This is my FAVORITE of the series. And it shouldn’t be. But it is. Finally everything happens. EVERYTHING. The whole rebel storyline finally makes sense, and the King vs. the people comes to a head, and Maxon and America learn to trust each other but also try to destroy each other again. It is a rollercoaster much like the first book again, and it is highly addictive.
Maxon shows a lot of his true colors in this book. He is thoughtful, and eager to be a leader of CHANGE, and quite disagreeable at times, and has a tendency for the dramatic and a short fuse. But really you do feel like he loves America, so when she finally loves him back and sticks to that realization… it’s a magic moment.
Within the book comes Maxon’s plan to set things right, his decision of who he wants at his side when he does change the country, his trust of the northern rebels, and his exposed jealousy of Aspen. For America we learn that she has grown, that she is daring and jealous, that she trusts the northern rebels (thanks in a large part to her father), that she loves Maxon and wants to help change the country, and that her older brother is a jerk. (Had to be said. Kota sucks.)
This isn’t a series that makes you necessarily fear the future, and the possibility of a castle system after World War 4 (although the thought of two more world wars is terrifying). It’s not mind-bending in its ideas about how terrible the future could be for the US. And it isn’t a series that makes you believe everything could be fixed by a prince with a good heart and a girl from the artist caste. But it does showcase how fragile relationships are, whether they are family or friend, lover or enemy. It also shows how false perceptions can alter someone’s opinion, and that facades are common between the public and public figures.
So read it for the relationships, and enjoy the intriguing dystopian setting (even if it isn’t perfect), and hope that if you do have a ship, that it turns out to be the one that wins. Also prepare yourself for an evil twist that will rip your heart out.