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Young Adult Fiction 130
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What I Liked: Finally! I have been waiting for three books for Adrian and Nova’s secrets to be revealed and it was so good! I didn’t mean to stay up until 3 AM to finish it but I couldn’t stop, the plot twists just kept coming. Narcissa Cronin is a mirror walker introduced in the first book. She blackmails Nova for Ace’s helmet. Nova tries to con her with a fake. Narcissa blames Nova for her grandfather’s death and takes revenge for the con. With Danna finally able to reassemble into human form she is quick to expose Nova as Nightmare.
Based on Danna’s word and circumstantial evidence Nova is arrested by her own friends to go to Cragmoor Prison. In this lonely and desolate prison Nova has a lot of time to self-reflect. When she learns that not only will she be publicly neutralized, but also executed it really shines a light on the flaws of a system where a few people can be police, judge, jury, and executioner. She has no way to overturn the decision or even receive a trial.
In a great twist, Narcissa poses as Nightmare and is convincing enough that Nova is released and welcomed back into Renegade arms with many apologies. However, she is less willing to stay quiet about the problems in the system. She doesn’t want to burn it all down like the anarchists nor is she willing to follow the Renegades blindly. She is willing to consider a new path that Narcissa and her rejected prodigies offer to help bring balance to the system. One conversation about prodigies making up only a small percent of crime, but a large percentage of media and police focus could spark parallels to real life injustices.
One of Nova’s frustrations is how much responsibility should prodigies have in running the world when the normal population need jobs too. The infrastructure and response time is shaky because there are not enough prodigies and no system that is welcoming to normal people to help.
Nova’s loyalty to her Uncle Ace has been unwavering since she was failed by the renegades and he saved her when her family was murdered. However, the true series of events is revealed that make Nova rethink her priorities. Especially, when Ace is returned to strength and destruction resumes. That part I suspected since the beginning of the books and was not surprised by that reveal.
I was surprised by the final showdown. Agent N is being used on everyone and it is an all-out last person standing event worthy of any superhero finale. Then everything changes and instead of the world being left bleaker and all the prodigies having to deal with loss; the world is changed but hopefully in a shiny new way. I can see that the ending is debatable on whether it was awesome or a letdown, but it is satisfying for a superhero story because they aren’t bound by the strict constructs of being realistic.
Final Verdict: This was a great third installment to the trilogy that sucked me in and made me stay to the final page. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger in the final reveal. It leaves room for a spinoff and I just wonder if this is the end of the world created by Meyer after all. Some reveals were predictable, but most were unexpected. This was a very satisfying addition to the superhero genre that I would recommend to friends.
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