Review: The Industry by Rose Foster

Title: The Industry {The Industry #1}

Author: Rose Foster

Published: Angus& Robertson April 2012

Synopsis: Kirra Hayward is an ordinary sixteen year old – smarter than most, but otherwise completely anonymous. When she solves an unusual decrypting puzzle on the internet to fill in a moment of boredom at school, she has no idea of what she’s letting herself in for. Kidnapped by a shadowy organisation of mercenaries known only as The Industry, Kirra soon discovers how valuable her code-breaking skills are. And when she stubbornly refuses to help them, they decide to break her … by any means at their disposal. Kirra knows that to protect herself, she must trust no one, not even her fellow prisoner, Milo. But as time goes by she wonders if he is the only person she can rely on. Read an excerpt

Status: Read from March 30 to April 01, 2012 — I own a copy  {Courtesy HarperCollins Australia)

My Thoughts:

The Industry is a young adult thriller by debut Australian novelist, Rose Foster. The first in a planned trilogy, it combines action, adventure, espionage and excitement centered around a shadowy international organisation known as The Industry. Sixteen year old Kirra Hayward is kidnapped by mercenaries after inadvertently deciphering the Spenser Code, a security algorithm that protects the secrets of the rich. Held prisoner, Kirra is tortured by Latham to provide the codes her captors need. The only person to show her any kindness is killed after a thwarted escape attempt and when Milo, an eighteen year old boy who claims to be another codebreaker, is thrown into her cell Kirra is determined to stay aloof. Yet the forced proximity, and common enemy, encourages a bond. In another daring escape attempt, Kirra is able to flee while Milo is left behind. On the run with Extractor Desmond and his crew, Mai, Anton and Fadil, Kirra agrees to help her rescuers only if they promise to extract Milo. Breaking into a fortified assassin’s  stronghold is a foolish idea but Kirra is determined to rescue her friend and find a way to escape the sticky web of crime and violence she is trapped in.

Kirra’s life is irrevocably changed when she is kidnapped, her ordinary routine of school and family dinners doesn’t prepare her for the shadowy criminal organisation known as The Industry. Like any other victim she hopes she will be released soon but slowly realises that Latham will never let her go, her value is incalculable. Kirra is a very likeable protagonist, despite her circumstances she holds herself together, even when she has little choice to capitulate to Latham’s demands. The codes Kirra supplies allows Latham to commit crimes with impunity but when Kirra gets the chance she sabotages his plans, even at the risk of her life. Kirra’s moral center is skewed however in this violent new environment, and unusually Foster allows Kirra to fight back. It creates some interesting internal conflicts for Kirra which I think Foster handled well, Kirra has to consider how her new circumstances will change her, what she is willing, and not willing, to do.
I was a little disturbed about the level of violence in The Industry, I have serious issues with guns (I am for very tight gun control) but realistically Kirra has very few choices and it would be ludicrous for guns to be absent from a criminal organisation. The violence isn’t gratuitous or excessive exactly but it is confronting to have a teenager wielding and using a weapon. That Kirra is often fighting for her life mitigates things somewhat but not entirely.

Necessarily, Foster needs to establish the boundaries of her world and introduce her characters, so it takes a little time for the action to get going but once it does it races along, pulling the reader with it. There are some great plot twists, though the major one is not entirely unexpected. The Industry ends not on a cliffhanger exactly but at a point that leaves you wanting to know what will happen next.

The Industry is a novel with wide appeal, adult YA fans will likely enjoy the action, and touch of romance, as much as the teenagers it is aimed at. I also think both genders will appreciate the thrilling pace and action of the story. The Industry is an exciting debut that I am happy to recommend.

Rose Foster will be guest here at Book’d Out, make sure you stop by again to meet her!

Available To Purchase

Australia: @via HarperCollins I @Booktopia I @Readings

International: @Amazon (Kindle)

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. VeganYANerds
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 07:53:16

    Great review! I enjoyed this too but I agree it was a little slow to start, but that was to be expected. I am intrigued about what the future holds for Kirra.



  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 18:32:03

    The crime thriller genre mixed with YA is a bit unusual but sounds really engaging and it’s great that it’s by an Aussie! This sounds like a great start to an exciting trilogy.



  3. Trackback: Crime 2012 releases: What’s being reviewed? | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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