Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 373 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: November 5, 2013
Setting: Los Angeles, CA
(Republic of America)
Ross City, Antarctica
Graphic Death, Violence, War, Plague
Mongolian, Latinx, Kenyan
Oh my gosh! I actually finished a series for the first time in years! I’m so proud of me right now. Even though this took me how many months to finally read through all three of these? And I mean the original series, since Rebel just came out this year and looks like it’s going to be an additional series on its own.
Thank you again to the amazing ladies that hosted this readathon, even though I didn’t finish on time. Check them out if you haven’t already.
- If Lu kills any more of my favorite characters I’m gonna be so pissed.
- I feel like Day and June are starcrossed lovers, and maybe they won’t end up together, which maybe that’s okay.
- Is there still going to be a love triangle or square type thing?
- But seriously who’s gonna die in this one because I know Lu is gonna kill someone off.
Republic of America vs. Colonies of America
The one thing that this whole premise reminded me of was North and South Korea. I don’t know if this was Lu’s intention and I think I should read up on that, but those were the real life countries that I was imagining that the Republic and the Colonies were based off of. But like… more extreme. The Republic clearly gives me communist vibes, and I feel like the Colonies were either socialist or super capitalist, but with a lot more restrictions on which corporations were in control. I don’t know which was better honestly, and I don’t think there’s a clear answer on it. In this novel, I feel like since we get to see the Republic Soldiers and Day working together to save the Republic from invasion, we see a different side to them and can see that despite everything that the former Elector Primo put the people through, they still love their country. Maybe that’s the point.
The good of one vs. the good of the many
Day not wanting to allow the Republic to use Eden to find a cure for the plague. Even though it really shouldn’t have been Day’s choice, he doesn’t bring it up to Eden what they actually want until much later on in the novel. Day even said it himself eventually. He was being selfish because he didn’t want his brother’s wellbeing to be affected, even if it meant saving his country from two sides of the war. Not just the actual invasion, but from getting international aid from the United Nations. Yes, that’s still a thing in this world! How freaking cool, yeah?
But I get where Day is coming from, especially after everything that he and his family have been through at the hands of the Republic. I mean… his whole family with the exception of Eden is gone. Why would Day willingly give up his brother’s safety for the country that regarded him as a criminal for so many years?
Deaths during War
Two characters that had roles in the previous books ended up dying rather quickly in this one. And the reactions to their deaths just didn’t match a normal reaction, but then again this is a time of war. Is there really time to mourn the death of someone you know when you need to constantly be on the move? Actually there was more than two, but the third one I freaking hated anyway so I’m not even gonna acknowledge that one. But still. It just sucked that our main characters are not even at voting age (meaning they are still between fifteen and sixteen during this whole trilogy), and they have such a huge responsibility and have been able to somehow survive something that even most adults haven’t been able to. Are they allowed to grieve?
Advances in Technology
According to this novel, Antarctica is the most technologically advanced country in the entire world right now, and is a Superpower along with the whole of Africa. It looks like rather than keeping their countries separated, Africa is now called the Confederate Nations of Africa (or maybe the countries are just united enough that they were able to be the superior continent). Either way, Africa is a force to be reckoned with, and their technology is way more advanced that whatever both sides of America has. It’s actually really interesting to see America being the third world country for once, you know? The technology that Antarctica shows us even just briefly in this novel was amazing. It actually makes me wonder if there’s a possibility of this kind of technology being created sometime in the near future.
Day, June, Tess and Eden grew up immensely during the events of this series. It was prominent in this novel, and I feel like I was able to appreciate it with Tess and Eden the most. Eden was able to see that he needed to be selfless and do whatever he could to protect his country, and even though he was suffering because of the lasting effects of the plague, he was still… so wise beyond his years. I’m proud of him.
Tess was also able to understand her feelings for Day, be up front with him, and realize that her initial feelings for June were misplaced and made out of fear. In the end, the friendship between Tess and June was one of my favorite things in the novel, and I am so, so glad that Lu was able to show these two strong girls be allies and friends in a genre that likes to pit girls against one another for no reason.
In the end, I was just really proud of all four of these characters, and I was immensely proud of June. I feel like throughout this entire trilogy, she grew on me, and I was able to see her become more of a person, someone that was able to think with both her head and her heart, and even if she didn’t realize it, she loved fiercely. You could tell in the way that she protected those that she cared about.
This was intense, and I couldn’t help but feel so bad. I didn’t feel anything for certain deaths, which is funny because I made a point about the main characters not feeling much when they witnessed those deaths. I know that these characters didn’t mean as much to me as they did to Day and June, so maybe that’s why.
I was so proud of the people. I was moved by their loyalty to their country, and them wanting to do whatever it took to be “free”, whatever that meant to them. I was proud of Day and Pascao, June, all of the young people that lived in this world and did what they could. I was just… wow. Really proud of what I read and so happy that this ended in a way that felt almost satisfying. Yeah, it still hurt at the end, but that epilogue gave me some sort of hope that maybe things could start over.
The plot was great and a perfect continuation of the series. I think Lu did a great job at distinguishing June and Day. June was logical from the beginning and Day had more emotion. Either way, I felt like I could get into their minds and understand their thoughts. The pacing worked well also. I liked that neither of the sequels started right when the previous book ended. Having that time between them – which may have possibly been dead space where not much of the pivotal plot was happening – worked out for me and it made me curious to see what was happening at that moment.
I’ll keep this one short because I feel like I already wrote a lot of nonsense. I’m curious to know if the United Nations considered either one of the Americas as part of them. I know that they tried to get aid from them and Antarctica, but were they actual countries recognized as part of the UN?
Oh man. That ending though. I feel like I didn’t even say much about this novel because I just was so emotionally drained finishing it. I’m so glad I did though, and I really am so glad that I got to see the final battle between the Republic and the Colonies. This was… wow this was such a great ending. This whole journey was amazing and I am so glad I got to witness it. I’m just really happy that I got to read this, and learn more about Day, June, and what is probably the hardest part of their lives.