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Numbers Ignite (Numbers Game) (Volume 2) Paperback – January 17, 2016
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"One of the best sequels I've read in the genre." - Liz, Amazon Reviewer
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This second book, Numbers Ignite, starts off where book one ends. At the end of book one, Treena and Vance worked together with the resistance to overthrow the Empress, and ascend Treena to the throne as the rightful successor. Unbeknownst to them, Mill's, the head of the resistance, coordinated a missile attack to kill not only the Empress and her council, but Treena and her supporters, including Vance's clan members. Escaping to freedom, Vance overheard the plan, and ran back in the attempt to save not only Treena, but his clan member's as well. Too late, he helps coordinates a rescue mission. He finds Treena still alive amidst the rubble, carries her to the hospital, and then turns himself over to be arrested by his clan members.
Treena awakes from the hospital with her true rating restored, thinking she is now the Empress of NORA. Instead she is informed by her stepfather Konnor that while in a coma, he signed her rights away to her former boyfriend Dresden. No longer wanting to be a pawn in their game, she escapes in the hopes of following Vance. Now Vance is a prisoner within the resistance, being accused of crimes he not only committed, but one big one that he did not. If he is not found innocent, he will surely lose his life. Treena, in the hopes of following Vance, is now wandering the desert, her survivor pack having been stolen, and NORA desperately searching for her.
I'm really torn on this book, as there are both pros and cons, which is why the mediocre rating. Unlike Numbers Game, this book had little to do with NORA or the rating system, and takes you into a completely different direction. I actually liked the direction it took. It puts everything onto a much larger scale, and shows how their petty bigotry has blinded them to a much bigger threat (not unlike our own current events). It also sets the series up nicely for the next installment.
Now on to the characters. Vance is a favorite. We get to know him more deeply this book via flashbacks into his past. While his loyalty has been questionable, we know him to be honorable, trying to follow in his father's footsteps and save his family. He continues to grow in book two, and is becoming the son and leader his father would have been proud of. Despite him being a prisoner throughout the majority of the book, his words and deeds were hero worthy.
On the other hand, Treena declined this book. In the beginning of book one, I found her to be selfish, self absorbed, petty, and a bit vapid. Later, she grew on me, as she began to grow as a character. After she met Vance and started to see the world beyond the rating system, she matured and began to think of others. Unfortunately, that progress seemed to come undone this book. Several times throughout the story she thinks to herself that her actions cause danger and pain to those around her, yet she continuously does the same things over and over again. She's impulsive, knowing her actions are dangerous to others, but she does them anyways. Then at the end, with her "hero complex" firmly in check, she makes her list of demands, prior to agreeing to help "her" people. It honestly made me want to wring her neck, and maybe the author's for writing her that way. With so many opportunities at the end of book one for this supposed heroine, to write her in this way was disappointing!
My last complaint was the ideology that a group of integrants had technology which was supposedly far superior than that of NORA, yet most could neither read nor write, let alone do math. Far fetched seems too soft a word. When it involves medicine, or scientific/technological inventions, it seems hardly feasible that any of these could be done without those basic skills. Perhaps I'm nitpicking, but that seemed a glaringly obvious flaw in this story.
Overall, like I said, I found (in my non important opinion) both good and bad in this follow up story. I liked the storyline itself and where it's headed. I will most likely read the third book, and hope that the author takes Treena in a likeable direction.
Treena finds out what life is like beyond the borders of NORA's city. Traveling through the dry wasteland of the country she is injured, but thankfully found by a community hiding underground. She joins their community while recuperating, but always has her thoughts centered on finding Vance again. While there, she learns more about NORA and the outlands.
Vance has taken responsibility for his actions against his community, but is surprised by the criminal charges brought to him by the outlanders. They accuse him of things that aren't true, but won't listen to the truth. He finds out that the people in charge have their own reasons for wanting the community to not believe and support Vance. He has to do what is necessary to protect himself, those he cares about, and the community as a whole.
Vance and Treena reunite right in the middle of chaos. I don't want to spoil what happens, but you will want to read to find out!
I felt that Treena really grew stronger throughout the book. She has some hard challenges in front of her leading into the last book of the series and it will be interesting to see how she handles things from her situation.