This was an ARC/Beta Read copy.
Once more I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. My favorite was still Gavin, although Arthur was a little easier to like in this book as he was not as self-righteous. Gwen is still a drama queen and Lance is still a jerk. Gah! Actually I think they deserve each other! There is a lot more from Morgan this book, which created an interesting dynamic for this and future books, but not enough Emily, Viola, or Bellviere (especially since what happened to him last book). I also think the author is purposely leaving us in the dark about Lance…which I hope leads us somewhere. Marvin gets a love interest…kinda and there is a new character who was in book 1 and a teacher.
As they grow up I thought the overall teenage angst would…lessen…it did not. In fact I would say a lot of it grew into mortally ambiguity and a predictable love triangle. However, that melded with very real issues that grounded the book. Gwen tries to save her parents from a dystopian government bent on removing civil liberties in the name of righteousness. She will go to whatever end is necessary—even lying and breaking the ‘law’ to make it happen. It delves deeper into the dark side of what is happening to their nation.
This book was too long. Mostly the front half was heavy in teenage progression and instead of keeping up the pace from the punch that ended in last book and started this book, it fizzles out. The second half of the book was much more enjoyable and picked up the pace that was lost in the first half. I understand the author was trying to show that Gwen struggled and hit dead ends before hitting pay dirt, but there were better ways to accomplish the same task.
This book also has some graphic love-making scenes that had the right amount of clumsiness expected of teenagers. I would have liked some more world-building but when it was applied it has a powerful impact on the overall storytelling.
I don’t rate beta reads/ARC.