Review: Red Rising (Red Rising Series #1) by Pierce Brown

No-Brainer

Title:  Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 7/15/14
Length:   401 pages
Series:  Red Rising #1

Overview

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Thoughts

I love this first installment to the series.  There’s a lot of complexity of what we can really call it since it’s clearly a mix of dystopia, sci-fi and YA, but all in all, it’s one of my favorite blends of a series.   The description tells us that it’s a bit Hunger Games and a bit Enders Game and i’d have to say that it’s not a bad description.

We are introduced to our main character Darrow who’s a Red – the lowest of the low in caste on Mars, and he’s trying to show that his ‘neighborhood’ in the underground which is the least fortunate can actually accomplish things.  It’s when his drilling team actually collects more valuables than the Gammas which are the highest of the Reds, that he thinks the tides are turning, yet his clan still doesn’t get the rewards of that.  His wife Eo tries to get him to see that there is something worth fighting for here, and of course that leads to her death and his (in a sense).

That’s kind of where the meat of our story begins.  It’s after Darrow is killed that we see that maybe what he knew isn’t quite accurate.  He’s brought back to life since he wasn’t fully dead, and he’s transformed into a Gold – the highest of the highs in caste on Mars, to help further the objectives of a rebellion of sorts.  It’s also at this point in time when he realizes that Mars is much more established and colonized than anyone knew – the life above is actually something quite extravagant, yet there are all these awful motives to doing things – and it’s his job as a pawn to try to insert himself into society and beat the system.

This is kind of where the Hunger Games bit comes through, and there’s another series that i liken this to – The Testing, where you’re seeing ‘survival of the fittest’ and whatever else you want to call it.

The bulk of the story from this point on is where Darrow has gone through his transformation to look the part of a Gold, gets into the Institute with the goal of getting an apprenticeship and then a position in the high government of sorts so that the rebellion party (Ares) can overthrow things.

What’s nice about this story is that we see that while Darrow is a Red at heart, he adapts to be a Gold, yet never loses the best parts of who he was – his bond to Eo his deceased wife, and the goal that he’s been put here to deliver on.  He does however fight his own internal battles time and time again because he sees that he’s becoming a monster of sorts – when he’s put into positions to be a leader, yet may have to kill to maintain that role.  It’s only when he looks back at his lineage, as a Red, to really find the best justice and lead by example.

Where this first installment goes is not surprising at all, but the journey is one that really sets us up to understand how the different relationships that he makes are going to help continue the story.  There’s lore of The Jackal that he’s trying to understand, there’s Mustang who can’t be all that she seems, there’s Sevro who’s parentage is an interesting twist in the story and there’s Cassius who we want to see come to terms with things and switch sides, but don’t know if it’s possible.

The ending  – that’s something that i can’t wait to see how it plays out.  There’s a lot of choices put in front of Darrow to further his goals in this game, and i think that he surprises a lot of folks in what he does and the speed in which he makes his decisions, but i think that there are going to be so many ramifications that will really take this story in an interesting and complex direction.  So on that note, i’m super pleased that the 2nd and 3rd books are out already so i can just dive right in and continue the story.  Have a great day all!

Review: Generation (The Clone Chronicles #3) by Heather Hildenbrand

No-Brainer

Title:  Generation
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Publisher/Year: Alloy Entertainment 10/13/15
Length:  269 pages
Series:  The Clone Chronicles #3

Overview

After months of pretending to be Raven Rogen, Ven feels less like a clone and more like a human than ever. But when Raven’s father, Titus—the same man who engineered Ven—discovers her plan to escape, everything she’s worked so hard for is taken away in one explosive moment.

Now she’s imprisoned in Twig City, the secret warehouse where she grew up. She spends her days plotting ways to get back to the outside world, determined to topple Titus’s empire and free every last Imitation. But Titus’s reach is extensive and his plans are more deadly than she realized.

In the shocking conclusion to the Imitation series, one wrong move could mean the end for Ven and everyone she’s come to love.

My Thoughts

Well it’s been a little while since i was in this series but i have to say that it was really easy to get right back into things where we left off.  The way that Ms Hildenbrand writes the story – it flows and you are reminded very fast what had just happened at the end of book 2.

If you recall, Ven, Linc and some of the others were trying to free or save the Imitations and just when they thought they were making progress, Titus blows up the warehouse and it’s now a wonder who’s left alive and what’s going to happen to Ven now that she’s been captured.  We start this book in theory about 6 months in the future, when Ven is woken up from stasis in Twig City – where Titus has holding her hostage in a sense.  She’s woken up to find herself them in a room with another imitation of Raven AND the true raven herself.

