The stakes are high in the third volume of the series begun with Replica (2013).
Picking up from Resistance (2014), Nadia and Nate are hiding in the Basement from Thea, the artificial intelligence who created a Replica for herself and claims to be the daughter of Nate's father. Now in control of Paxco, Thea will do anything to see them dead. Joining Nadia and Nate are Kurt, Nate's lover; Dante, resistance spy and Nadia's love interest; and Agnes, Nate's new fiancee. The five teenagers need to find a way to defeat Thea and save Paxco, yet without any resources, there are no good options—so a padded subplot that deals with the Basement and its social structure gives the characters plenty of time to vacillate about what they should do. When they finally make their move by reaching out to Agnes' father, chairman of a state with a major military presence, the plot only advances toward the final standoff with Thea thanks to coincidences and clichéd nick-of-time rescues. Nadia and Nate might win, but will they be happy about the aftermath? The previous books in this series have suffered from convenient plotting and mediocre characterization; this work adds poor pacing with the drawn-out Basement section.
Most of the loose ends seem to be wrapped up; here’s hoping Black is done with this world. (Dystopian adventure. 14-18)