Former child soldier–cum–broodmare-to-be Evelyn Winters is now safe on the Surface with hunky rescuer Gavin, but she can’t escape her past.
Evie’s memory was wiped during her escape from the dystopic underwater society of Elysium (Renegade, 2012), but that doesn’t stop the flashbacks. When these begin to threaten her life, Gavin decides she must go to the city to see a specialist. He reluctantly accepts the help of mayor’s son Asher, former best friend, now enemy, who has the connections that will get him and Evie through the city gates, and off they go into a thicket of dangers. Asher is a good addition to the series, warm, flawed and far more interesting than Gavin. The interplay between him and Gavin will intrigue readers as well as Evie, but all will have to settle for mere hints as to the cause of their animosity. The actual overland adventure serves to fill in some worldbuilding gaps and create opportunities for Evie to show off her preternatural combat abilities, but mostly it seems there just to fill pages as, predictably, all roads seem to lead back to Elysium, where Evie hopes to find her lost memories and some answers. This she does, in a hugely contrived rush that sets up Book 3.
Just another dystopian-romance middle volume, with the usual flat present-tense narration and swoony make-out scenes, though a rather higher body count than many. (Dystopian romance. 14 & up)