Monday, April 4, 2016

Numbers Ignite- Rebecca Rode

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Treena and Vance think they’ve pulled out of the numbers game forever. They’re wrong.

After Treena’s disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border, she’s determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful, uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a strange desert population, she realizes there’s a danger much greater than NORA to worry about—and she just abandoned her people to their fate.

Vance is a prisoner. Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are bad enough, but now he’s been framed for a crime he never committed. Their less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance is the only one who can stop it—if he can keep from being executed first.

Treena and Vance are still very much in the game, and this time it will take everything they have to save those they love.

My Thoughts: It seems like forever since I've read a dystopian novel (outside of A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes) which I've actually liked. Like most YA dystopians, Numbers Ignite is the story of a teenage girl who fights against the system and (hopefully) leads her people to freedom. It has some of the normal tropes: Treena's so awesome that she is actually the highest ranking citizen, all the boys really like her, and NORA wants her to be the face of... well anything that they can have her be the face of really.

What makes this series standout is that most of these tropes are handled differently than in other YA dystopians. Treena, while fighting against the "system", is fighting against one that ultimately favors her. In this sequel, Treena doesn't have to fight and doing so gets her nothing. She also doesn't let  her popularity with the boys and NORA go too much to her head. What could have been just another awful love triangle is instead a girl who by the end of book one has decided which guy she loves and doesn't let the addition of the third guy change her mind.

Numbers Ignite is in many ways better than a lot of YA dystopians and even its own prequel. Vance and Treena are able to stand on their own as characters and, for most of the book, Rode avoids a lot of the cliches present in other novels.

The end could have used some work. Honestly, this was my least favorite part, as most of the conflicts ended up being resolved by secondary and tertiary characters, with Vance and Treena only looking on. Then, once the dust had settled, the other characters simply made Vance and Treena their spokespersons with NORA, even though neither of them had shown any aptitude for diplomacy. This felt a bit forced to me and I would have preferred a different outcome. But though I can't say the book was perfect, I will say it was totally worth it.

I received this book through I'm a Reader, Not a Writer in exchange for an honest review.

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