Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 535 pages
Publication: October 2014
My Rating: 3/5 stars
In the midst of the catastrophe that destroyed their underground headquarters, Ruby and Cole must take charge before even greater wrongs are committed. While Ruby struggles with her own inner demons and confronts those that reside within Cole, they uncover secrets that could lead to the cause of IAAN and begin planning the ultimate mission: to free all the kids still in camps. Struggling with the aftermath of tampering with Liam's memories Ruby must try to rebuild her life, hoping that she doesn't lose herself in the process.
This novel drove me crazy. Honestly I just did not feel much at all for any of the characters. I thought that it was slightly better than Never Fade, but only just. Ruby was so frustrating and back and forth. Her actions throughout did not make a bit of sense and seemed to change drastically from page to page. Her self loathing was over the top and the way she kept pushing her friends away-particularly Liam-only to pull them back in was annoying on so many levels.
Although not superb, the writing does flow well. Much of the novel was just fluff though, lacking any kind of substance. It seemed as thought Bracken just jotted down every thought in her head and never went back through to change or delete the bad points.
The characters were all over the place. None of them were very consistent with the previous views I had of them. Ruby was all over the place, as previously stated. Liam was jaded in a way that he didn't seem to be before. Chubs was more consistent, but still seemed somewhat off. Zu changed much more than I thought made sense, although not in particularly negative ways. Vida seemed a little too soft in some respects and too hard in others. Cole, while annoying in many respects, was one of the only characters I actually felt much of a connection to throughout the story.
The idea that no one ever really did anything about the camps, aside from a couple of "rebel" organizations, and then suddenly thousands of people are caring and wanting their children back just seems completely implausible to me. Where were all of these people before? They had to have known what was going on. They had to have at least had an inkling that everything was not as great as the president was making it out to be. So why only jump in when children start fighting their battles for them? It just makes no sense. It was too polished of an ending, even with the hinted at problems.
The only time I actually felt emotionally invested in the story was in Cole's dealings with the other Reds. If you've read the novel, then you likely know what I'm talking about. For some reason this is the only point that hit me emotionally. And then to not even have this discussed just made me so irritated. It was just brushed over with only a few sentences thrown in here and there. And Sam? Where was our closure for Sam? She just disappeared. No explanation. Ugh.
This series could have been written in one volume. Too much filler without enough substance. This novel was just ok, nothing special. The first was definitely the strongest of the three.
Let me know what you think of this novel in the comments. I'm interested to see the differing views here.
Until next time. Your book loving friend,