I love being able to read books back to back, but seeing as I read an ARC that means I'll have to wait that much longer to see how it all ends, which means things kind of even out I guess. That being said I'm very glad the whole series comes out in 18 months and not 3 years, because I would go mad if I had to wait another year for book three. The first book set up this world where, along with the basic dangers dystopian society holds (dead land, animals, ect) you also have to be afraid of school. Although if you look around there are people who already are, granted they don't die if they fail. Honestly I wasn't really sure what to expect with book two, because the testing had ended and those that made it were in University, so the only thing I was thinking was that some sort of rebellion would be the main focus. While I wasn't entirely wrong I was also pleasantly surprised because although the death toll wasn't nearly as high there was still action and tricks and secrets that swirled around just like in the first novel. I feel like it still has that Hunger Games element that this time reminds me a little more of Catching Fire. Sometimes I think there are books that follow a set path too closely, and you could say that these books are very similar to Suzanne Collin's breakthrough idea, but at the same time they are different enough and have different underlying themes/ideas that it shouldn't be a problem. I enjoyed the fact that some of the mysteries from book one were solved while some were not, and new ones were presented. To me it's important to balance questions with answers or the reader will get bored with all of the things they don't have answers for, and Joelle perfectly keeps this balance so we get just enough that we stay intrigued but not enough that we don't care what will happen next. Although we're stuck with a cliffhanger it's not as huge as it could be, and for that I am grateful, but I'm still anxious enough that should they have ARCs of book three I hope to get my hands on one sooner rather than later. Once this series is over I hope that Joelle continues to write books for teenagers because I would love to see more of her work.
Out January 7, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Secret Garden Books for letting me borrow an ARC of this book in return for an honest review