Release date: January 19, 2016
Book, Hope, and Cat cannot live with themselves—they cannot settle into a new free life knowing the rest of their fellow Less Thans and Sisters are still imprisoned. Now the teens must retrace their steps to save the others, destroy the compound, and thwart the evil plans of the Republic.
With new enemies lurking—deranged Crazies and ominous Skull People among them—the group must put their fate in the hands of unexpected allies, including the woman with the long black hair and Miranda, the daughter of the Skull People’s Chief Justice, who is drawn to Book. Both may come to their aid, but at what cost? As the teens race toward Camp Liberty, they must ask themselves what they’re willing to do to free their friends, for the path back is filled with even more danger as motives are questioned and relationships tested.
After The Prey, I was curious as to the direction this sequel would take. All those events and so much pain later, they finally reached a safe territory (assuming it was safe), they instead decide to head back and save the remaining Less Thans. Knowing how narrowly they escaped the last time, and how close the kids were of being killed, I was skeptical how they even thought it would be sensible to go back, especially since a considerable amount of time had passed since they escaped. Book, however, has a hero complex he will not let go of, and the others join him on this suicide mission. Now days later, when they are midway they fall into trouble again with the Hunters, Crazies and Brown Shirts circling around them. Their trials and troubles are harrowing as usual, and the Isbell brings it out in vividly and starkly.
While the story is one grand adventure over the same landscape as last time, with a few detours, I would actually have been interested in the Heartlands for this book. I do not believe it is entirely safe, but maybe it will be explored in the next one? Speaking of exposition, it is still not explained what exactly made them deem some boys as Less Thans and some girls as experimental subjects – the dichotomy seems absurd, and I don’t know why the genders had different uses to the Republic. That is one thing that has still not been explored – just an evil government system bent on killing teens doesn’t cut it, you know? Book and Hope have unnecessary drama in this book, stretching the plot which has been repetitive, and I actually stopped this book midway and read two other books before returning to it. It’s good as a stand-alone adventure, but in a series it is boring. Very little information is given as to the world as it is, and I am honestly on the fence for the next book.
Received a free galley from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.