Review ~ External Forces by Deborah Rix


Book: External Forces

Series: The Laws of Motion #1

Author: Deborah Rix

Format: e-book

Page Count: 268

Published: Dime Store Books, November 16, 2013

Source: Publisher


It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.

When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.

As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will.


Although I have read several Young Adult titles, I can’t say they’re my forte in reader experience. But, the ones I’ve read were all good ones so I think I got lucky. With External Forces , I hit the jackpot again.

We’re far into the future where the people are considered either one of two options. The Devotees, genetically correct people whose lives and procreation is controlled by the Department of Evolution, and the Deviants, who are basically everyone else that’s left, the discarded ones because of their imperfect nature. 16 year old Jess starts her life as a Devotee but on the verge of deciding her future, she realizes she might be becoming a Deviant. With the pressure of the future, the fear of being discovered by the Department of Evolution, and the tumble into the world of Special Forces, Jess’ routine albeit dull life becomes a fight for survival.


I thought the general plot of this book was very interesting. One can’t help but be drawn to dystopian stories, there’s just so much potential to be different. Although it may seem like the perfect people plot has already been done before, I believe it’s the way the story is told that makes the difference. In that regard, this book was good, if not perfect. It could’ve used about sixty or so more pages perhaps-numbers not important but I felt more than a few chapters- because it definitely needed some more time to get into a few more details. The start of the book, with the introduction of the world and the main character Jess, felt rushed, and although we did get the chance to collect information about the dystopian society, we couldn’t do the same with Jess. I couldn’t help but feel a bit detached from her. This might’ve been intentional considering the smothering society she lived in, with no room for creativity or personality, but since Jess is going to turn out to be different, I could’ve used more emotional bonding with her. This is not to say I didn’t like her, because I did, but she wasn’t so easy to connect with.

The story itself was engaging enough that I kept coming back for more, to see how things were going to turn out, who was who, and whether everyone would make it or not. We’re given enough breadcrumbs to know what’s generally going on, but this is a series, so a lot is still left for the upcoming books. I’ve enjoyed so far what we’re given, and though this was a three spoon read, or perhaps three and a half, it was most definitely a good one. Those who like the young adult genre combined with a dystopian world would agree that this series is one to keep an eye out for, because the only way I think it could go on from this point is better.

I’m adding three spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge and perhaps I should let these guys have a taste. They’ve been through a lot already so they could use some hodgepodge and tell me how it tastes so far. I’m nothing if not efficient.





The Laws of Motion series by Deborah Rix:

  1. External Forces
  2. Acceleration
  3. Opposition

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