Bookends About Override

February 9, 2013 Uncategorized 1

Title: Override
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: An incredibly impressive sophomore novel, with great pacing, interesting ethical questions, and very cool characters but a slightly anti-climatic ending.

Override is the sequel to Glitch, so this description contains some unavoidable spoilers that mean you’ll probably want to skip the review if you haven’t read the first book. So now that those who haven’t read Glitch have left….  This book picks up almost exactly where Glitch left off, with Zoe joining the resistance now that she’s free from the link. She’s quickly swept into a war academy where glitchers are trained to use their powers to fight for the resistance.  The more time she spends there though, the more it becomes clear that divisions lurk just below the surface – about what the Resistance should be willing to do to win and even what winning would look like.  As Zoe struggles to answer these questions for herself, her relationship with Adrien becomes complicated by his own ethical questions about his ability to see the future.

I would describe the first book in this series as a fairly average YA dystopian. As you can possibly already tell from my description, I think this second book has risen well beyond that to become some of the best of YA dystopian. I love when these books begin to raise more complex ethical questions, instead of just asking should the few be allowed the power to make decisions for the good of the many. This book definitely does that, reminding me very much of Partials in that it questions everything down to what it means to be human. It also reminded me of Partials because our heroine has some pretty clear morals of her own and isn’t willing to sacrifice them for others. And (final Partials comparison, I promise), both books also allow our protagonist to drive events in a believable way, through good leadership, instead of by doing everything herself.

In addition to the above improvements, many of the good things from Glitch stuck around. Heather Anastasiu’s fabulous writing skills still kept me reading late into the night and her ability to imagine what a character with Zoe’s life experiences might think impressed me throughout. I also thought the pacing was spot on in this one, with action happening almost from page one. Given the love-triangle set-up in the first one, I was afraid in this book we’d get some frustrating stupid-teenager-in-love behavior, but that never materialized (yeah!). In fact, the only bad thing about the book, was the terrible cliff-hanger ending. It is possible to end a book with room for a sequel without leaving your reader feeling like you just punched them in the face. Unfortunately this book falls squarely into the I-just-got-punched category, with an ending that felt shockingly abrupt. I also thought it was a little anti-climatic, but can’t say much more without giving things away. However, even the ending wasn’t enough to spoil my enjoyment of Override. I loved this book, thought it was a huge improvement over the first, and look forward to even more great things in the final book of the trilogy.

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