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PB, 310 pages, Kristell Ink

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Shea Kelly and Quinn Knightly have taken down the loathsome Danny Rose, the most hated man in the Non-Compliance Sector they call home. But Danny has left a power vacuum behind him. and in his place they have to contend with someone even worse. Meanwhile the hated Magistrate is putting pressure on them, and the threat of being forced to become Compliant and to accept the government chip looms ever closer. The Compliant side is tightly controlled, a dictatorship disguised as a utopia, and the dreaded toxic waste dumps are even worse. Shea knows more about the chip than anyone in the NCS, knows it to be a slow killer. It’s a race against time to unravel the mysteries of both the chip and a sinister new flu vaccine that holds another dangerous secret…

“NC- The Transition” is the middle book in a proposed trilogy by Paige Daniels, and this second volume ratchets up the stakes for our heroes and heroines, techy Shea, strong-but-silent Quinn, sweet Wynne and their beloved, ailing, Boss. This is a clever, funny novel, with a few scenes that will make the reader wince and try to tear their eyes away. Paige Daniels does an excellent job of fleshing out her contrasting worlds, the Compliant (which we get to see here for the first time in the series) and the Non Compliant, which is explored in greater depth.

As are the characters. We get to learn much more of Shea’s history and her relationship with her father, and also more of Quinn’s dark past. The secrets he carries threaten to destroy their relationship just as it begins to bloom, but they also expose within Quinn a fatal weakness, one his enemies can exploit to the fullest extent.

Whether Shea will be able to solve the twin mysteries of the chip and the vaccine and bring down the evil corporation responsible for both, is a question left open for the final volume of the series. But having spent time with her (smart mouth, handy with a wrench), you’d be a fool to bet against her…