New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.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.
Quite a few of my friends recommended this book to me several times, and I finally caved and read it. I’ve got to say, I did enjoy it, but not as much as I was expecting to. My mind was too busy asking questions about the little things, and then I wasn’t concentrating as much on the actual book. It was a good read though, and a very nice addition to the world of dystopian books.
One of the first things that struck me about this book was the length of the chapters. On average, they were about twenty pages long, and this made it feel like I was reading the book really slowly. Long chapters always put me off books and so this book did go down a little in my estimation. The other thing I did have a bit of a problem with was the fact that I had questions that were still unanswered by the end of the book. Those questions being:
Why was there a war?
Why is their world so sexist?
Who on earth is in charge of America?
Okay, I lied, the last question is sort of answered, but I never really understood how their government ended up in charge in the first place. And unless I missed something, the other two questions definitely didn’t have answers. This annoyed me because I really wanted to know more about the world the characters lived in.
Leaving those things to the side, I did enjoy the other parts of the book. The characters were really interesting to read about, and I loved getting to know Ember and Chase. Ember is a very confident and determined character, who doesn’t back down, and she’s basically pretty awesome. Chase is also amazing, although quite mysterious for a long time, and I loved discovering more about his personality. The relationship between these two was written well, and I really liked the fact that they already had a shared history.
One of my favourite parts of the book was seeing Ember and Chase’s shared history in the flashbacks. They were written well, and showed a lot about the past of the individual characters. The tension in various scenes in this book was also done very well, and I honestly felt really worried for the characters sometimes.
All in all, it was a good, solid read and I’ll definitely be carrying on with the series. However, I really hope that I get some answers in the next book because I really want to see some more world building.