**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**
Outpost Three is still standing… barely. But the deadliest threat it has ever faced is on its way-- a violent force that will annihilate every man, woman, and child.
With the Sentries under his control and Grey’s army defeated, Matt is more powerful than ever. Eden is little more than his prisoner, but that line is blurring as her affection for him grows. Now, as the Outpost faces total destruction, Matt must sacrifice the possibility of attaining Eden’s love in the vague hope that her past might hold the key to saving them all.
Eden’s journey will begin to unravel the mysteries of her previous life, reveal dangerous new questions, and change not only the future of Outpost Three, but shape the course of history.This eagerly anticipated sequel to Kate Wrath’s E begins an epic quest into the dark, dystopian landscape of Eden’s world. (source:goodreads)
Narrative-As with the first book in the series, EVOLUTION is told from the first-person POV of Eden. Also as with the first book, this one started out with the same kind of entrancingly beautiful language, Eden's voice coming through in an almost poetic way as she made her way through the strange world around her.
What made me sad, though, was that the poetic language disappeared. I remembered a lot of it in the first book, and I found myself a bit disappointed when I blinked and realized that it was gone.
However, that didn't stop the book from retaining an overall enjoyable voice for Eden. It's still incredibly readable and easy to get lost in.
Plot-In the first book, what I liked so much was the way in which the plot was kept largely internalized: in terms of Eden's person life, and in terms of the futuristic world that Wrath built (as in: there wasn't much to be said about anything outside of Outpost Three). The setting was extremely well set, so even when I entered EVOLUTION I knew my way around enough to not be disoriented (as can sometimes happen when you wait a few months/a year between books). This, I liked: the world building she'd already accomplished for Outpost Three was continued in this sequel, so much so that I felt as disoriented as Eden probably was when she and a small band left.
However, a few things started to get bumpy. The plot of this novel revolves around Eden finally getting answers about who she is, how she knows things about the Sentries, what the deal is with those white towers she always sees in her dreams, and also touches slightly on the fact that she has no clue what she and Jonas meant to each other back before being 'erased'. As a reader, I was stoked: finally, we get some answers too; as Eden adventures into the world, so, too, will the reader finally get a picture of what things look like outside of Outpost Three and how things got so...desperate.
Yet I wasn't sure I got as firm of a hold as I'd hoped. Eden travels with Jonas and Apollon (mainly), through different cities that are still standing (such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Baton Rouge) in order to make her way to the white towers that each have, until finally finding the one tower that holds her answers. Along the way, the cities are mad. Completely crazy, in more ways than one (and one of them is literally going crazy, mentally). And while a few of them had interesting events happening, there wasn't any explanation to how the cities managed to get themselves under these particular rules: one of them is overcome with gang violence, while one of them is a city completely ruled by women. Why? There were so many of these moments that I wondered how many of them could be completely cut out of the novel without completely changing the plot.
So the lack of answers is what particularly got to me. Which kind of messed with the pacing a bit.
However, what I liked about the first book did reappear in terms of: while the world is going to hell, Eden's also trying to find her place in it. Will she try to be Lily, her past self from before getting erased? Will she try to simply be Eden? How can she live with herself when she has to kill, strangers or people who put their trust in her? How could the people of the past create such a desolate future? Where do people go to get erased? how does the erasing procedure work? Who's the one who does the erasing? I mean, I feel like there were hints that there's a larger force at play, here; whether I'm right or wrong, there was never any proof to let me know, no windows to toss me a few scraps.
I mean, I love when a character's mental state and emotions are put through the blender a few times, though. So that was incredible, simply getting a grasp of what, exactly, is going through Eden's mind through every test and trial she's put through. So it remained on an internal level on that sense; I guess I kind of just wish that, regardless, there was a little bit more information made available to me.
Characters-Once again, Wrath did an absolutely fantastic job with her characters. In EVOLUTION, the main players include Eden, Jonas, Apollon, and Matt. not for the first time, Eden proves to be an amazing kick-ass character, willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about.
Even though that normally involves other people dying. The first part of the novel was completely about Eden trying to grapple with her new status at Matt's side within Outpost Three, knowing that everyone in her old family (Jonas, Apollon, Miranda, Neveah) probably hate her, and knowing that she risked other people's lives in order to keep them alive. It's a heavy burden, and Eden's character is definitely forced to grapple with a lot of questions about who she's going to be now that she's got everything at her fingertips except the things she wants most.
Jonas and Apollon: once again, they're such awesome blood brothers. Jonas was a tad moody throughout the novel, but Wrath gave him good reason: he's basically struggling with the same things Eden is, since he led a revolution and it failed. He's also dealing with the fact that he and Eden knew each other once upon a time, and they had some kind of weird history together. Apollon, though, is a giant goofball. His character is really revealed during a stint where he and Eden are travelling, alone, through the winter woods, and he becomes more of a big brother to Eden during the course of this book than I ever saw coming.
Matt's just trying to...well, he's trying to be Matt. And he goes a little Christmas crazy, which was funny and a tad adorable.
I think what probably made this novel the best was the development of characters I'd already grown to love. Nothing popped out as strange or stuck in without reason; it's just a bunch of characters trying to figure out what the hell they're doing with their lives, and the lives around them.
Alright, so who's looking forward to the third book with me? I expect lots of answers, and lots of the same amazing characters. If ya'll haven't read E or EVOLUTION, yet, I suggest ya'll do so, now.
Final Answer: 4 / 5
Love great character development? EVOLUTION @KateWrath (E #2) earns 4 / 5 stars. Read the review via @Rae_Slater. (Click to Tweet)
@Rae_Slater reviews EVOLUTION @KateWrath and gives it 4 / 5 stars. Find out how it holds up to its predecessor, E (Click to Tweet)
Special thanks to Kate Wrath, who provided me with a copy of Evolution to read and review. Everybody, please go check her out.