MAJOR SPOILERS FOR XVI!
Nina Oberon's life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won't be anyone's stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out . . . and the consequences can be deadly.
Nina is all too familiar with how dangerous the truth can be to anyone & everyone. She has lost almost everyone she holds dear to the truth. After her mother's "accident" left her and her little sister "orphaned" in the eyes of the government, the girls are living with their grandparents; but their worries are far from over. Because of her strong convictions & absolute refusal to bow to how others think she should behave, Nina is her own person and is determined to prove it.
When tragedy strikes her family again, Nina vows to do whatever is in her power to make things right. She wants to expose the all important truth so that everyone is free to do as they please and make up their own minds. Unfortunately that's where even she has trouble. With her family life in taters, naturally her love life will follow suit. Torn between what she thinks she wants & what she's struggling to deny she wants, Nina must make some difficult choices that could have serious ramifications for them all.
This was such a great follow up to XVI. Julia Karr has done a phenomenal job continuing right where she left us. Nina is as determined & strong-willed as ever to ensure that her little sister is protected while trying to find a way to make adequate use of her skills in the Resistance. Unfortunately women are shunned from actual "dangerous" work in order to keep them safe. What I love about Nina is that she is not overly concerned with her safety. She is self-sacrificing in a non-pathetic way. She has no intention of being overlooked simply because of her gender.
Her friends are also wonderful because they vary so greatly, allowing the reader a wide vantage point of the society at large. There are so many facets to be considered that one could easily get lost among the details, but Julia gives many of those facets names and attitudes that permit us to recognize just who & what they embody.
The writing is top notch. The details are spread out enough that you don't find yourself overwhelmed, but still targeted enough to get the message across. There wasn't an overabundance of fluff. Everything had a purpose that either tied together well or laid out a path that I believe will serve a future purpose.
In short, if you haven't already. you should read this series. If for no other reason than the amusing references to today's pop culture, you really should read & enjoy this series. In theory the final installment is due for release sometime this year.