Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: December 1st 2014
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
The truth can set her free
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees her frustration grow as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoat rebels she is secretly supporting keep her in the dark more than ever.
But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.
As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price? (from Goodreads)
First of all, and I just need to get this out, I didn't like Benjy. I really, really didn't like him. Every single thing he said and did annoyed me. I don't know if I was just being irrational, but I couldn't stand his character, and yet he was in this book so much, and was all Kitty ever talked about. To me, he was just bland. He had no personality, apart from being incredibly sappy, and all he ever did was go along with Kitty's ideas because they apparently loved each other sooo much that death didn't even phase them as long as they were together. The ONE time I wanted another love interest to come into the picture, and instead I was stuck with this guy. More than that, everything Kitty did was supposed to be so that she and Benjy could have a life together and so that she could protect him, but I just didn't ever get what was driving her. We were told that they'd been together for a long time and were friends their whole life before that, but I didn't understand why. They rarely talked about much in the book, and we didn't get to see the connection behind their relationship. It felt forced, like the author got sick of the bad boy trope (fair enough) and so went in the opposite direction like "look here, look here, he's a really great guy the main character has known forever, isn't he just the sweetest?" and felt that was enough, without even bothering with the background behind this supposedly sweet and loving relationship. Honestly, the scenes without Benjy were my favourite parts, especially when Kitty was in Elsewhere. Plus, I guessed the twist concerning Benjy's character. It was so obvious (and disappointing, though that may just be me). I knew right from when the first "big" thing happened what was really going on, and so the reveal of the truth wasn't the slightest bit surprising at all.
Kitty, while fairly intelligent in the first book, seemed to have lost all common sense in this one. She made some of the stupidest decisions ever, I mean, seriously. She just couldn't keep quiet and refrain from talking back. She had JUST seen someone get killed for some minor thing, and yet she thought it'd be a good idea to insult the guards, who she knew were ruthless. Did she REALLY think they would listen, just because it was her speaking? It was a little arrogant, as well as idiotic really. And she got someone killed because of that (which she seemed to get over very quickly). And STILL, even after that, she didn't listen. She then revealed some very important information about the rebellion to some person she barely knew, risking the whole operation in the process, and again, getting more people killed! What would it take for this girl to learn her lesson? Did she really think that it wouldn't get her into trouble? Why even risk it? She needed to stay quiet and plot in secret, not go around pissing people off when she was supposed to stay inconspicuous. To add to all of that, Kitty got annoyed at people for judging others by their rank, yet she judged them too! I think she said something like "I'm not just a stupid III" - like she was one of the IIIs who was actually valuable to society, and the rest were all worthless. It just seemed kind of off to me. Wasn't the whole point that the system was terrible and flawed, and needed to be changed? So why make such a comment? She could have just said "I'm not incapable of doing such and such" but instead she brought rank into it. Maybe it was supposed to show how ingrained the importance of ranks was in everyone in this society, but it just seemed a little hypocritical to me.
Plot-wise, most of it was pretty predictable, especially the stuff about Benjy, Knox (saw that one right from the start) and Hannah, but I did actually like the scenes where Kitty was in Elsewhere (though I was kind of surprised they would go through the effort of making her Lila, only to have her end up there. It didn't make much sense). She got to learn about a part of society that was completely unknown to her previously, and it was interesting to see how things operated there. Her arguments with Knox got a bit old, but by the end I was curious to see what they all planned for the future.
Overall, this wasn't a great sequel, and while I have been a bit critical, it could have been worse. Even though I didn't like Benjy, it was nice that the book wasn't solely romance based and luckily I didn't have to put up with too much sappiness. The ending was interesting enough that I might read the next book, but I really do hope that Kitty regains some of her common sense.
[PS I hate the new UK covers for this series. I'm sorry, but they are awful]