The Girl in Cell 49B

Emily Calby Book 2

Fiction - Suspense
352 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

To say that Emily Calby's sweet sixteen birthday was far from normal would be the understatement of the year. On her sixteenth birthday, she was arrested for carrying an illegal weapon. As she lived anonymously under a fake name, this arrest threatened her true identity being revealed to the world. When a murder charge was added to her original charges, her anonymous life should have been the least of her concerns. Soon, she found herself behind bars in a juvenile prison. Any hope she had of having an easy trial evaporated the moment she came face to face with a vindictive prosecutor hellbent on getting the "little gutter rat" (Emily Calby) thrown into an adult prison for life. The second book in the Emily Calby series, The Girl in Cell 49B by Dorian Box is the gripping tale of a sixteen-year-old who, like a phoenix from the ashes, rises from her anger issues and guilt of the past. But will she survive the law that has many exceptions attached to each rule?

What distinguishes an act of self-defense from a brutal murder? In The Girl in Cell 49B, Dorian Box has woven an engrossing story around this idea. And what a fascinating ride it has been! Emily is the perfect character whose characteristics, like real humans, are quite contradictory. She has the instincts of a killer, yet a substantial part of her nature is that of a savior. Emily cannot stand still and let an injustice unfold in front of her eyes. More often than not, she pays a heavy price for intervening in such situations; however, this quality also helps her win readers' hearts. Even the side characters are crafted with several unique qualities that establish them as memorable and intriguing.

Dorian Box is a skilled storyteller and has infused the plot with several fascinating twists. His remarkable legal knowledge shines through and makes the narration even more authentic. By adding all the right ingredients of emotions, action, corruption, justice, courtroom drama, and gentle romance, Dorian Box has created a potential bestseller. Since the author has included tidbits from the first book, this second book of the series can be very well read as a standalone. The Girl in Cell 49B - Emily Calby Book 2 by Dorian Box is a must-read thriller.

Viga Boland

I’ve never met a protagonist quite like Emily Calby, aka Alice Black, aka The Girl in Cell 49B by Dorian Box. She’s only 16 when she lands in a corrupt prison for juveniles and gets a birthday surprise she didn’t expect: she’s about to face a murder charge. But, the prosecutor assigned to the case, like some of Emily’s fellow inmates, underestimates Calby’s skills and intelligence. Therein lies the uniqueness of both the protagonist and the plot of The Girl in Cell 49B. Put this book down if you can. I couldn’t! I had the good fortune to have just finished reading the first book in the Emily Calby series, titled The Hiding Girl, when the opportunity to review this second book came along. I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. What happens in the first book makes the events of this second novel plausible, but readers won’t need to read Book 1 to understand Book 2.

Apart from the engaging, often disturbing events in both books, what fascinated me the most was the author’s superb ability to create then realistically follow Emily’s development from a victim of past tragedy to a near-master of her own life and a mentor for other young people. There’s also a second element that makes the author’s characters special: it’s the relationship Dorian Box creates between Emily and Lucas, a former con-man without whom she might never have survived. I’m not going to go into too much detail about that because that relationship is something readers need to enjoy for themselves. It’s not often I read a book, dive into its sequel, and then can’t wait to read the third book in the series but that’s where I am right now. The power of Box’s writing lies in the stunning contrast between its simple style and the complexity of its characters and the depth of its themes. This is a winning formula. The Girl in Cell 49B is highly recommended.

Heather Osborne

The Girl in Cell 49B by Dorian Box is the second book in the Emily Calby series, which started with The Hiding Girl. After her mother and sister died in a home invasion, Emily (aka Alice Black) went on the run, that is, until she was caught and accused of murder. Placed in a juvenile detention facility in Louisiana, the now sixteen-year-old Emily fights for her freedom against a criminal justice system determined to keep her behind bars. Emily starts to realize that looking out for just herself might not always be the best path. However, when it comes down to the wire, she herself might just be the only chance she has of escaping a life sentence in prison.

The Girl in Cell 49B by Dorian Box is an engaging novel about a very intelligent young woman dealt a poor hand in life. I really enjoyed Emily’s character and how she grew through the novel. I appreciated the accuracy of the writing, especially in the legalese, and I found the writing style easy to follow as well as engaging. The supporting characters, especially Rebecca, were very well thought out and reflected distinct personality types. The unique court case scenario worked well for the novel and complemented Emily’s unusual intelligence. I hope the author does go on to write other books about Emily Calby, as I’m immensely curious about where this series is going.