Reviewed by Richard Bunning
This is a very well written fiction story that adds interesting fuel to the debate between those that support the `rights’ of the individual and those that put the rights of community ahead of those of the individuals. Should the individual be expected to suffer, even to risk life, for a common good? Should we all, ultimately, be conscript soldiers of society?
The principle character is fascinating, complex, and totally credible. Whether she is actually a hero, a coward, or a genuine conscientious objector, each of us has to decide for ourselves. For me Kelsey was a mix of all three, just as most of us would probably be, depending on the degree and type of cultural indoctrination we had experienced.
The only flaw of the plot was for me the over close relationships of all the principle characters in Kelsey vs The State. This tightness helped drive the intensity of the drama, but it all proved to strain my buy in to its plausibility. Wouldn’t the prosecution have ripped the defence case apart even more effectively than it did as a consequence of the degree of nepotism? I think so.
This is a really good read and an excellent affirmation of competence amongst independent writers. We should all be grateful that the fall of old-publishing through the rise of the net has allowed writers like Crayton to be heard.