E.M Duesel has done it again, folks.
Illegal is a modern-day fictional novel written by E.M. Duesel and published by Aignos Publishing in 2018. The main character in the story is introduced as 12-year-old Rush Pena, a young boy who witnesses horrible acts of violence after being caught attempting to shoplift. Having barely escaped with his life, Rush reports what he witnessed to the authorities and speaks at trial to have those responsible put away for their actions. The brutality and cultural hatred doesn’t stop there, though, as the Pena family bands together with friends to do their part in putting an end to human trafficking and cultural violence. Rush and his family are then marked as targets because of his part in sending the criminals away for their responsibility for the murders he witnessed.
Illegal is the second novel I have had the opportunity to read from E.M. Duesel and I am still surprised by her ability to capture authentic emotions from me while reading. Her stories are told in a way that not only brings awareness to real-life issues that are often overlooked but also brings about this feeling that I need to contribute to the movements. Human trafficking is a serious issue in our country, as well as others, and those responsible for taking innocent victims away from their families for a financial profit are becoming braver and brazen as time goes on. Though told from a fictional standpoint, these characters in Illegal are interacting in ways that are based on real events that happen every day in our country. Young girls are being sold, families have broken apart, and people of certain ethnicities and races are being discriminated against.
Though Rush is the main character in the story, several secondary characters take center-stage when it comes to their ability to pull a crowd. Janie, Rush’s girlfriend, shows courage beyond her years while she works undercover and sacrifices her own safety to reach young girls that have been taken and are being sold to the highest bidder. Rush’s siblings join the force with strength and determination to save those who cannot save themselves.
Like with the first novel I read by Duesel, Illegal was clearly professionally edited to leave no spelling or grammatical errors. The story read well with character depth presented in a way that captures readers and gives them a chance to feel as though they actually know these members of the story. The taste of injustice and desire to do something is high with this story, as the author presents a well-developed scene for readers to see what really happens to innocent children who are taken and sold.
I’m honored to have had the opportunity to read for E.M. Duesel on yet another novel that I know will stick with me. Illegal contains explicit language and graphics and scenes of sexual violence that may not be appropriate for all readers, so a reader’s discretion is necessary here. I’m pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars with readers and would recommend it to any reader who has interested in the societal effects that come with injustices.