As the story continues, we’re reunited with Melanie who’s managed to get a job on the inside in the hopes of finding Ven, and she’s able to calm Ven down a bit in the sense that she knows that Linc’s alive and that he’s worried about her.  She’s also told that they have been spending the last months not just looking for her but in trying to find a way to save all the imitations and hopefully free everyone inside Twig City.

That’s really the focal point of this final installment.  We know that there needs to be a plan of attack – that the end goal is not only to overthrow Titus but to kill him since it seems like that’s the only thing that will work.  Our group has tried to get at him without killing him since that’s not their thing but Titus is always one step ahead and that’s never a good thing .

Throughout this installment we see relationships grow, we see worlds intercept one another with imitations and authentics meeting, with Ven’s family from the inside meeting her family on the outside and sadly, not all of our favorite characters make it to the end.  We also see lots of planning to get the imitations free – to get them new identities so they can live without fear, and it’s during this that we see a lot of other relationships grow and form.

While there’s never any uncertainty of Linc and Ven’s relationship throughout this story, you have to wonder if they are both going to survive – knowing that Titus is out to get Ven and will have to discover that Linc’s working with them somehow.  I feel like we’re hoping for the happy ending but who knows if that’s possible.

I think the way that everything plays out is a nice story line.  We see that there’s a lot of internal debate going on that makes you wonder what you’re capable of if you’re backed into a corner, and you then wonder if your true self is actually that or if you can be conformed.  (i.e. real Raven).  But all in all, we get the closure and the resolution that the story needed even if it wasn’t in the expected path.  With that being said – thank you folks at Netgalley for getting me an early copy of this book and i hope that you guys enjoy.  Happy Sunday!

Review: Inside Out (Insiders #1) by Maria V Snyder

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Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher/Year: Harlequin 4/1/10
Length: 227
Series: Insider #1

Overview

Keep Your Head Down.

Don’t Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

My Thoughts

I have to say that when you have a synopsis like what’s above, it leaves you to assume that you’ll exceed expectations on what you read.  That’s the case here since i didn’t have much to go on aside from this being a dystopia and there’s a rebellion looming.

I’ve come to have an appreciation for stories like this that have their societies in an enclosed space  – with divisions and routines all in place to ‘keep order’ and to make sure that people don’t question what they’ve been told and to just do it unless they want to be expunged (or recycled as they say in this one).  In this series, we get that same thing – with the Scrubs – the general pop so to speak all living on the lower levels of the space – working the maintenance and menial jobs to keep things functioning.  Trella’s job is to clean the ducts since she’s small enough and can do it – and the ducts need to ensure that clean air is cycling and the heat is working properly etc.  Of course – with all that time to herself, she’s going to think about things a little more, and even gets a nickname of ‘queen of the pipes’ which leads her down a path of the unknown since it’s gotten her recognized.

Along with Trella, we meet Cog – who’s her best friend/brother type whom she’s grown up with.  He’s protective of her and really just wants to help sort things out to make their life as best as possible.  He’s the one that introduces Trella to Broken Man who’s a prophet of sorts and that’s where things go awry.  See – there’s this thing called ‘The Gateway’ which is supposed to be a way out of The Inside and Broken man seems to think that Trella is the one that can help them find it and get out.  It’s because of this request that life as they all knew it changes.

Trella meets Riley who’s an Upper and who becomes a character that i really like and can’t wait to get to know more about.  he’s not your typical Upper in the sense that he follows the rules and has this air of entitlement as Trella assumed.  He not only helps her when he doesn’t have to but he sees things in her that others don’t and that of course leads to the hopes of a romance in my eyes.

Throughout this story we see a plan form – with Trella and the others trying to figure out how to evade security to find locked files and passwords and allies to get to The Gateway – all the while wondering who they can trust – if they can trust anyone  – and what that’ll inevitably mean.  No one knows if the Gateway is even real – and what’s on the outside and i think that’s the twist that we all really want to learn while reading.

The characters are believable and really likeable – aside from the Travas (the security), there’s really no one that you can’t like here and you want to root for everyone to succeed.  There’s the hint of romance without the expected love triangle, and that’s something that’s so welcome in a YA dystopia.  The one thing that made me sad was an unexpected death of sorts – that was one that i didn’t want to see happen and i’m still in denial about – but we’ll see what happens in the next installment.  anyhow – a good intro to the series and you should check it out.  Enjoy!

Review: Metritropolis (Meritropolis #1) by Joel Ohman

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Title: Meritropolis
Author: Joel Ohman
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing   9/9/14
Length: 170
Series: Meritropolis #1

Overview

In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.

