Genres: Science Fiction
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(Note: this is a parallel story to daynight that can be read before or after daynight. Timing is after daynight occurs.)
Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Worldwide non-profit and do-gooder organization. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Life(TM). Reality: hidden behind every kind act is a dark agenda designed to gain control and force societal and moral extremes. Currently, the SCI’s pushing Project Liberate, a program to woo the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes—where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…
Meet Alexa Knight. Feisty, tough and currently homeless in Los Angeles, Alexa agrees to help the SCI in return for medical care for her sick mother. When she starts to suspect there’s more to the SCI than meets the eye will she believe Adam—the boy who saved her life and the SCI’s biggest champion, or Joshua—the attractive enigma who sings about conspiracy theories and pretends to be someone he’s not?
Full of action, humor, romance, twists and turns, clean slate complex is a companion story to the highly-praised dystopian novel, 'daynight'. It can be enjoyed before or after reading 'daynight'.
Clean Slate Complex is a short story set after the events in Daynight. Here we follow Alexa, a homeless girl who is “saved” by the Second Chance Institute. While they have provided for her basic needs, she learns that the cost to her and everyone else is extremely great. She befriends the son of the couple who runs the place and soon learns the horrifying truth of those who are “transferred out” of the institute.
I found the character of Alexa to be compelling. She reminds me a lot of Kira from Daynight… fierce, challenging, questioning everything. There is a little bit of romance (and maybe some love triangle), as well. The novella does a good job introducing Second Chance Institute while still leaving Thera to be a bit of a mystery (in case you didn’t read Daynight).
Overall it is a fairly short story and I don’t see much to dislike about it. It is a good followup to Daynight and probably will be a good introduction to the next novel, Arbitrate. I enjoyed reading this a lot and did it just a day. I think all Daynight readers should give this a read.