Breaking Point (Article 5 #2)Featured
After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.
Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….
Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.
Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.
With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
When it all falls apart
After escaping the Federal Bureau of Reformation (or the Moral Militia), Ember and Chase have been taken in by the Resistance and are staying in a rundown hotel in Knoxville. They are trying to reunite with some of their friends and attack the MM whenever they can, but after Ember gets identified as a sniper and can be shot by anyone, she has to be careful. She does manage to go on some mission dressed in Sisters of Salvation uniforms, and rescues Sarah, who is pregnant by a MM member, from a Tent City. When Tucker shows up, Ember is not happy, since she still blames him for her mother's death. The hotel is attached, but Chase and Ember escape and head to Greenville. At one point, Ember thinks her mother may be alive, but it turns out to be an old friend using her mother's name. Chase and Ember continue to wander about, trying to locate people, help the Resistance, and try to decide what the future of their relationship is after a safe house they plan to use is destroyed and they are forced to go south.
A Solid Sequel to Breaking Point
What I Loved:
Simmons' series actually belongs under the heading of a dystopia. As long as the people follow the rules of the lawmakers, the society is perfect, but, for those who break the articles, the society is a hell. Unlike most YA dystopian series, the resistance is hardly a blip on the radar of the government. The resistance's attempts to overthrow the government feel largely futile, and hearken back to a more classic dystopian formula, especially since Simmons has no compunction about killing off characters.
Those who did not enjoy the first book cited Ember's voice as their biggest problem; they found her whiny and annoying. She does not strike me that way at all, though this is not to say that the other readers are wrong, because we all have our own unique lens on the world. If she is whiny, it's a proactive sort of complaining. Ember doesn't just sit on her ass waiting for Chase to help her. She takes action; in fact, her biggest weakness is her willingness to charge into situations without scouting out the best way to do so. She's emotional and fiercely protective of friends and family.
Actually, I'm really sold on Ember now. Her relationship with Chase does not change her behavior one bit, other than that sometimes she wants to make out with him. He does not control her one bit, and she's obviously more dominant in their relationship, even if he's stronger. I love, too, that when confronted with a terrible person from her past and forced to work with him, she continues not to trust him. This is so refreshing after all of the heroines in postapocalyptic and dystopian novels who befriend people who try to rape them or kill their families. Ember gives trust only where it's earned.
Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about Chase and Ember as a couple. In book one, I was rooting for them, but I didn't feel as much of a connection between this time. However, I do approve of how their relationship is handled, and that it's largely kept to the back burner. While they do have problems, none of the issues in their relationship are because of the situation they're in. Their relationship problems are internal, and secondary to dealing with survival.
What Left Me Wanting More:
My main concern at this point is a tentative one. As in so many dystopian societies, women are given inferior status to men. Thankfully, Simmons shows that women are still strong, with the primary example being Ember. Two, arguably three, other strong women appear in Breaking Point, which is great. Unfortunately, it concerns me that all of the powerful women but Ember are not looking good at the end of the book. If all women but Ember are either weak or destroyed physically, it's still sending a bad message. Authors do this, I believe, to make their heroine stand out more, but she can still shine while other women do too, I promise. Hopefully the next volume will bring in more female characters, and kickbutt ones at that.
The Final Verdict:
If you enjoyed Article 5, you're going to want to get your hands on Breaking Point pronto. There's plenty of action, death and uncertainty, exactly what is needed in a good dystopia.
Review: Breaking Point (Article 5 #2)
The second book in the series. I felt that a recap in the beginning would have been useful. For many parts of the book I was clueless until I remember the events that happened in the first book. It was about halfway when I just decided to pull out Wikipedia and just search for Article 5, the first book in the series.
Ember Miller and several other people have a Code One on their heads. Code One says that any person that is suspicious of being Ember Miller or the other four persons can be fired at by citizens or soldiers on suspicion alone. Harsh, huh?
Ember Miller... badass in this book. Suspected as the sniper. Young. Beautiful. Active. Intelligent. Semi-athletic. And kind. I love Ember. When she made her choice whether or not to take the sniper's mantle, I cheered for her all the way. I love her strong and weak moments. The weak moments I love more because it reminds me that humans at one point are weak. It makes Ember seem a little more human.
Chase... He's still hot in this book. His sugarness and toughness are two sweet features of his character that make him so hot. (CHASE, TELL THE WORLD IF YOU BREAK UP WITH EMBER!) A little more of his past is revealed in Breaking Point. Every piece makes him seem more vulnerable and easier to love. Chase is like Jace from The Mortal Instruments. Not as hot as Jace, but still noticeable. Chase is very protective of Ember Miller yet also a little shattered inside. He wants to be safe. However Ember's mind will usually fight against him.
Tucker... He's an annoying character. He's also helpful, but I always remind myself of the fact that Tucker killed Lori Whitman, Ember Miller's lawbreaking mother. If Ember hated him really badly, she should just shoot him. Not keep him around begging for more.
The flashbacks... Oooo! My favorite parts! The flashbacks of Ember's past are the most enjoyable parts of the Breaking Point. Each flashback brings a whole new meaning of Breaking Point. Flashbacks are the strongest weapons of Breaking Point. They are moments of peace. Of what little joy Ember had in her life. Of harmony. Of the sense of normal.
The plot... I like the plot. It's even better than Article 5.
The writing really flow. It was easy to understand.
The action... Lots of action. Most of the actions were cool and easy to understand like the writing and the plot. Ember's POV wasn't enough, though. We need Chase's too.
The ending... You have to leave us like that, Ms. Simmons? That is not cool. You can't give us a cliffhanger like that. So not cool.
The rating of this book is four out of five.