Pulse Pounding Conclusion Evokes ALLEGIANT To A Degree. This is a solid continuation and conclusion of the EXILES story, and both combined are short enough that one almost wonders why the two books (each sub-300 pages) were not simply written as one complete story rather than one story in two halves? It seemed to make sense at the end of EXILES, when at least my own expectation was that this would be a second trilogy from the twin sisters that write twin characters. With this clearly being a short duology now… one begins to question a bit more. Ultimately, I’ll leave the 5* and not deduct one for blatant cash grab, but I’ll also be interested to see what other readers think on that point, and perhaps hear in some interview or social media post or some such why the decision was made to split the story as it was. That noted, particularly with its emphasis on fear and our heroes having vials that can evoke or conquer fear… yes, this book absolutely has a degree of a feel of ALLEGIANT to it. Which was an interesting connection, given just how reviled the ending to that particular tale was (though to be crystal clear and yet without actually giving anything away, this tale does *not* use the specific type of ending that got ALLEGIANT most of the scorn it has ultimately gotten – scorn that I have disagreed with since the moment I finished that book myself).
And yet, even with these issues this tale really was another pulse-pounding thrill ride, perhaps with fewer questions for the reader to ponder and more fights to marvel at. The sisters continue to show their evolving skills and natural-seeming storytelling talent, and it will be very interesting to see what they come up with next. Very much recommended.
This review of Intruders by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders was originally written on January 3, 2023.
Excellent Middle Chapter. In this middle entry into the dystopian YA trilogy at hand, we get a solid second chapter that does exactly what a middle chapter is supposed to – continue to build out the world while amping up both the action and the consequences. Here we even get a couple of interesting wrinkles thrown in. And of course the inevitable final clash… that turns out to not be quite so final. Which means it aces the final thing the middle book has to do – get you to come back for Book 3. And in this case, you’re absolutely going to want Book 3 to see just how this gets fully wrapped up. Solidly done in world while perhaps playing a bit to closely to the “rules” of the genre. Very much recommended.
This review of The Rule Of Many by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders was originally written on September 2, 2020.
Yet Another YA Dystopia With A Few Interesting Twists. As a YA Dystopia, this book fits pretty squarely within the mold. To the tune that it can easily become forgettable to an extent. But there are some interesting twists to the mold that make this stand out a bit – the focus on twins without any form of romantic subplot chief among them, but also some of the overall tech and concepts about when, how, where, and to a lesser extent why the dystopia could emerge. Ultimately this is interesting enough as a “pilot” to want to see the next episode before making a decision on whether to keep going or not, and sometimes that is good enough. 🙂 Recommended.
This review of The Rule of One by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders was originally written on July 7, 2020.
Satisfying Conclusion. In this final chapter of the REBEL WING trilogy, the stakes are raised higher than ever with the reveal of a spy inside Aris’ unit. After some of the most heart-stopping action and intrigue in the trilogy, we get a satisfying conclusion to all arcs. Very well done, and highly recommended – but read the first two books first!
This review of Torn Sky by Tracy Banghart was originally published on May 27, 2018.
Solid Progression. This is NOT a standalone book, it is in fact written in trilogy form. So do NOT read this book without reading REBEL WING first. That said, if you’ve read REBEL WING, this story is a solid progression from that one. By the end of this book, some plot lines from REBEL WING are resolved, others are enhanced, and some new ones are introduced. It seems clear that we should get one hell of a conclusion in the next book, and I for one am looking forward to reading it.
This review of Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart was originally published on May 26, 2018.
Slow Burn. Great World Building. This book starts slow and never *really* picks up from there, though it does have some revelations at the end that are fairly explosive in its world. Solid story, no technical issues, looking forward to the next one (even though if there weren’t one, this story felt complete anyway).
This review of Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart was originally published on May 25, 2018.