Chatine, Marcellus, and Alouette learn that their planet, Laterre, and its people are under threat by the very man charged with protecting it.
A radical group called the Red Scar rapidly gains momentum among the Third Estate while the established Vangarde rebels seek information about a mysterious weapon commissioned by Gen. Bonnefaçon. Narrative perspective jumps between the three teen protagonists as they each experience profound moments of growth that ultimately lead them back to one another with the courage and conviction to sabotage the general's evil plot. Alouette learns about the parents who abandoned her and the women who raised her; Marcellus questions the ongoing conflict between his home, Laterre, and nearby planet Albion; Chatine, trapped on the prison moon Bastille, reevaluates her own identity. In the tradition of Star Wars and The Hunger Games, the trio’s heroic efforts are supported and challenged by a motley crew of new friends and foes, who (thankfully) complicate the previous book’s love-triangle dynamic. Subtle descriptors of hair texture and color suggest that several new friends may be people of color; however, skin color is not explicitly described. The expanded cast of complex, predominantly female characters successfully carries elements of both buddy comedy and sociological critique.
A compelling, surprising, and entertaining saga that’s literally out of this world. (map) (Science fiction. 12-18)