I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Glimpsing Stars #2
Published by S.K. Falls on 12-9-2013
Genres: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
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Three weeks on a ship to China as a stowaway. Backbreaking labor in paddy fields. A one-room shack for a house.
Vika Cannon will endure anything if it means giving her unborn child and her sister Ceres a chance to grow up. The Great Land may be fraught with dangers of its own, but it’s still safer than the grim Asylums and stinging acid rains of their poisoned home. The brutal conditions seem a small price to pay…especially with Shale Underwood to come home to.
But when a local cell of New Amanian Radicals is captured, Vika knows it’s only a matter of time before her true identity is revealed. In order to survive, she must immerse herself in an underground society where masked strangers revel in the spoils of illicit power.
A mistake now could result in her unmasking—and the obliteration of everything Vika holds dear. As the net around her cinches tighter, she begins to understand that nothing in life is free.
What will Vika trade for her family’s safety?
The second book in the Glimpsing Stars series finds Vika on her way to China. Most of the story takes place within a Chinese camp where they must try to fit in and not be discovered by the authorities who have been tipped off about the New Armanian fugitives. This novel is definitely darker than the first, and it does feel like the stakes are much higher. It is a very gritty kind of book, which the characters just fighting to survive and less about trying to overthrow the dystopian government (and really, both the New Armana and the Chinese government are terrible in this novel). Overall the pacing is good, but there are a few slow parts here and there. There is an epilogue at the end that covers 9+ months and lets us know the fates of our characters.
Our three main characters have varying degrees of growth. Vika is definitely challenged throughout the novel to make difficult decisions and it helps to set a strong morality for her. Shale has his challenges as well, but he is secondary to Vika and isn’t the main focus of the story. And Ceres opens up more, but really she doesn’t do anything on her own..no initiative or heroics. She just spends the novel doing what Vika tells her to. There are two new characters (Elara and Marisa) that are well done and have a lot of personality and are very interesting…which might be a problem since Vika seems very boring in comparison.
The romance between Vika and Shale continues to grow, as much as it could be under the watch of Chinese monitors and other immigrants. Can’t say too much here without spoiling it.
I would say this is definitely in the older YA genre..there are a lot of mature themes here including sex, drug use, prostitution, slave labor, murder, abortion, etc. I would put it more into New Adult than YA.
So if you read and liked the first novel, I think you’ll like this one. It is the same characters, plus a few others, put in a new location and situation. The focus is very much still Vika and her experiences, her romance with Shale, and her relationship with her sister Ceres.