Wow. So, more and more YA authors are surprising/shocking me with excellent sequels! And more and more of these sequels are turning out to be better than their originals. Asunder did no disappoint! Keep them coming, YA authors! Keep them coming! Seriously, if all the sequels that come out this year are even half as good as this one was, I’ll forget how to be disappointed.
The book begins not long after book 1 finished. Everyone in Ana’s world is attempting to cope with the drastic losses that happened at the end of the first book. Ana and Sam are off on a journey of sorts. Ana is on a knowledge hunt, in which she needs to figure out more answers to her questions about Janan and sylphs. The two rather tame love-birds head back to their city though when Ana gets invited to a birthing ceremony, something she has been curious about.
And just when it almost seems as though people are beginning to kind of accept Ana’s newness (she keeps making more friends), the baby is born as another new soul. The hatred for Ana and for the new baby is so intense that Ana can’t go anywhere alone without rocks being thrown at her. She gets rude phone calls and messages and everywhere she goes, she gets blamed for the tragedy of the fist book. She gets blamed for the new souls continuing to come in with the new babies. And nowhere is truly safe for her. There’s false gossip, prejudice, break-ins, abductions, bombs, rallies, and just so much hatred for what people do not understand!
With each bomb, Ana becomes more and more aware that she needs to do something that will protect the new souls from living the awfulness that she was forced to endure. Between all the violence and cruelty, there’s all the romantic tension and all of the knowledge seeking that Ana started in the begining. There’s romance, politics, tear inducing speeches, reunions, new friends, beautiful music, and even more world building! Everything kind of ends with a bang, too. There’s a giant mob, a kidnapping, a humongous sacrifice, and then yet another setback before the book finishes with such a great promise for third installment!
We finally get some answers! A lot is learned about the history of this world of reincarnation. So much is learned about Janan. And so much is learned about sylphs. And every single one of these secrets shocked me. I was only predicting one thing and that is only because I’m 100% sure Meadows wanted me to predict it. There were just so many clues. The history of the souls and the secrets behind the temple were beyond fascinating! So much was explained.
And then there’s Ana. She’s gone from a self-hater, to a knowledge seeker, to a musician, to a best friend, to a leader! Wow, she is a main character a girl can just look up to! I was so much more emotionally attached to this book than I was the first one. I was outraged at the history. I was furious at the discrimination. The haters were targeting pregnant women, and bombing their houses! Seriously, I was beyond angry. And Ana was angry too, but as characters keep saying, she handled things so beyond and above how someone her age should. She was calm, brave, and, fierce in this sequel! And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The only thing she wasn’t brave about was her relationship with Sam, though she became braver toward the end. I think this is understandable though, because of her upbringing and being told for so long that no one could possibly ever love her.
Some of the secrets learned are sickening, and Ana has to quickly decide if she can forgive those around her. She also has to decide what she is willing to do, what she is willing to give up, and what she can be brave enough to explain in front of everyone in order to do what she knows deep down in the right thing.
So much more of this world makes sense now. I get why there are so many other fantasy elements thrown in. I get a lot more things that I can’t really write about without seriously spoiling this book. Also, you’d think I’d be more grossed out with the age difference between Ana and Sam, but I’m not. They just seem to be right.
Sam wasn’t as strong in this one. I hated that there were so many things he couldn’t remember. In the first book, he had to protect Ana all the time. In this one, I felt like Ana was protecting him. Granted, his memories were taken from him and he went through a lot of loss throughout this book, but still something just seemed a little less appealing for me about him. I prefer him stronger, more like Ana!
I have very high hopes for the final installment. I loved this one, more than the first! The story was so good! The characters are developing in all sorts of ways. And the writing and world-building were just pure magic for me. I give it a 10/10.