awry.

I have to say that I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel; even so, it surprised me. This is definitely science fiction, and can be characterized as an adventure story, rather than a romance. The writing is strong and clear. It is told from Sammy’s viewpoint, and, in spite of the age of the central character, this is not a children’s book because of strong elements of violence and adult language. This is more of an ensemble piece, in other words, it’s the story of ALL of the women on the digging crew as they work together to make their escape. Other reviewers have referred to this book as “science fiction chick lit,” and I have to agree! It was nice to see strong female characters willing to do what was necessary to stay alive. I was quite intrigued by the twists and turns of the story, and enjoyed it as an escapist read.

Reviewed by: Jean

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