Article 5 #2
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
After faking their deaths
to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one
goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they
Near-celebrities now for the increasingly
sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and
Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground
organization working to systematically take down the government. At
headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking
out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true
identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….
Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.
Orders are shoot to kill,
and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember
can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and
“laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to
look at her sideways.
With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
Breaking Point is a thrilling sequel, every page vibrating with tension on both physical and emotional levels as Chase and Ember take up the fight of the Resistance. This is a story we close the back cover on with our guts roiling and clashing due to the myriad of conflicting emotions, refusing to settle even though we’ve exited Ember’s brutal world of chaos and compliance and returned to the safety of our reality. Ms. Simmons makes the most of every single page in this lengthy tale, perfectly balancing the quiet moments with the action-packed ones to ensure our hearts slowly migrate from the safety and protection of the center of our chests to our sleeves, where they sit vulnerable and exposed to a continued emotional onslaught.
Ember shows a great deal of growth in this second installment, her lingering anger at Chase for his initial enlistment as well as the role he played in her mother’s death slowly fading, allowing her to see Chase more clearly without the red haze of pain clouding her vision. Her progress is of course gradual–her impulsiveness and quick temper still present and accounted for in the first half of the book–but she slowly comes to realize the effect her behavior has on those around her, especially Chase, and she proceeds to make a concerted effort to listen when it’s asked of her, act when she’s needed, and provide support when her pillars of strength start to crumble.
Chase and Ember’s romance is a beacon of light amidst the grit and violence of a terrifying possible future, their relationship perhaps even more tense in this book than in book one as weighted silences and meaningless conversations mask the anxiety and pain churning beneath the surface. Where their initial lack of communication would normally be frustrating, we know in this case the poisonous quiet between them is borne of fear rather than the anger we saw from both in book one, and we simply cannot begrudge them the survival instinct to curl in on themselves in preparation for warding off whatever blow is headed their way next. Ms. Simmons beautifully stuns us with one all-too brief scene though; a fleeting moment between Chase and Ember that suddenly rights scales that had been steadily slipping farther and farther off balance, lifting a weight from our chests and allowing us to suck in a deep breathe for the first time since we started reading.
Overall, Breaking Point is a magnificent follow up to Article 5, captivating us from the very first page and never once losing our rapt attention. Some may still be disappointed by the lack of detailed explanation as to how this post-apocalyptic world came to be, but in my opinion, what we do know is enough to be able to fill in the blanks ourselves, well aware of how easily a shift in power can occur when the world is suddenly thrown into anarchy. We’re left with things very much unresolved, but we are given the satisfaction of one of Ember and Chase’s main goals in this second book being achieved, thereby making the wait for book three more bearable as we revel in one success even as we despair of a separate massive failure.