Tate’s (Missing Pieces, 2015) sophomore outing introduces a near-future dystopia where juvenile offenders are locked up underground and their memories are wiped of all their criminal deeds in hopes of being granted release through successful completion of the Freedom Trials.
Evelyn Summers is pretty sure she is 16, though she cannot be certain. Like all other hacks in the Center she had her memory wiped, obfuscating the reasons for her incarceration. Despite the difficulty in feeling remorse for a crime you cannot be sure you really committed, Evelyn has been a model prisoner, and the directors have every reason to hope she will successfully complete her Freedom Trials. In her prerequisite task, however, she encounters the violent and uniquely powerful Alex Martinez, who proclaims that he once knew her—triggering a quest for the real reasons behind her conviction and the truths hidden in her wiped memories. The first several chapters of first-person narrative are followed by peeks into Evelyn’s journals detailing her first months in the Center lockup along with hints at her missing memories, such as the unexplained absence of the letter “D.” Graphic, though rarely gratuitous, violence permeates the latter half of the book. The hopeful ending leaves the door open for a sequel. Evelyn presents as white, though the members of the supporting cast have varied racial backgrounds.
For readers who can never have enough dystopian fiction; all others should refer to the classics. (Dystopian. 14-18)