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Picking up right where Breathe left off, we follow Bea, Quinn, and Alina through the final stage of their journey. Quinn’s words started a full-fledged rebellion and now, it’s up to the trio to make sure thousands of innocent people don’t die in the cross-fire. The small band of RATS left after the decimation of the Grove start a journey to Sequoia, the only other place on the planet with oxygen, hoping it will be their salvation. But it’s definitely not all that they imagined and now they are left with a hard decision. Stay and try to make the best of Vanya’s insane world or go and fight for the pod, before it’s too late. One thing is certain: war is coming. The only question is which side will win.
What I really liked most about this novel was the massive amount of character growth. In the first novel, we get to see all three of the main characters step out of their comfort zones and change a bit. Here, we get to see them become all new people. Bea continues to get stronger and really fight for the cause. She starts pushing the rebellion forward and eventually comes up with a plan to help. Quinn grows a backbone and steps out of his typical Premium role. Alina’s change is a bit more subtle. She becomes so much more compassionate. It’s almost as if her and Bea rubbed off on each other enough to make them similar.
We also get a new character, Ronan, who’s faced with very difficult decisions. He’s a Special Forces member who, after the attack on the Grove, decides that he doesn’t want to fight and kill anymore. Too many innocent lives have already been taken and when Jude Caffrey offers him a way out, he has no choice but to take it. Except, it really leads in deeper into the middle of the battle, where he must choose sides and fight for what he believes in. He’s definitely not my favorite character, but I did enjoy seeing a new perspective.
What I didn’t like is it still felt love triangle-y because, though Bea shows no outward interest in Ronan, he’s lightly implied that something might happen between the two. I would have been beyond pissed if something had split Bea & Quinn apart. The plot felt a little predictable, with Sequoia being a bust and the way the war took place. I didn’t like a certain character’s death. The ending felt very rushed. They are fighting and they are fighting and then….book over. Then whole thing with Sequoia felt a little under developed. Maks states that there is more going on than meets the eye and it’s implied that it’s not all negative, so I’m dying to know what positive thing might have been lurking behind the scenes. I really wanted more of what was happening in Sequoia period. More on Vanya’s crazy theories and how she expected to keep her population going infinitely.
Overall, this really was a great read. It’s a bit slow to start, but definitely has more action than Breathe did. The ending isn’t everything I had hoped for, but it is an inspirational ending that leaves you feeling that things can always improve, if you are will to fight for it.
****Thank you to Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****