Newly connected with leaders of the rebellion, twins Ava and Mira Goodwin set their sights on revolution in this sequel to The Rule of One (2018).
A futuristic United States, short on resources and high on advanced tech, allows families only one child. After a lifetime of hiding their existence, now Ava and Mira work with members of the Common, a rebel group determined to flip the loyalties of state leaders and bring down the tyrannous Texas governor Roth. The cross-country quest begins in Calgary and ends in the girls’ hometown of Dallas. Though action-packed, the linear plot lacks tension. High-stakes challenges are predictably achieved, leading to sometimes far-fetched victories that feel too easy (such as whole groups of citizens making split decisions to join the rebellion). The most compelling aspect of the first book—the protagonists’ experience as identical twins, as written by twin authors—doesn’t get a lot of attention here, and the girls’ characters don’t see much development. There is some expansion, such as the welcome addition of new narrative perspectives, including Owen, a dark-skinned programmer, and Zee, a mysterious work camp prisoner with ties to the Goodwins. The twins have green eyes and red hair, the Roth family is Tejano, and some character’s names hint at a somewhat diverse cast.
The revolution rolls on, but readers may find their interest lagging. (Science fiction. 13-17)