This sucker is a hard copy, typo free, and interestingly designed British edition. It’s jacket is clear plastic except for the overflowing Noise (the loud, constant, thoughts/feelings/memories that the men in this series emit) that is strewn across it. But, lets face it, the fun part is past all that.
I was immediately thrown back into the frenzy of New World. I can see how this is jarring to some. It definitely does not baby the reader, doing little bridging between this book and the last. I actually love this. I have always hated how series play catch up in the first chapter where I find myself skimming plot summaries I already know. Ness gives you some credit as a reader and gosh darn it you just better remember.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are tons of social commentary going on here but what I found particularly interesting was the bond between Todd and Viola. Now looking at the last in the series, which heavily evaluates ideals vs. reality, we are still given a strong hold in Todd and Viola. Though they do wrong, it is always for the sake of the other and, thereby, presented as OK. (Spoiler ahead) In this book, they finally hit some rocky ground, but, alas, it is momentary and only slightly explored. Honestly, I would have loved for their trust to break down in some kind of real way. I love them together, I truly do, but I just think that would have been a really interesting place to go instead of giving us yet another example of how the ‘villians’ are untrustworthy.
Yet, I will also say that this was a fun and smart read. I have been casually mentioning all of the complex social messages (in tidy little phrases just like that one) but not delving too deeply into them. There is just no way to talk about them without giving lots of fun things away. What is comes down to is that Ness weaves high-stakes adventure with thoughtful concepts that keep building up to the very last pages of her series. And when you do hit those blank-blank endpapers your world may feel a little different.