This conclusion to the dystopian romance begun in Breathe (2012) follows a group of teens trying to survive in the airless, derelict wilderness outside of their domed, tyrannical pod.
Readers are plunged directly into the adventure with little recap. Ronan, son of the dictatorial pod minister, became disillusioned when he helped to destroy the rebels’ sanctuary in the last book. Now, he joins the rebels when he meets Bea on a trip outside the pod. Also on hand are Alina, one of the first rebels, and Quinn, disaffected son of the pod’s army general. Separated, Bea and Quinn try to find Sequoia, the only remaining sanctuary, while Alina heads in the same direction with her small group of survivors. However, when the groups arrive, they learn that Sequoia might be an even worse tyranny than the one they escaped earlier; worse, the Sequoia group intends to kill thousands in the pod city. By embedding one dystopia into another, Crossan keeps readers on their feet. Her gritty, lifeless world, the result of the destruction of all of the world’s trees, is populated by desperate drifters who survive with portable solar respirators. Though the villains sometimes tend toward melodrama, this feeds into the extremity of the setting.
An above-average dystopia; intelligent and absorbing. (Dystopian romance. 12 & up)