Review: Shutdown

Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shutdown, as the name suggests, deals with Zoe trying to shut down the Link and free all the drones from Comm Corp’s control. Her nemesis, Chancellor Bright, had lobotomized Adrien in the last book and left him a shell of a person. Bright, now with an army of glitchers, is more powerful than ever and any hope of releasing all the glitchers under her control lies with Zoe.

At the start of the book, 6 months have passed since the end of the last one. Zoe is training harder than ever and life in the Rez center is getting difficult as the Rez agents can’t be sent out any more on missions with Chancellor Bright’s power weakening them easily. Adrien is a changed person, undergoing treatments to regrow his neurons but not the same as before. He keeps pushing Zoe away through half the book, not trusting her and considering her love to be not real. A mission with Max, to disable the Link network fails and the Rez is unsure of how to proceed. An attack on their center worsens things and they all get separated, with Adrien and Zoe trying to survive outside alone. Throughout most of the book, Zoe is fighting her own cells and sleep deprivation – a couple of times coming close to death. Towards the end, they have a new world in hand, unsure of the future but building it piece by piece.

The thing I loved most about Shutdown was the action – it’s constant and well-described. Zoe’s life is in danger so many times, her telek out of control but she somehow thrives through it all. She loses so much in the previous books and during this one, she begins to gain it only then seemingly losing it again. She is a strong girl but her circumstances are so difficult – most of the times all the burden was hers to bear. The scenes with Adrien just broke my heart so many times. The ending was, in my opinion, a satisfying one for a dystopic story – most of which in the end have a broken world with a small pocket of hope (The Maze Runner) or a slightly sad one (The Hunger Games). It was quite realistic and that counts – the new peace is fragile but has hope.

The writing was fluid as always – Heather Anastasiu keeps the characters and plots so defined. The plot development had perfect pace – no inexplicable situations or emotions. Even Adrien and Zoe finally reach a good point in their relationship – it shows how love can grow. I loved this book. It totally kept the spirit of the series and ended it on a good note.

Received a review copy from St. Martin’s press via NetGalley for a honest review

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