My thoughts

I don’t know about anyone else, but i’m a sucker for a bit of fantasy in my Dystopia and i think that’s exactly what we get here.  Mind you there’s really no back story that we’re given to understand what has been set up for us, but regardless, the premise itself is a good one.

We are in Meritropolis, another one of those cities that’s set inside these very well protected walls – not knowing exactly what’s outside the walls but knowing that you DON’T want to go out there.  The city itself is run by what’s called the System – which is a way to determine if you have value to the city and if you don’t – you’re put outside the gates.

Our lead of course is valueable and worthy – he’s known as a High Score, and quite possibly one of the highest if not the highest since he’s so young.  It’s on the weekly score update day that we see things go awry.  Our lead, Charley – his score of course goes up, yet there are a few that have scores that go down and they are to be ‘zeroed’ and put outside the gates.  Charley can’t let this happen in good conscious and well – he’ fights for what he thinks is right.  if he weren’t already on the Commander’s radar – he is now since somehow he manages to keep the girl from getting put out and he kills/injures/disarms quite a few guards in the process.

Where we go in this story is down a path that’s kind of expected – yet i’m not sure what we’re going to get since there’s not that much in the sense of a lead here.  We slowly learn that there are several ‘High Scores’ that are being trained to be ‘hunters’ yet since they are quite smart- they realize that there’s more to their training than meets the eye.  They are taught by fighting and going out into the forest where they encounter all these hybrid animals that are very aggressive and are left to wonder how they became to be.  This is maybe the one point that we learn a little bit about what happened in the past – that there was some type of nuclear war of sorts and that left the population decimated and caused hybrids.  Or did it?  We learn that some of these are of course manmade – but the question remains as to why?

In addition to Charley, we get close to Sandy another High Score who’s in training with him, as well as Abigail who’s not training but who has an in to the Commander.  I can’t wait to see what she uses her own powers (i.e. feminine wiles) to accomplish since i think that it’s going to be interesting.  We also get a good sense of the type of man the Commander is – although you want to turn your opinion slightly towards the end – since you know that he’s afraid of his father – but you think that there may be more backbone to the man.

As expected – where we are left off in this story – there’s a raid on the town, by not just 1 direction – and there’s a lot of death.  i’m not sure who is going to survive and what it means for meritropolis – and even for the High scores – but i think that this is just the beginning.

What gets me about this story – like i noted above, there’s not a significant amount of substance to the back story and i think that it’s something that often makes a series really good.  what i’d like to see more of is an understanding of what made Meritropolis into what it is and what the tru function of the town is.  Are there others like it and why are they in play?

The other bit is that i want to know what’s out there.  I feel like we have a lot ahead of ourselves in understanding who’s really in power – and i think that further development of the story and the  characters will do a world of good.  Something that i’ve found in series like this is that while the first book lacks a bit of set up – the next installments pick up speed and that’s something that i hope that we get to see since i’m intrigued.  Regardless of all that – i hope you guys take a read and enjoy.  It’s a quick one so you don’t have to divest all that much time.

 

Review: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

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Title: The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner
Publisher/Year: Random House 9/13/11
Length: 379
Series: The Maze Runner #2

Overview

olving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

My Thoughts

So, to be completely honest, i picked up this book over a year ago and tried to read it, after i LOVED the Maze Runner.  i got about 60 pages in (and that took me 2 weeks which is very abnormal for me) and i put it down because i just could NOT get into it.  So, here we are – a while later and i’ve picked up the series again after seeing the movie The Maze Runner since i like to compare what changes were made.

It took me just about a day to re-read book 1 and remind myself why i loved it so much and then i said that i’d give it another go at book 2 – The Scorch Trials, and i have to say, i don’t know if it’s my mindset, my ability to focus, or it was just the right time, but it took me just over a day to read this book, and i really enjoyed it.

From the end of TMR – we knew that things were just getting started for the Gladers – while they felt that they were rescued and somewhat safe – they were in the hands of some folks that they weren’t sure that they could trust and realized that there really wasn’t anyone that they could trust – the rescuers or Wicked or anyone.

They arrive at a building of sorts where they are given food, clothes, time to rest which is needed after their escape from the Maze and the crazy ride to the campus, encounters Cranks – people who had been infected with The Flare and who’s brains were going crazy.

Once at the building, Theresa’s taken from the boys and that’s never good.  Upon waking up the next morning, they realize that they have been given tattoos noting them as Group A and some have designations like Minoh – The Leader and Thomas ‘To be killed by Group B’ .  Along with this, There’s a plaque outside there’s door that says ‘The Betrayer’ however….we learn that she’s not in the room.  there’s a boy named Aris in her place.  and he’s from Group B….that turns out to be all girls.  So a parallel of sorts.

