279 pages
ISBN 1-55143-374-5
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Allison Sivak

Allison Sivak is a librarian in the Science and Technology Library,
University of Alberta.


Fixed is the sequel to Flux, Goobie’s science-fiction novel about a
young girl living in a dystopic future. Fixed opens as the main
character, Nellie Joanne, is playing a dangerous game in which she must
navigate life-threatening entities within a maze in order to succeed at
her academy, Detta training centre, in the Black Core Program. As an
Advanced Cadet, Nellie is dedicated to the principles of the centre,
upholding the good and punishing the evildoers in the Interior, all in
the name of the Goddess. When Nellie is called to participate in a
bombing “action” with other elite students, she is ecstatic. But
when they arrive at their target—a natural history museum—she has a
strange exchange with a dishevelled, elderly woman, who hints that Detta
isn’t what it seems. This is the beginning of Nellie’s journey from
absolute belief in the centre to understanding what kind of dangerous
and evil place it is.

Although the main character appears to be the same protagonist from the
previous novel, it eventually becomes clear that Nellie Joanne is
actually the twin sister of Flux’s heroine. This confusion creates an
interesting tension for the reader, echoing George Orwell’s 1984 in
that things are not as they seem, or as they are named. When Nellie
Joanne finally meets Nellie Joan from Flux, the two face an overwhelming
struggle against the powers of Detta, who are trying to use the twins’
powers to their own ends.

While Flux was a generally straightforward narrative, Goobie’s sequel
takes a number of twists and turns, revealing layers of complications
within this world. Developments are less “real” and more fantastic.
For example, Nellie Joan’s “friend” is killed by Nellie Joanne,
who then by chance discovers that his ghost can continue to “exist”
and remain with the girls. Rather than explain these kinds of paranormal
realities, the author simply presents them, which may frustrate some
readers. Overall, however, Goobie has written a fast-paced, engaging,
and powerful book for adolescent readers that combines the intrigue of
science fiction with some important truths about our own world. Highly


Goobie, Beth., “Fixed,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,