The plot, though a bit tiring, progressed very well and straightforward so I never got lost. I thought that it was a bit too focused on Ember's thoughts and probably could do with more of the actual action part. Even so, I did find that the story was based around action. One thing about dystopia is that now the genre has become so big that it's difficult to find a truly different storyline. While this one wasn't shabby, I think that the story itself could improve a bit.
The setting I find was okay. It wasn't rushed, and I knew clearly where I was, but only in the geographical sense. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not the road was dry and cracked, or if it had dust puffing up behind Ember's steps. But since the story was based around action, I guess the story's focal was getting it going instead of deep soulful descriptions of the world around them. Nevertheless, I really would love a description of the environment because I love getting suckered into the story with those descriptions.
Ember is no doubt a strong heroine, though I had doubts at some times. She would be the caretaker for her carefree mother who just can't seem to be able to resist breaking the rules. She's supposed to be the one wary in the world and cautious of things around her, yet she's quite clueless and sheltered from many things in her world. Another point against her was her whining and spur-of-the-moment decisions. I mean, Chase is willing to help you, yet you chose to trust some lady who turns out to be a nutcase? It's obviously not going to turn out good. Still, I have to admire her persistence. No matter what comes her way, she always puts her mother first and relentlessly does whatever in her power to release her mother.
Chase is overall a good guy. Very predictable story there. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Boy leaves for army. Girl devastated and betrayed. They meet back again in some very unfortunate circumstances that would tear them further apart. The two then gets thrown together and there's the spark. While I love how Chase wouldn't be added to my list of "Male counterparts that are jerks," I find that I don't know a lot about him enough to get all "OMG, TEAM CHASE!"
One other notable character is Ember's mother. She's the type of person who'd have the motto "Life for the moment" and in my opinion, is not very responsible. Nevertheless, I think that she may have been my favourite character although she didn't appear in many of the pages. What I admire about her is her heart. She's the kind of person who forgives, no matter what. After the arrest when Chase went to see her, she didn't scowl and back away. She basically welcomed him in a way that startled Chase a bit, because of her kindness. In the story, it mentioned something about Ember having to drive off one of her previous abusive boyfriends. Ember's mother, at first, was upset because she loved the man, but forgives her eventually. While I find that her being upset at Ember for driving the abusive guy away, I felt really touched for some twisted reason. It was the kind of love that victims of domestic abuse hold to their spouses, and the way that she forgives her abusers felt . . . so kind in a way that the world of Article 5 does not allow.
In conclusion, while I thought Article 5 was a very enjoyable story, it doesn't rank among my favourite dystopias. It's certainly entertaining, but I would say this is only a casual dystopia.