Rating: 5 out of 5
Krista D. Ball’s Fugitive (Collaborator Volume 2) picks right up where Traitor left off. Rebecca and the rebels she has semi-accidentally joined up with are fleeing the Corps. Tobi Rowe is badly injured and in need of surgery for another reason–if she doesn’t have it soon, she’ll die. Half of the rebels–well, mostly Kat and Patrice–would prefer to shove Rebecca out of the nearest airlock rather than have a collaborator in their midst. But to Kat’s surprise, Rebecca has some seriously useful skills. And Tobi seems to have adopted her, while Mav, Chad, and Nate just think she deserves a chance after helping them to escape the Jupiter station.
Kat and Patrice clearly would have been happy to leave Rebecca behind on Jupiter station, so it’s hard to like them at first–Rebecca would certainly have been blamed for the explosions, deaths, and prisoner escape, which is a hell of a punishment for being too scared to fight back and trying to bargain for her parents’ lives.
Rebecca is so different from your average sci-fi heroine. She’s crippled by depression and anxiety, and pretty clearly has PTSD left over from the events of Earth’s subjugation. She’s frequently suicidal, and has difficulty speaking up for herself. I related to her so hard that I kept crying while reading this. Her emotional difficulties are just depicted with such utter, breathtaking realism. The fact that she manages to do good things despite this situation is awesome. It’s excellent that Kat is forced to face the fact that Rebecca isn’t “useless,” and is also forced to examine why she’s so angry with Rebecca.
Zain is still after Rebecca (and the others–but his anger at Rebecca is personal). This certainly ups the tension level. There’s lots of fleeing, and looking for things they need, and haggling with riffraff, and visiting a station that’s much farther away from Earth. Tobi’s life hangs in the balance, and Rebecca is determined to look after her.
I can’t wait to read book three!