A young member of the elite class in a dystopian future discovers her destiny in this sequel to Children of Eden (2016).
Bronze-skinned Yarrow is the teenage daughter of one of the most powerful women in Eden. At the exclusive Oaks boarding school, Yarrow rolls with the cool kids, submissive only to the queen bee, Pearl. When mysterious, lilac-haired Lark joins Yarrow’s class, the two girls feel drawn to each other, and as Lark’s secrets are revealed, Yarrow discovers her own true path. This discovery is the smartly conceived and perfectly executed twist that puts this sequel over the top. The standard teen-dystopian tropes remain, but the author uses readers’ familiarity with overreaching governments and shady rebel bases to his advantage, structuring Yarrow’s arc as a journey that examines heretofore unseen aspects of Eden’s culture and dovetailing with the first book’s narrative thrust. The love interests remain spottily developed, but the sexual fluidity baked into this love triangle makes for a refreshing change from the usual two hunks pining for one gal. The novel’s climax points toward an intriguing path for Book 3 to take but still provides readers with a sense of closure. The early pages are a tad rough: Yarrow is deeply unpleasant and Pearl is a pill, but once readers get past the Mean Girls–esque surface there’s plenty of reward.
A cunningly charted sequel that improves on its predecessor. (Science fiction. 12-16)