Three (Article 5 #3)

Three (Article 5 #3)
Age Range
Release Date
February 11, 2014
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Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence. And all that’s left is smoking ruins. Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors. With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again. Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run. Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story. At fighting back.

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What I Liked:
For those considering starting this series, here’s a basic rundown on the world. Like Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, Simmons’ series delves into what could happen if the worst political groups in the US were to take over. Where Doctorow focused on the Patriot Act, Simmons portrays the US if the far right were to obtain full power. Women are treated as the weaker sex and strict moral laws are put it into place. It’s believable, because, even though it’s 2014, the things politicians say about rape and family and women are still incredibly upsetting.

Three finds the heroine, Ember Miller and her rebel compatriots in a tougher situation than ever. The government has more resources and the rebels are woefully under-provisioned and being outsmarted at every turn. The stakes are really high in Three, and the government is actually a major force to be reckoned with, where in a lot of YA dystopians, it seems like a strong wind would blow the formidable dystopian government out of power.

What’s great is that Simmons obviously cares about the political side of things. She clearly set out to write a dystopian series, not to write a romance that’s set in a dystopian world because those were selling like hot cakes at the time. There is a romance in the series, but it’s not particularly dramatic or even close to the focus. In fact, by this point, Chase and Ember have been together for quite a while, and are basically working through what problems they have. It’s pretty healthy and highlights a part of romantic relationships that often doesn’t make it into YA books, which prefer the initial romance.

What Left Me Wanting More:
I really can’t put my finger on why Three didn’t suck me in the same way the others did, so I suppose it must have been due to my mood, which has admittedly been all over the place lately. The only actual criticism I have to offer is the ending, which felt a bit too convenient for my taste. View Spoiler »

The Final Verdict:
Essentially, the Article 5 trilogy is a good choice for people who want to consider the nightmares that could occur if the wrong faction takes power. Reactions are rather varied for this series, but if you enjoyed Article 5, then you should be happy with the rest of the series as well.
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