Summary (from Goodreads):
In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.
After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.
Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.
At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.
When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.
In their world, someone must die.
|My Rating: 4 Stars|
So we have these kids, Adele, Tristan, Tawni and Cole, who are brought together in a time when the world's inequality is coming to a breaking point.
The characters are well drawn and you like them. Adele is motivated by the age-old hook of saving her family. She's a strong character who is tough, knows how to kick some ass, and puts her family first. Selfless to the point of sainthood. Tristan is disgusted by his family's wealth and greed, and his friendship with Roc is endearing. Tawni is just like-able (as well as Adele's younger sister, who gosh, acts just like a younger sister should. You know, sometimes you want to smack her and sometimes you want to hug her). Cole is a bit of a hot-head, and he comes down from his 'episodes' a little too quickly, almost like he's unbalanced. I don't know! But he's still a nice guy who's loyal and friendly...most of the time. :)
While starting a little slow, the plot eventually moves forward at a good pace, and kept me riveted to find out what happens next. Once things got moving, wow, these characters find themselves thrown into one situation after another. Bim! Bam! Boom! And off we go!
The total inequality of the system, and the magnitude of the differences between the haves and the have-nots is nothing short of teeth-grinding. It sort of brings to mind the French Revolution, where people are down-trodden to the point of out-right revolt. It's explosive. People are pissed. People get hurt. People die, dudes.
There are some things that kind of had me bummed. There are a lot of mysteries to be solved, and the majority of them aren't resolved in this book. I love to read series, especially I'm on board with the characters and the story, but I still like to have each book stand on its own merits. For me, there were too many unanswered questions.
Sometimes it's hard to imagine that kids can out-fight trained warriors. I've noticed this in a couple of books lately, and this one is included. However, I did let that tidbit slide, because there were other things going on that could be argued as a distraction. So what the hoo, don't sweat the small stuff, in my opinion.
This was a fine read, and I do plan to continue on with the series, because overall, the pros far outweighed the cons and was highly enjoyable!