I didn't realize how much of this book I had forgotten until I came across things that I didn't remember reading previously. I always thought that I remembered a decent portion of this book, but really, I only remembered about 1/8 of what happened.
The plot is escalating quite quickly in this book, and having never read past this book previously, I have no idea what direction this is going in and how it's going to end. I can guess that something massive is going to take place, but I can't begin to guess what that might be. Maybe another war?
The tone of this book gradually becomes darker as the plot progresses, especially when taking into account the different perspectives of the different characters. Along with the tone getting darker, the action escalates as well. Everything about the plot of the book is done for a reason, and it becomes clearer with each page that a huge grey area is being explored. One thing I like about this series is that nothing is really black or white, I can't confidently say that something is right or wrong because I can see value in both perspectives.
The character development within the book lacked a little bit in terms of Connor's character, but it was very well written when it came to many of the other characters. Particularly in Lev's case, it's easy to see how much he's developed and changed over the course of these 2 books. I hoping to see more character development in the next book as the cast of characters becomes bigger.
Nearing the end of the book, I became a mix of feelings. There was rage toward some characters, relief when it came to others, and joy when my favorites ended up being okay. So many things were happening at once and I was really tempted to pick up Unsouled immediately, even though it was 2:30AM. I needed to know how everything would progress, and I'm so excited to find out as I dive into the third book.
I still really like Connor as a character. Seeing how he's grown since the first book and how he's struggling to figure out who he is and what he wants is a sign to me that he's developing. Some people find him annoying in this book, but considering that he's just about 17, I think he managed pretty well.
Risa clearly goes through more of a struggle in this book as she encounters certain circumstances. While I can't say that I would agree with all of her decisions, I can respect and understand them.
Lev remains one of the characters who goes through the most development, probably because he's a few years younger than Connor and Risa. Lev spends a lot of the book trying to find something he can't pinpoint specifically, and undoubtedly feels the confusion of trying to find oneself as a teenager, though perhaps with more at stake than the average teenager.
I think I should make it a point to say that I absolutely hate Starkey. I hate him almost as much as I hate Rowan, and nothing can change my mind about that. People in real life who are even the slightest bit like Starkey are already people I can't be around, and with the direction it seems his character is going in, I hope that he dies before he causes mass amounts of unnecessary death to other people.
5 stars. I still think this series it worth checking out because of what it talks about, but it's definitely not for everyone. I think it takes a certain type of reader to thoroughly enjoy this without feeling creeped out or disturbed, and I understand that not everyone likes books like that.