Note: This book was sent to me from the author in exchange for an honest review. It is also the sequel in a series (Book 1: Under Ground; book 1.5: Losing Ground). If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, I highly recommend them.
To start off…HOLY FEELINGS. This book is full of them. You know, those kinds that suck you in while you’re reading and you feel everything along with the characters. Though sometimes painful, it’s such a true reading experience, and it takes an amazing author to pull this off.
I participated in the author’s read-along for this book during the month of April. I loved reading a few chapters each evening and then answering her immersive questions on Instagram for each section. It’s an awesome experience, and I’m really grateful that Alice Rachel was able to put this all together for her readers. Because of my vacation, I got a bit behind in the read-along, but then I was later able to binge-read even larger sections of the book. It was so easy to get fully into this world and these characters, and it’s hard to put this book down. I’m glad I blew through the last part of the book in one sitting, because it was so intense, and I just had to know what would happen next. Of course, the ending includes a cliffhanger, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next in the series.
On another note, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of Alice’s books, the character development is excellent. I think having short novellas and stories outside of the main series for each character really helps, but even within the main books, there is just so much backstory that works so well with the main storyline. As a reader, I become even more connected to these characters and feel so much more strongly about them. Not only does each character have intense backstories and complex personalities, but Alice Rachel also does her own portraits of them (you can view them on her Instagram and even purchase prints and more on her Society6 page). My personal favorite character is Kayla, who is involved with the Underground rebellion. She’s a strong, badass woman who also is an amazing friend and all-around caring person.
It’s usually hard for me to write reviews on books that I absolutely loved, but this series is different. There are so many aspects that I love to gush about, and it’s such a complex world that even my longer reviews on it don’t even scratch the surface. If you’re interested in dystopian books and worlds, and you love deep, gritty character development, this is definitely a series you need to pick up. If you have already read the first book, you need to get your hands on this one. Don’t worry if it’s been awhile, since Alice puts a super helpful Book 1 recap at the beginning of this installment.
This is one of my favorite series that I’m currently reading, and I’m so glad I stumbled upon Alice Rachel’s Instagram page ages ago. If this sounds like a great series to you, definitely check out these books: they are all available as ebooks (and the Kindle prices are super reasonable. I’m not being paid or anything to promote this series; I just really love these books and think that they deserve much more recognition than they get.