In the future, Earth is controlled by a despotic government known as The Organization.  Dissidents are rounded up and sent to colonize other planets, both so they cannot promote rebellion on Earth and so the government can exploit their labor and the resources of other planets.  The department that arranges these colonizations is the Colonization Section, called ColSec for short.

The exact circumstances that led to this situation are never fully explained, although apparently, a plague destroyed large segments of the world’s population during a period known as the Virus Decades.  After that, a group of “rich and powerful people” formed The Organization to bring order to the world.  Nations and nationalities as we know them no longer seem to exist, and old place names seem forgotten or half-forgotten by the people who live there.  The Organization controls the entire planet with an iron fist.  Dissident groups and gangs hang out on the fringes of society, often living in wilder, less habitable areas, or hiding in out-of-the-way places in the ruins of urban areas.

However, things change when a colony ship sent to the planet Klydor crashes on the world it was supposed to colonize, killing most of the colonists.  Only a handful survive, and survival is a struggle for them. When they make contact with other colonists on other worlds, they learn that the colonists want to throw off Earth’s control and manage their own affairs, keeping their new worlds and new-found resources for themselves.

These survivors, led by Cord MaKiy, a young Highlander, end up coordinating efforts between other colonists and dissident groups on Earth, starting a rebellion that allows these groups to finally achieve independence.

Most of the rebels and exiles/colonists in the story are young people, especially teenagers.  It’s partly a reflection of the stereotype of teenage rebels, and it’s also partly a reflection on the type of repressive government that controls Earth: a greedy corporate structure whose main aim is the acquisition of wealth and resources for those at its highest levels.  The Organization is ruthless in its enforcement of conformity, using people at the lower levels mainly to perform drudge work for its benefit.  However, when it comes to fighting to maintain control, the potential profit losses dictate the decisions that The Organization makes.

I would have liked to see more older people joining the rebellion.  I think the oldest person is in his late 30s, one of a small group of people who have managed to find a way of retaining some measure of independence in a rigged system and who still remembers that when he was younger, he always wanted more.  However, it’s implied that some of the earliest colonists on other planets have now grown older and have children themselves and want a better future than continuing to serve the people who sent them into exile, not caring whether they survived or not, because they saw them as, at best, something they could exploit or, at worst, an inconvenience to be gotten rid of.  So, perhaps, rebellion isn’t only for teenagers and not everyone who grows up decides that conformity is the best option.

This is a fun and fascinating middle-school level series, and readers will cheer on Cord and his friends as they struggle to survive and gain independence for themselves and others considered rejects by society.

Books in the Trilogy:

ExilesColSecExiles of Colsec

A ship carrying colonists crashes on the planet they are supposed to colonize.  Most of the colonists are killed, and the few that survive the crash must find a way to survive on their own on an alien world.

CavesKlydorThe Caves of Klydor

An explorer for ColSec crash lands on Klydor, and the colonists discover that he is part of a rebellion on Earth.

ColSecRebellionColSec Rebellion

The colonists return to Earth to gather more recruits for the rebellion against Earth’s government.