The lengthy sequel to dystopian romance Article 5 (2012) sees fugitives Ember Miller and Chase Jennings deepening their involvement with a resistance operation.
Ember and Chase are stationed at the Wayland Inn, a resistance headquarters at the edge of Knoxville. Their job involves helping transport fugitives to safe houses, but anonymity becomes complicated for Ember when her name, somewhat inexplicably, appears on a list of suspects in a series of shootings. A mission to rescue Rebecca, Ember's roommate from the reformatory and resistance fighter Sean's girlfriend, gives the story some shape, but the action is largely episodic. Characters spend more time reacting to dangers than planning for them, and thoughtful readers may be frustrated when even the climactic rescue operation is carried out with relatively little forethought. Too often, Ember's motivations are assumed to be obvious, when in fact many readers may not share her assumptions. Why, in a pivotal scene, should readers agree that her friend Beth is too naïve to run a safe house? What fuels Ember's opposition to fighters targeting government officials even though other resistance members support it? Tensions among Ember, Chase and the pair's old enemy Tucker Morris run high, but when none of the trio makes an effort at communication, their interactions quickly become repetitive.
A slog, with perhaps enough moments between Ember and Chase to appease romance devotees. (Dystopian romance. 12-16)