So, along with the underlying plot of survival, we see the Thomas/Theresa dynamic get to be even more complicated.  Part of me the first time though that Theresa was a dream.  although we quickly learn that’s not the case.

A man shows up and gives them the direction to go through a transport between 6 and 605 the next morning and they have 2 wees to make it to a ‘safe haven’ where they will get the cure for The Flare – which they’ve all been infected with.

The bulk of this story takes us through the scorch – the journey with the groups to get to the haven – although we don’t truly encounter Group B until about 1/2 way through.  There’s a lot of betrayal though, Thomas who’s tried his best to hold onto the fact that he thinks he and Theresa had something great – well, she puts that on the line and some of the betrayals that she’s done.  I don’t know about anyone else, but while the Gladers were told to believe none of what they see and hear, i think that it’s hard to follow that, and i’m still not sold on what’s happened in the end – which is a great twist!

Along the journey, they also pick up Brenda and Jorge who are 2 cranks that help them somewhat through the city to get to where they need to go.  What first throws me off though is that when Thomas is hurt, she’s the one that made a call – and no one really questioned how that happened.  She says ‘i didn’t know what to do’ or something like that – but it’s all written off as Wicked just didn’t want anything to happen to Thomas.  This proves me a little correct as the story goes on, but i think that we’re going to see a lot more of her and Jorg as the series continues.

So where we are left in this 2nd installment is that some of A and B have made it to the Safe Haven and it’ll be up to them to survive from there since i think they are going to quickly see that the trials are not yet over.  What role will Aris and Theresa play in things, will Thomas be able to forgive Theresa – what’s Brenda’s role and what about Minoh/Newt?  I love those guys and can’t wait to see them step up too.

Now it’s on the The Death Cure – book 3 and i’ll hopefully find that it’s easier to read now than what i’d expected from before.  Enjoy!

Review: The Betelgeuse Oracle by Joseph Macchiusi

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Title: The Betelgeuse Oracle
Author: Joseph Macchiusi
Publisher/Year: The Betelgeuse Oracle 11/19/12
Length: 379 Pages

Overview

Every civilization has ended in collapse. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome. All were sophisticated cultures brought low by unanticipated forces greater than themselves.

What forces hasten the collapse of our civilization? Not nuclear war, or climate change, or even an asteroid strike.

For millions of years the supergiant star Betelgeuse has waited patiently on Orion’s right shoulder. Now its moment has arrived. It severs the single thread suspending Western civilization over a great abyss.

Something we take for granted disappears forever. Everything changes now that it is gone. Electronic equipment fails. Aircraft plummet from the sky. Motors cease to work. Distances that seem trifling by car become days-long slogs. Food and water are scarce. Forces awaken that have remained dormant for centuries. In a matter of hours, Western civilization teeters and falls.

James Muir is trapped in the midst of this huge calamity. Struggling to reunite with his wife and young daughters, he suffers bizarre, overpowering visions. A mysterious Voice berates him in ancient Egyptian. Amazed, he comprehends its command to embark on a quest for something it identifies only as “the Stone.”

Hunted by cadres of well armed, highly trained militiamen, haunted by the erosion of his own sanity, James flees urban warfare, riot and pillage. He joins a group of desperate strangers, united to escape a metropolis transformed into a burning, violent wasteland.

But what awaits them beyond the fringes of the city? The further they get, the stronger is the painful tug exerted by the Voice on James’s exhausted mind. As strangers grow into friends and lovers, James comes to realize that the thing called the Stone has a fanatical will of its own. Even if he survives the trek, he may not be strong enough to match the Stone’s baffling power.

The Betelgeuse Oracle is a sweeping saga of loss and heroism, mysticism and visceral horror. Reading this novel will change the way you see the world.

My Thoughts

When i started reading this book, i wasn’t exactly sure what i was getting since the prologue – the introduction to the story was in a different writing style than i’m used to.  I wasn’t sure to be honest that i was going to stick with this book since it seemed a bit more vulgar than i’m accustomed to – a bit more ‘dirty’ than i like, but i think that it was intentional in the sense that if you get past that, then you’ll get into the heart of the story and there’s so much more there.

What we have here is a story of survival – and of sci fi meets dystopia.  (I feel like this and the last story that i read were in the same area).  Anyhow, we have a lead who is put into a position where he’s given power and powers yet all he wants to do is find a way to be with his family.

