Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
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?
I loved Simmons’ debut novel Article 5 and was excited about returning to the world she created in this gripping, post-apocalyptic dystopian. Breaking Point brought us deeper into this world as Ember and Chase struggle to save friends and join the Resistance. Once again I was captivated by the characters and the stark, government controlled world they live in.
The tale literally picks up where Article 5 ended as we find Chase and Ember residing at a hotel with groups of the resistance. Since faking their own deaths they have been keeping a low profile. Attacks against the Federal Bureau of Reformation are cheered by the Resistance. A sniper is taking out FBR soldiers one by one. A government announcement goes out over the airways announcing they have a list of suspects and orders are placed to shoot on sight. Their number one most wanted suspect is none other than Ember Miller. She is being set up and the tale that unfolds as they work to save Rebecca, and make their way to Chase’s uncle held me captive, broke my heart and had me turning the pages at a dizzying pace.
I really enjoyed and connected with the characters Simmons’ has created. Ember is so strong and willing to sacrifice for others. We see a lot of growth in her, and an acceptance that brings her both strength and peace. Chase is so tormented by his own personal demons and at times I just wanted to hold him. His need to protect Ember is touching. Tucker the guard from book one appears and we get a much better understanding of him as well as the young men recruited by the FBR. It is chilling to think how a government is capable of brainwashing it’s people and how some humans will cave and join because it’s easier then resistance. It’s a coping mechanism and I always wonder what I would do. Would I fight or join to protect my peeps? The author captures each characters raw emotions making all of it very surreal. We meet more characters who are part of the resistance and they added to the tales believability, giving you an emotional connection and strong sense of realism. I connected with these characters emotionally, and the author did an excellent job of fleshing them out.
Breaking Point takes us further into this government controlled world and we get more details on how this all began. Simmons does an excellent job of painting the landscape. At times I had a panoramic view and could almost taste and smell the world Chase and Emily were trying to survive in. Things were difficult for Chase and Emily’s relationship. Tension, guilt and the nature of their environment had them holding back their feelings. It is obvious to the reader how much these two love each other and I so enjoyed seeing them come together and grow as a couple. I loved the glimpses from their past lives that the author provided and have a much stronger sense of what drives them. The plot is intense, and I am so darn curious about the “Three”. While the ending was climatic, it ended on a high note of hope and I look forward to reading the final installment.
I totally recommend Breaking Point and the Article 5 trilogy to fans of dystopians. Simmons offers us a very realistic future where government controls our moral standards right down to who we worship. It was eerily realistic, don’t believe me..just turn on the news and listen to some of the social groups who are already calling for some of these articles.
I want to thank Tor for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Four cups of contraband coffee out of five
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Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings:Cynthia Hand: Boundless