The struggle for hybrid rights goes very public in the conclusion to Zhang’s dystopian trilogy.
In the aftermath of the Powatt bombing, Eva, Addie and their fellow fugitive hybrids are more notorious and hunted than ever. Nevertheless, when capture and arrest begin to seem inevitable, Eva and Addie, sisters who inhabit the same body, refuse to seek refuge overseas. Instead they strike a deal with Marion, an ambitious journalist who wants to air an exposé of hybrid institutions. Marion promises to arrange for the release of Addie’s beloved, Jackson, if the sisters go undercover to film the footage she wants. Zhang deftly portrays the horrors of institutional life, and her writing shines when she focuses on Eva and Addie’s sisterhood and their interactions with their family and friends. Their tense relationship with Bridget, a returning character from the series opener, What’s Left of Me (2012), is a highlight of the novel. The limits of Zhang’s worldbuilding and plotting, however, become apparent as the narrative focuses more on the public political fight for hybrid rights. Eva and Addie’s increasingly prominent role in the hybrid movement strains credulity, and much of the denouement seems improbable and overtidy.
Though some fans of the characters may be satisfied, this finale doesn’t fulfill the promise of the series’ highly original premise. (Dystopian adventure. 13-17)