There’s so much going on here – a lot of personalities and characters that some how become integral to the story without distracting too much from the main flow …in general.  I’ll admit that there were parts that i just wanted to skim through, read rather quickly just to keep the story moving.  don’t hate me – i still got to the same place at the end of the book.

While i usually associate dystopia with places in the US so i can get a full grasp on things, this too a heritage and worldly feel that kind of left me thinking about things differently.  It’s nice to change things up a bit, so i would say that if you’re looking for the next sci-fi dystopia that’s just different enough from what you’re reading, then check this one out.  Enjoy!

Review: SYLO (The SYLO Chronicle Series #1) by D.J. MacHale

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Title: SYLO
Author:  D J MacHale
Publisher/Year:  Razorbill  3/4/14
Length:  416 Pages
Series: The SYLO Chronicles series #1

Overview

THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.

They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.

Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.

What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.

LOOK TO THE SKY
because Pemberwick is only the first stop.

My Thoughts

So to be completely honest, i think that i was expecting this story to be a bit different, but still, it was good to get into something completely different than what i’ve been reading lately.  In this story, almost all of our mains are guys – so that means that there’s not really a twist or implication of a romance or triangle here that usually comes in dystopia type things.  Then again, this story really isn’t dystopia, so i don’t know what exactly to call it.

In this story – like the overview suggests, Tucker who is our lead, he is present for the first of many deaths to come – his teammate Marty Wiggins drops dead on the football field for reasons that no one knows.  It’s only after meeting a stranger to the island – Mr. Feit that he learns of this new substance called Ruby that gives people super human abilities.  It’s this that begins to turn the island on its tail.

This first installment takes us on the journey of Tucker, his friend Quinn and their friend (sort of) Tori as they are trying to figure out what’s going on since they were all present as well to see this ‘shadow’ like ship over the ocean that has this musical hum, and a laser light that shot out it, and no one seems to know what it is.  pair that with the SYLO team breaking all communication off of the island from the mainland – and you get some anxiety rising.

What makes this story interesting to me is that we begin to see that all is not what it seems.  Tucker’s parents have been making comments that lead us to believe that their move from CT to Pemberwick wasn’t just for the landscaping business, but we don’t know why.  they clearly know more than they are letting on, and i guess we’ll see what that is as the story continues.  Quinn’s parents as well must know more since they are the doctors who are treating everyone, and that’s going to make things even more interesting.

Where this story leaves us off is at a moment of discovery- although no one knows what they’ve found.  it’ll be interesting to see where the story goes since we’re left in the hands of a bunch of teenagers trying to save the world – but they don’t know what they are saving it from.

Re-Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

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Title:  Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins  5/1/12
Length:  544 pages
Series: Divergent #2

Overview

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My Thoughts

Just a few more days until Allegiant comes out and i felt that it was time for me to finish #2 in the series to get fully up to speed.  I think that it’s key to re-read stories like this so i’m not wondering why certain people are alive and others not, and why some are on one side vs. the other.

This 2nd installment takes us past the chaos of the ending in Divergent into a completely different set of obstacles.  The questions that remain to be answered are vase and wide spread and that makes for a really exciting bridge book.  Tris and Tobias are in an endless battle to survive and fight for what’s right, all the same while trying to get to Jeanine and figure out what’s going on.  Marcus continues to play a strong role in this book, yet i don’t think that we ever really find out what his deal is…well not until the end.

The action continues to be packed into every scene, you never know who will be next to be injured, or which faction will be the one to help out the Dauntless (not the Dauntless Traitors).  We continue to see that Euridite has their own motivations for just about everything that they do – and while the underlying need to seek information and learn is the core of the faction, we find that it’s more of an evil motivation based on their leader’s choices.

All hope isn’t lost for them since we do find that there are some that are willing to help and they do at that.  Among the Dauntless though, there’s a lot of flip flopping.  We never really know who is on Tris/Tobias’ side, even when they prove it one way or another.  Peter for example, he’s an enigma.  Working with them in one scene and against them in another.  The same with Tori.

And what makes me really angry the 2nd time that i read this was Caleb.  I remember his actions the first time around, but i guess i blocked them from my mind because when i read this installment again, i realized that he really has his own personal motivation.

What i loved…the ending.  I mean really – it’s not that i didn’t see it coming, but i really like where it’s going.  I think that throughout the first 2 books, you get this idea in your head of what the factions are and what ‘chicago’ is all about but i like that there were hints throughout of Amity being the only faction ‘outside the fence’ and then to see where things go in the last few pages of the book.

So, next week is D Day – meaning that the book will be out and i’ll finally get to see what it all means for both the story, society and Tris and Tobias.  I can’t wait!