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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Quest for Freedom by Dana Davis is an intense young adult novel about a fifteen-year-old girl named Janai who was captured by the Morgee, a race of aliens that abducts children from different worlds and forces them into slave labor in faraway mining camps. Janai is determined to escape from the clutches of her captors and help free the others. But the fight for freedom is fraught with difficulties as a number of past runners who were insane enough to try never made it. The maps they have created, however, prove useful for Janai, and may help to even her chances of freedom over death. Possessing the mind gift of healing that is a blessing and a curse at the same time, she will try to lead the youngsters back to their homes. However, she finds herself not only dealing with the dangers of facing their slavers but the distraction of being attracted to a boy from her home planet.
Dana Davis has created a story that profoundly touches on freedom and fortitude. It is unlikely that you will be abducted and forced to work in a mining camp, but as Davis dwells both on her character’s thoughts and actions, the empathy you have for Janai is what gets you closest to the experience. You think of the realistic horrors like the labor camps of Nazi Germany or the Gulag, and you cannot help but feel for the travails that Janai and her fellow slaves have to go through. Quest for Freedom may fall into the genre of high science fiction, but the theme it tackles is universal in scope and therefore, it reverberates. The writing is straightforward and does not depend on jargon to describe foreign worlds and panoramas. This is a highly-entertaining and thought-provoking read that deserves a spot on your sci-fi reading list.