This sequel is strong. It is more action-packed, faster-paced, and captivating than the first book, which is unusual for book two in a four-book series. Unlike many other writers in this genre, Westerfeld doesn’t draw out the circumstances. We get resolutions fairly quickly, and then the characters are thrown into something else immediately. For me, this is a total breath of fresh air, as I believe most other authors would have set this entire book in Shreve. Plus, the emotional stakes of this sequel are sharpened, building upon the groundwork in IMPOSTERS. Frey has to navigate her world separated from her sister and Col, as well as try to figure out where she belongs, who she belongs with, and what being her own person looks like.
I really love the new elements Westerfeld introduces, such as the feels Frey gets, the setting of Paz, Rafi as a wildcard, characters like Essa, and the AI governments. It’s so inventive all the way down to the little details. Just like the first book, the worldbuilding is incredibly rich and so visually interesting that I want to stand inside it and look around for myself.
Overall, SHATTER CITY is an excellent sequel that sets the series up for quite a ride. Those who loved the first book will not be disappointed.