With hostility among Heart’s oldsouls toward newly born, unreincarnated children increasing, original newsoul Ana leads a revolution (Asunder, 2013, etc.).
Ana now knows that the virtual immortality of the people of Heart has come at the cost of countless souls that will never be born. Together with two staunch friends, she and boyfriend Sam journey to dragon country, where Ana hopes to find help in their upcoming final battle against the godlike being behind Heart’s atrocity. Ana’s difficult negotiations with an uber-prickly dragon are a real highlight. Unfortunately, they are too few when compared to the page-filling trek through the wilderness, where snow falls constantly but never seems to accumulate. During the journey, Ana and Sam experience the genre’s now–de rigueur estrangement of affection due to an utterly artificial misunderstanding. Though this serves to minimize the pages-long swoony clinches also demanded by the genre, it will irritate readers. An attempt to buttress the series’ worldbuilding with a couple of laughably inadequate paragraphs is too little, too late. Most problematic, though, is a climactic maneuver in which Ana, Sam and Meadows seem to have their cake and eat it too; the conclusion is both confusing and morally ambiguous, to say the least.
As the setup and storyline will be thoroughly impenetrable to readers new to the series, this trilogy conclusion has an audience only in the first two books’ most avid fans. (Dystopian fantasy. 14 & up)