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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Detention Land: Lip Service by Susan Orion is a great read with compelling characters and an interesting plot, a story with great psychological depth. A teenage boy finds himself trapped in a small room, not knowing why. He is devoid of any contact with the outside world and the only thing he hears is the woman behind the voice coming off the walls, “light, and crisp, like a spring breeze. Her words were perfectly pitched, almost like music. If he could see her, he was sure she would have full lips dressed in shiny red lipstick, complemented with perfectly straight teeth that gleamed white. (…) What he would give to see her face.” Can he solve the puzzle, find out why he is here and make his way out? But who is the woman behind the voice and what part does she play in this drama?
Susan Orion writes well, even if some expressions come across as awkward. I enjoyed the descriptive strength of the prose which is evident from the very first lines of the story, creating a powerful image in the reader's mind of what is taking place in the austere setting. The storyline is gripping and the reader’s curiosity is piqued from the very beginning of the story as they begin to want to know what is happening to the characters. The main character is a genius, a teenager who has to solve a complex puzzle to realize his freedom. Detention Land: Lip Service explores important themes like freedom, friendship, stress and mental sanity, and a lot more. The author has the unique gift of drawing the reader into the consciousness of the protagonist in a way that is irresistible. This was an entertaining read.