Creating a world and atmosphere to suit the ideologies and city that would model their perspectives and keep the population in line, Canary is a downtrodden town run by three people who downplay the missing teens as important, the health of everyone more vital and yet not realizing the pandemic is over. Fear, mind control, brainwashing the people, and threats if they don’t comply.
Rags are facing many obstacles starting with Merry who handles the ads but not in a conventional manner. Listening to her recite what the caller related it’s hard to tell who is creating the ads her or
the people buying them. Added in Rags wants to run something about the missing teen but fit some reason her hands are tied and her freelancer’s stories are more general and generic and lack flair or true interest.
The story takes a huge turn when we learn more about the town council and realize just how they are manipulating the people and creating a dictatorship government and taking away their freedoms making the people think that the pandemic still exists. When Rags voices her opinion and has not complied with their rules she is confined for a week and can not leave her home plus wearing a tracking device.
Rags want to make a difference and she has brokered a deal with Piers the peacemaker who realizes the council wants him out.
The plot widens and expands when Rags meets Louisa the owner of the art gallery and we begin to see another side of this town plus the meaning of the title and its impact on the characters and Flint when he received one of her paintings and decides to research Portero Complex and allow readers to come with him to physically see it and experience the beauty.
Effie Rutter is missing and so is Tiffany the author allows us to hear Effie’s struggle to stay alive at the hands of the sadist and knowing the girls disappeared and Tiffany arrives will they ever be found and did Piers mess up the investigation? Rags decided to rebel and not do temperature checks and she also refused to do it because of the fascist PHP feeling some laws need to be broken.
The council issued a frightening directive invoking all sorts of laws, rules, and guidelines dealing with the pandemic that is gone and threatening anyone who goes against it. Rags face off with them and take action through the paper and her staff pulling stories including hers. What happens is frightening as someone sends her a fiery message in flames. What will her next step be and will the people ever fight back?
There is a noose around the necks of all of the people as the council wants part of their revenue for barter and Flint has taken advantage of the painting of the Portero Complex and Louisa wants it back as someone has desecrated the land of her ancestors and now Rags is jailed for 3 ridiculous infractions as it all gets tied together. The council ordered all dogs killed saying they spread the virus but there is no virus and fear works plus the author allows us to know the fate of one of the teens and the truth behind the ads and what they meant. The harsh reality of what is being done to teens leaves an open-ended ending that does not close or solves the issue but does confront who was behind helping them to take the teens into the town. Rags make a bold move concerning the paper and Flint and the ending will shock readers as Rags makes a bold change and the town will never rise to freedom when tyranny seems to win out. The beauty of the world is hidden unless you too visit the Potrero Complex that author Amy L. Bernstein created making us wonder if our worlds will model that of Canary. Freedoms lost why?
When you take a closer look you realize that the author created the Potrero Complex to remind us of the beauty in the world and how those before us cherished the land. The word Canary brings to my mind a bird that chirps and sings and is happy and yet in this town there is only despair, sadness, and hopelessness. Maybe the author wants us to embrace the beauty of our world and stop being so unkind and negative. What happened to kindness?
Fran Lewis just reviews