In Compound Eleven, freedom from tyranny is impossible.
My name is Eve Hamilton, and I’ve managed the impossible.
I am free.
Until just like that, it is wrenched from my grasp. And this time, the corridors of the dark underground city are even more dangerous than ever before. But my brief taste of freedom has left me with something useful, something powerful, something that terrifies the leaders of Compound Eleven.
And now I have a monster inside.
One I’ll need to learn to control, and fast, or I’ll lose everything and everyone I hold dear. Starting with Wren Edelman. The one boy who has taught me that anything is possible if we stick together.
But will that matter if I become the very thing he fears the most?
After the cliffhanger ending in Escaping Eleven, I was ecstatic to see book two available so soon and jumped to request it from NetGalley.
This book picks up immediately where the first left off. Eve and Wren have escaped Compound Eleven without detection and are truly free for the first time in their lives. They’re breathing fresh air, have real dirt beneath their feet, and encounter plants and animals they’ve never seen. The above ground world is theirs for the taking – very briefly. They soon realize they’re not equipped to survive in this world. Half-starved, dehydrated, and recovering from food poisoning, they limp back to Compound Eleven and resume their lives. But many questions remain, the biggest being why the governing body hasn’t let the citizens know above ground is once again safe. Eve and Wren are determined to discover the answer.
There’s no doubt Eve is a strong protagonist, but I quickly grew annoyed with her drama queen act in the first half of the book. Everything is about her, and she lacks the ability to see the broader picture, something that’s more of a strength for Wren, and he challenges her to be better. Eve’s mouth and fists get her in trouble several times, and it becomes tiresome. Luckily, she comes to her senses in the second half of the book and makes significant strides. That’s where the story took off for me. Startling and unnerving discoveries come to light, especially for Wren, which lead them to a life-threatening point of no return. Seriously, book three can’t get here fast enough. Some new characters make a significant impact on the story, but I’m not so sure they’re trustworthy. They should figure prominently in the next book.
Expect a roller coaster of emotions with this one and extensive character development with our flawed MCs. Also expect satisfaction when some characters get what’s coming to them. I still have questions about aspects of Wren’s background that were hinted at in the first book, but it’s something that may come into play in the next. If you’re a dystopian fan, I recommend checking out this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.