A teenage fugitive unravels the truth about her past while dismantling a dystopian police state.
Imprisoned for the murder of her parents by the Agency for Crime Investigation and Defense, 17-year-old Jenna Strong hones her fighting skills under the tutelage of the prison medic, Dr. Fisher. Just as an altercation with an inmate lands her in the infirmary, a riot breaks out, and Jenna finds herself at the center of a covert rescue mission that ends with her escape and Dr. Fisher’s death. Jenna’s rescuers give her a new identity, but it isn’t long before she finds herself in the cross hairs of ACID again as Max Fisher, the son of her old friend, runs into her not long before her cover is blown. The first-person narrative revs up quickly but slows considerably halfway through the book when Jenna is forced to make a critical and unpleasant decision. Pass draws an uneven portrait of a traumatized heroine; Jenna never regains the steeliness she had in prison after she’s reintroduced into society. She falls easily for Max, a wooden character happy to remain mostly in her shadow. Devoted fans of the genre may find intrigue in a walled-off future United Kingdom but will wish for a more dynamic heroine to deliver its revolution.
A dutiful dystopia that never delves below its shallow surface. (Dystopian romance. 14-18)