The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.
My thoughts: I have such mixed feelings about this book. Overall it was good. It starts strong, and when I thought it’d get boring the author would throw something crazy in the mix. And what I can say about this book is that it is intense, and a lot happens. Ember wants to find her mother. Chase may or may not want to help her. And the story unfolds in a world where a corrupt government rules an oppressed people.
What lowered my overall impression of the story is that there was so much I didn’t understand. Like, I know the government is all kinds of messed up, but there’s almost always a particular antagonist the hero of the story goes after. Where is he or she? No one ever talked about it. And after reading the end of the book, I don’t understand where the series is going. I’m assuming they want to overthrow the government, but a lot was happening and that specific goal was never fully discussed.
Even with all these questions, the fact that I’m still wondering about these things lets me know I’m hooked enough to the characters to want to know more. I just hope the second book can answer these questions. If it can, I’ll definitely be happy about the series.