Note: I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to the author for the opportunity to read her book!
Rating: 4.25 stars
I am an avid believer that series get better as they go along (until the last book of course, which always ends the exact opposite way I’d prefer it to and breaks my heart). This series is no exception. I enjoyed the first book a lot, but this second book captured my attention quite a bit more. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s because the first book got all of the “set up” out of the way, or because I’m growing attached to the characters, but I was really sad when I finished this book and realized that I now have to wait until the author releases the next book, and then the other three after that.
At this point in the series, I feel a connection to all of the characters (even Kidd, with his everlasting attitude). All of these characters are quite young, but the mindset in near all situations in the book doesn’t portray them to be the average fourteen year old. I can now admit to myself that I am fully invested in each of them and their near futures following this book. I adore Abria’s character and am happy to make a note that builds on my review of the first book: we’ve got some character development! Yay! Abria still says “like” often, but not nearly as much as she did in the first book, and she’s given some deeper depths in this sequel that I won’t ruin for other readers. I am secretly hoping that by the 6th book Declan will have successfully wooed Elena. Fergie is one of my favorites, and I like that we get a lot of background on her in this book (side-note- I KNEW SHE WAS A HUMANOID!!! I swear I did). I’m hoping that each book hereafter continues this cycle in giving us a flash from the past to help build on the present story, and also gives us some background on the individual teen characters. I’d love to know Kidd’s back story, for instance. He’s clearly hiding something, and I’m pretty eager to find out what. Like I said, I’m invested.
I really like this take on dystopia and think that Wood has something really strong going here. The story line is something I’ve never really encountered before, but in a setting that is really familiar if you’ve read some other dystopia books, and I like it that way. I have accepted that these books are certainly for an age group a little younger than I, so there is a lot of focus on the boarding school aspect, which I wasn’t expecting during the first book. I’m pretty used to dystopia books/series getting right into the action and taking the readers on this long roller coaster ride that leads through every book. But this series has a slow build, and ya know… it works. While I do understand that Wood is trying to reach a new young audience, I think that these books still have ample potential with some older readers who enjoy futuristic and dystopia settings. I’ve found both books really enjoyable so far, and I think that Wood is doing a fantastic job creating a world that is neither overwhelming nor boring for her readers.
I’m looking forward to the third book!