Lauren Asher’s recent novel Throttled offers a cast of complex, emotionally compelling characters. Though set in a futuristic sci-fi world, the interpersonal relationships and inner turmoil of the characters drive much of the suspense and drama that unfold.
In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at the key characters, their backgrounds, motivations, and relationships in Throttled. There will be some plot analysis but we’ll avoid any major spoilers.
Overview of Throttled
Throttled tells the story of Clara and her friends Jenny, Matt, and Drake, who live aboard the SS Nonsuch, a massive starship traveling through deep space in the year 2253. Clara belongs to the ship’s lower-class Engine sector and spends her days toiling away at difficult manual labor. But she dreams of a different life up on the elite Command deck one day.
When a chance encounter with the charming Logan from Command leads to secrets of the controlling COM government being revealed, Clara finds herself caught between her loyalties to her Engine friends and this alluring officer from another world.
As the protagonist, Clara drives much of the novel’s action with her conflicts and inner character arc. Though living in poverty and tough conditions down in Engine, Clara shows resilience, heart, and morality.
Some key traits that define Clara:
- Strong work ethic – Dedicated to her exhausting work rotating the Nonsuch’s massive Engine sceptors
- Caring – Goes out of her way to teach and protect her vulnerable friend Jenny
- Curious – Eager to learn about the upper Command decks despite rules against it
- Principled – Sticks to her morals even when given a chance to live a comfortable Command life
Her encounters with Logan from Command push her into grappling with her sense of justice. This forces Clara to grow and change over the course of the story as she follows her heart.
As a Command officer, Logan comes from the elite upper class aboard the Nonsuch. Handsome, confident, yet guarded, Logan becomes fascinated by Clara and the Engine sector she represents.
Some defining characteristics of Logan:
- Arrogant – Looks down on lower-class citizens at first, but this lessens after befriending Clara
- Mysterious – Hides secrets and solo agendas that slowly get revealed over the story
- Conflicted – Caught between duty to Command and his awakening conscience
- Adventurous – Curious enough about Clara to risk visiting the forbidden Engine sector
Logan’s inner change mirrors Clara’s in many ways. Their relationship accelerates both characters’ development throughout the novel.
Jenny is Clara’s closest friend and confidant in Engine, though deemed “slow” by others. Jenny displays a childlike innocence and warm spirit.
Key traits that describe Jenny:
- Innocent – Views the world through a lens of simplicity and earnestness
- Trusting – Believes wholeheartedly in the goodness of Clara and her friends
- Fragile – Her mental disability leaves her vulnerable to manipulation
- Fearful – Scared of change and losing her way of life
Jenny comes to represent the very heart and light within the gloomy lower decks that Clara strives to protect. She elicits Clara’s maternal compassion.
As a fellow Engine worker, Drake is a key member of Clara’s inner circle. He harbors feelings for Clara and becomes suspicious when Logan enters the picture.
Some defining features of Drake’s character:
- Cynical – Harbors deep mistrust for the elite Command class
- Rebellious – Less resigned to his Engine life than Clara, he pushes against rules
- Jealous – Logan’s charm and Clarke’s affection for him brings out Drake’s jealous side
- Hot-headed – Prone to acting rashly when upset or angry
Though coming from a caring place of wanting to defend Clara, Drake’s emotions and impulsiveness complicate matters for the group.
While set in a sci-fi future, Throttled succeeds through relatable characters facing universal themes of social class, injustice, relationship struggles, and moral awakening. Their realistic bonds and believable inner journeys propel the tension in this thought-provoking novel.