This is the sequel to the 2012 book “Agenda 21”, in which the United States as we know it no longer exists. It is now The Republic, a rigid society that has carried out the United Nations’ Agenda 21 to the extreme. All private property has been confiscated by the governments. Authorities dictate your job, your selection of a mate, and where you live. Everyone lives in communes with identical houses. Each person has to work to provide food and energy for the community, and food comes in compressed nutrition squares. Water is rationed. Infants and children are raised in a shared nursery instead of a family home. Humans are valued only for their physical strength and what they can contribute.
“Into The Shadows” picks up where “Agenda 21” left off. Emmaline and her husband David manage to flee from the commune, taking with them their baby and a young boy. They are pursued relentlessly by the Enforcers, but manage to find refuge with an old couple – Paul and Ingrid – who left many years earlier, just before everyone was herded into closed communities to work as slaves for the government.
The story is told from rotating points of view: Paul and Emmaline, who are desperately seeking a land of freedom. Paul and Ingrid, who have been living in a cave for years and are starved for human companionship. John and Joan, David’s parents, who have also escaped and are trying to divert the Enforcers. And Steven, the lead Enforcer, who will do anything to find the escapees and force them to return to the commune.
I enjoyed the conversations that Paul and Ingrid had with David and Emmaline. As they got to know each other, they became closer, more compassionate, and found ways to help each other. If our country should ever sink to the existence pictured in this book, I would hope that each of us would likewise befriend, care for, and protect those around us that are suffering.
Excerpt from page 121:
Snippets of conversation drifted my way. I tried to ignore them but sometimes I wanted to scream.
“What are living spaces?” I heard Paul ask David.
Tell them they were gray, cold cement. Tell them about the energy boards we had to walk on every day! Tell them about the bicycle paths, the Transport Teams, the Social Update Stage, the Enforcers!
“I was a Gatekeeper,” David said.
“Gatekeeper?” Paul said the word like it was in a foreign language.
“Yes, every area had a Gatekeeper. I was basically a monitor, tracking when Citizens left their specific area and why. The Authorities mandated that. Every movement was monitored. That’s just the way it was. It was my job.”
“You were a Gatekeeper?” Paul asked. “One who monitored others? You did that?”
I could hear the judgmental tone in his voice.
Of course he did, Paul, I wanted to shout at him. We all did as we were told. That’s just the way it was. Citizens have no power. No voice. You could say no and die, or say yes and live – those were the only choices we got to make.