Author: C. B. Stone
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 99 Pages
Publication: December 2014
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Sinna is not a believer; sometimes she would like to believe, but she's seen too much of the world to allow herself to do so. Then, while breaking out of Rehabilitation, Sinna finds someone she never expected. When she escapes and finds shelter in the ruins of the Old World, Sinna's life, and beliefs, are changed. Now she has to decide: stay out in the ruins, living a happy life or go back for those she left behind?
This novella picks up right where the last one left us with a cliffhanger. Sinna is escaping with Alex and Jacob when she runs into someone she never expected to see again. Can she accept this person in her life or will she turn her back? No, I'm not going to detail who she saw or why she didn't expect to see them. That would give too much away for both books one and two.
Alex, the young soldier who is helping Sinna rescue Jacob, has a plan. This plan involves his best friend Jasper, another soldier. With Jacob's life on the line Sinna decides to trust these two soldiers, knowing it's her only chance to save her best friend. She convinces them to drive into the ruins near the compound that is Rehabilitation. What they discover there surprises them all.
This novella introduced us to even more characters, developing Sinna more along the way. One thing I love about the way Stone writes is that even though they aren't lengthy novels, I feel like I know these characters better than I do the characters of most 300 or 400 page books. Some people have a talent with characterization and Stone is definitely one of them.
Alex is a frustrating character, but I like him (and I'm pretty sure I have an idea about who his father is, hinted at in this novel). I wish we were able to have more time with Jacob, but his story line made sense. Jasper was a great character, I found myself enjoying the way he thaws slowly, allowing himself to be close to Sinna after a little time (obviously not much time, since the entire novella lasts only a couple of days, but still).
The only downfall of the novel is the fact that it kind of suffers from second book syndrome. It's great, but Sinna gets a little self absorbed and mopey for portions. It's not nearly so extreme as many other novels I've read recently. The second book is often a major downer for me, but this one was really good despite all that.
We get to see some of Sinna's struggles as she finds her way toward God, having been raised in a society where believing is not allowed. The entire society is based on Science over God, thus believers are punished by being sent to rehabilitation.
I know a lot of people would like for this novella to be longer, but honestly I appreciated it's length. The story is just as developed as many several hundred page novels, it just lacks the fluff that gives those their bulk. That's something I can appreciate. If developed more on certain issues within the society, this novel could easy be a 400 page book. Since Stone didn't see fit to develop those avenues anymore, I think the length is just about perfect.
If you enjoy dystopias, this is definitely a novella to pick up. I highly recommend it. They are super quick reads as well, so you could read both in one day. I am eagerly awaiting the final installment in the trilogy.
Find this novella, and enjoy the read!