This book is the second in Grey’s Shadow Fall series, which you should read in sequence. I read it as a stand-alone and missed out on the establishment of characters and the world they live in. The book follows Maia in the immediate aftermath of the events of Shadow Fall, her failed attack that left many of her closest friends dead and damaged her relationships with the two boys she loves–the Crown Prince, Caspian, and her companion through the trials, Riser. Captured by the Emperor, tortured by the Archduchess, our heroine refuses to give up the rebels, but she has further motivation to escape. Maia is the only one who can find the Mercurian, a device made by her father to defeat Pandora and save her world. But the rebels she once fought for refuse to trust the woman they’ve branded a traitor.
The book reminded me of The Hunger Games or the Red Queen series, so it’s perfect for those who love the classic young adult combination of revolution, royalty, and romance. My only complaint against this book would be that I found the characters to be too perfect to be believable. It seemed as though each one had to be everything–witty and flirty and clever and strong–making them less realistic and relatable than they could have been. Aside from the clichés, I have no complaints and would thoroughly recommend this to any YA fans out there–it’s an engrossing, many-layered book that I struggled to stop reading.