By Peter Prellwitz
Two years have passed, and sixteen-year-old Abigail Wyeth is a soldier in the Resistance, fighting against a despotic global government. She plans out raids and uses her abilities to hurt her enemies to the greatest of her ability. Her skills in programming far outstep anyone else in the Resistance, making her invaluable. After a particularly difficult mission, she and a friend are given leave. They vacation in Resistance-friendly Phoenix.
And then everything goes wrong. They’re caught by the enemy. Abigail is held within a fortified compound. And then, she begins to shard. All her past lives begin compounding on one another, and she looses herself in all the many different personas she’s been forced to become. To survive, she must not only pull herself together, finding the various pieces of her soul, but also physically escape from a military base bent on keeping her captive.
Many of the weaknesses of Book One vanish in this novel. Where Book One lacked action, this volume begins with an action sequence and rarely lets up. Where Book One had entire chapters devoted to exposition, any exposition needed here is wrapped into the running narrative. The only downsides that remain are another horrible cover and a text replete with typos. If you can look past those elements, you’re in for a real treat.
The writing is crisp. The characters continue to pop. The world continues to grow and intrigue. Prellwitz also expands on his characters’ spirituality, letting Abigail’s Christianity in particular out a little more than in the first book. She asks questions that cause the reader to wrestle; did her past personas have souls of their own? If not, is she responsible for their sins?
The plot moves at a near-dizzying pace with a few moments for the reader to catch his or her breath.
There are some new downsides to the writing, though. The bulk of the novel takes up a single episode within the storyline. Twenty pages from the end, everything wraps up with a few questions left open for the author to tackle with more ferocity (presumably) in the last two books of the series. The reader gets some nice resolution, and then with ten pages left, Prellwitz rips everything open, leading to a cliffhanger ending. I would have been content finishing the book before the lead-in to the cliffhanger, and opened the next book with the sudden action. Perhaps this fits better into a larger scheme, or the book publisher wanted a cliffhanger ending. I do not know the reason for this kind of writing, but I found the sudden action at the end to be tacked-on, plot wise.
Now, the action is well-written, and it certainly fits within the context. The problem I have is it feels as if the writer said to himself, “I need to end this with a good hook to bring everyone back to book three. What’s the best way to do that? Oh! A cliffhanger!” I would have come back, based on the strength of the world alone. No tacked-on action-based ending was needed!
I’ll still recommend the book, but understand that the last little chapter is really more of a preview of book three!