The Coterie-Declaration by Richard C. McClain
Arrested for hacking, socially awkward and speech-impaired sixteen-year-old Dakarai Holt is sentenced to two years at Sheffield Academy, an exclusive juvenile rehabilitation facility. Within the first two hours, Dak is subjected to mandatory brainwashing. The academy’s enforcers, the R.A.T. SQUADS, patrol Sheffield to ensure each student's full compliance. Gacheru, Dak’s roommate, pressures him to drink a tonic that conspicuously counteracts Sheffield’s indoctrination. This places Dak in the middle of many adversarial and explosive situations. Additionally, Dak becomes knotted in a clandestine plot involving the Secretary of State and a mysterious group who goes by the name, The Coterie. While at Sheffield, Dak must find a way to survive the R.A.T. SQUADS’ terror, the annexation of a remote island, and battle his own inner demons.
- Title: The Coterie-Declaration
- Author: Richard C. McLain
- Publication Date: 2/22/2017
- ISBN: 978-1-62420-310-7
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The Coterie Declaration
By Richard McClain
Review by Courtney Bearss
Rating: 5 Stars.
The Coterie Declaration, by Richard McClain is a contemporary read about a Sixteen year old Dakarai Holt, who is arrested for hacking. He’s socially awkward and speech-impaired, but he’s an awesome hacker. When he is sentenced to two years at a Juvenile rehab, the story takes off with government brainwashing along with a plot to take over a remote island. Dakarai however has found a way to thwart the brainwashing, but then he has a battle of his own against not only the rehab enforcers, but he has to fight in silence as well as try to overcome his own inner darkness.
This was a complicated, but highly enjoyable read. From the first page the reader is dumped right into the action. You sympathize with Dak as he struggles with his inability to speak and other emotional issues, compounded by his absent and uncaring father. This book is full of suspense and action and moves along very quickly. The wait for the next book in this series will be long for someone like me that wants to know what happens next. Well done, Mr. McClain. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by Tamara White
From the first page Richard McClain’s novel The Coterie Declaration the reader is thrust into Dakarai’s high anxiety speechless world. Darkarai’s complicated reality over flows with suspense, action, and danger. The entire novel moves at a thrilling neck breaking speed. When Dakarai’s magnanimous actions plunge him into a plea deal where he quickly finds out he is going to lose more than his freedom. Dakarai is a complex character that is fighting to not only survive the Sheffield Academy but also his every present anxiety. Sheffield Academy is a place where the rules on paper are not the rules that are followed. As the reader is drawn further and further into Dakarai’s world the characters that surround him become more shady and much more corrupt. While Dakarai does not speak with words McClain does a great job of creating intense scenes that allow Dakarai’s actions to speak for him. Allowing the reader to explore Dakarai’s thoughts also gives the reader get a deeper understanding of the mute teenager. Even when The Coterie Declaration ends the reader know it’s not over.
Reviewed by: ERJ
The Coterie is the first novel in a series set in present day America. The central character, the teenaged Dakarai Holt, is an awkward genius, unable to speak and yet able to hack into any bank account he chooses.
Dakarai is arrested for hacking and sent to the Sheffield Academy, a rehabilitation centre for juvenile offenders. There he must learn to live with others, survive attempts at brainwashing and confront his own issues.
Dakarai is a character who grew upon me and it is unclear how reliable a narrator he is until the story gets underway. However this adds to the tale’s slightly paranoid atmosphere and engages the reader. I felt as though I had gotten under the skin of an interesting, albeit not always likeable, character. What he does next should make interesting reading.
Young Dak, the socially reclusive mute and estranged teenage son of a multi-billionaire tech magnate, is a gifted hacker who hacks into multi-national banks to steal and redistribute money to charitable intuitions and organizations; a somewhat modern-day Robin Hood.
Dak is caught by the conniving FBI agent, Yarbrough, who convinces Dak to plead and be sentenced to a so-called rich-kid reform school, Sheffield, where he soon becomes a pawn in a sinister plot to help a secret organization steal something from Easter Island. Along the way, only able to communicate with the aid of a whiteboard, Dak comes into connection with several characters including shady government officials, a couple attractive young girls that Dak becomes infatuated with, the so-called R.A.T SQUAD—Sheffield’s brutal young security force—and other student-inmates, all of whom have secrets and pieces of the puzzle Dak needs in order to figure out what is going on.
With Dak’s social awkwardness, his muteness, and inability to form friendships, Dak struggles to survive and obtain clues as to not only the fate of his roommate—the only one he really trusted who is found hanged in a tree—but to uncover this secrete Coterie and their plans.
The Coterie Declaration begins with the action-packed FBI pursuit of Dak after he attempts to hack into a major bank. The action and intrigue continues at a fast pace and the reader turns the pages in continued anticipation of what will happen next, or where it is that this story is going. The reader empathizes with the young Dak, estranged from his wealthy father, and roots for him to not only survive, but to put a stop to the secret plans of the Coterie Declaration.