Title: Breaking Point (Article 5 #2)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Release Date: February, 2013
Release Date: February, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: A copy was sent by the publisher for a blog tour
The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.
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 ever existed.
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?
Wow. Just when I thought that this series couldn't get any better, Simmons proves me wrong by creating a kick-ass, unforgettable sequel!
What I loved the most about Article 5, the previous book in the series, is the non-stop action, and I'm happy to note that Breaking Point doesn't disappoint in that aspect. In this novel, we have Ember and Chase in the thick of things - now that they are part of The Resistance, things are different. In Article 5, Ember and Chase's main goal was to protect themselves and ensure their own safety, but now that they a part of a larger group, that mindset wouldn't work anymore. They have to contribute to the cause - to the resistance - and despite Ember's initial yearning to keep her head down in hiding, she learns that that isn't something can do. Furthermore, things take a turn for the worse when the FBR pinpoints Ember as a primary suspect in the sniper shootings that have been occurring as of late.
I consider myself a huge fan of Ember, and I'm completely at how spot on Simmons was in portraying this character. In the first few pages of Breaking Point, we are privy to an Ember who is skittish, frightened, and is determined to keep her nose out of the thick of things. She hasn't left the Resistance's compound in months, and she's content with simply hiding. Things obviously don't stay that way for long, but I love how Simmons made sure that we would notice the subtle transition in Ember's mindset between staying out of trouble and finally deciding to stand up and fight back. The writing for this particular character never felt forced - Ember's extremely relateable, and it's rather difficult not to sympathize with her after all the horrible things she has experienced and is currently going through.
I've previously mentioned that the world-building in Article 5 is a bit lacking, but we get to learn some important details about the FBR - the aftermath of the war that gave birth to it; the president spearheading this government; and of course, the citizens' growing displeasure of the Moral Statutes - in Breaking Point. In the same light, we also learn more about the members of The Resistance, and just how they are willing to do absolutely anything - even at the expense of their lives - just to overthrow the FBR. Knowing all about these characters, their motives, as well as factoids here and there about this world they live in, just makes you appreciate the story all the more so.
I loved how Simmons made sure to develop on the characters of Ember and Chase, as well as their relationship. We all know that their relationship can never be perfect because of their rocky past, but this time, Chase's overpowering desire to protect Ember also strains their relationship. Add in the fact that Chase carries on his shoulders the guilt of what happened to Ember's mother, and that Ember still wonders whether Chase truly couldn't do anything to save her mother. Suffice to say the two have a messy, chaotic relationship, but there is no other person whom Ember trusts more than Chase, and the same goes for Chase. Simmons did an amazing job in developing this relationship, and we truly get to know more about these characters throughout this novel.
I can't say this enough - if you haven't started this series yet, you should do so now. The writing is excellent; the plot fast-paced; the characters developed thoroughly - what else could you ask for?
Rating: 4 Stars