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The ColSec Trilogy (Exiles of ColSec, The Caves of Klydor, and ColSec Rebellion) is a young-adult dystopian s-f series by Douglas Hill (of Last Legionary fame), first published in the 1980s.

After the End, an authoritarian regime has seized control of what's left of civilization. Criminals and dissenters are shipped offworld by the Colonization Section of the world government. If they can build a colony, the world is ripe for exploitation; if they don't live that long, they're no great loss.

One particular group of deportees crash-lands. The survivors decide that they're going to do things their own way, the world government be damned.

Oh, hell...it's Better Than It Sounds.


Provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Heleth, unequivocally. Samella Connel also has her moments.
  • Aerith and Bob: Names are either singular and fantastical (Jeko, Heleth, Rontal), or consist of a slightly unusual or fairly ordinary given name paired with a fairly ordinary (if sometimes idiosyncratically spelled) surname (Cord MaKiy, Samella Connel, Bren Lathan). Being as it's post-apocalyptic, it's possible that this is the result of language drift.
  • After the End: Set a century and change after human die-back over much of Europe, Asia, and eastern North America. References to the "Virus Decades" imply that this was caused by some sort of plague.
  • At Arm's Length: At one point in Exiles, Jeko and Heleth get into a heated argument that threatens to turn into an actual fight. Cord breaks it up by straight-arming Jeko. (Although Cord isn't stated to be taller than Jeko—both boys are kind of shorties—he's stockier and a lot stronger.)
  • Author Tract: Not obnoxiously so, but you can kind of tell that Hill's views were fairly anti-authoritarian. There's also a faint undercurrent of anti-corporatism and/or environmentalism—Cord's simple life in the idyll of the Highlands before his exile, the unspoiled new worlds of the Colonies being exploited by the grasping Organization.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Bren tries to pull this several times. He survives to the end of the series nonetheless. There's also Samella's ploy in the asteroid mine.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Heleth and Rontal play this role towards the end of Exiles by intervening in the fight with the giant worm. And in Rebellion, Jeko, Rontal, and Stele play this role when they break Cord, Bren, and the girls out of the prison transport.
  • Blinded by the Light: Heleth gets a face full of high-beams in Rebellion and actually faints from pain.
  • Brave Scot: Cord is the descendant of back-to-the-land types who retreated to the Scottish Highlands so as to not be bothered by The Organization. He pretty much plays the trope straight.
  • Crapsack World: The Organization's Earth (aside from a few tiny pockets of territory that they don't deem worthwhile) makes the colony worlds—no matter how rough and dangerous—look positively idyllic by contrast.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Samella is a surprisingly dirty fighter. Sometimes literally so, no less.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Cord may be a physical powerhouse, but he's no match for someone with extensive combat training. Good thing Samella was able to find the spare batteries for the laserifle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be one of Rontal's main personality traits.
  • Determinator: Cord, full-stop. At the end of Caves, the government killer Warreck turns out to be one as well.
  • Dumb Blonde: Samella inverts this by being The Smart Guy of the group.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Heleth—a Stealth Expert with Super Senses who's lived underground most of her life—has black hair and a complexion that's compared in Exiles to "mushrooms grown in darkness." (She's rather badly sunburnt by Caves.) And she's got facial tattoos.
  • Egopolis: Inverted at the end of Rebellion. It's the rest of the kids—at Cord's suggestion—who want to name the newly-discovered world after Samella.
  • Elite Mooks: The Organization's equivalent of a police force, the Civil Defenders, have an elite branch who are better armed and are touted as having extensive combat training. They're called Crushers, and are frequent antagonists in the second and third novels. Elite paramilitary police, regularly beaten by street gang members—money well invested!
  • The Empath: Samella, again, although this only factors into the plot at all in Exiles.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: In the next-to-last chapter of Rebellion, everyone just loses it at some tension-breaking silliness after the asteroid battle.

Bren: "Nothing funnier than victory?"

Cord: "Nothing sweeter, anyway."

Samella: "I think the current's speeding up."

Jeko: "You throw your guns down and come out!"

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