Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA, the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative. In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure is that there will be a reckoning, and not everyone she loves will make it out alive.
The Uprising is filled with danger, with death, and with fear. After uncovering the truth behind the wheel, behind the reason she was sent there, Alenna now must head back in order to assist in a revolution against the UNA. But the island she and Liam return to isn't the one they left, and they're in even more danger this time around.
What is the next step in the plan to take down the UNA? What's next for Alenna and Liam? At the beginning they two of them were angry and confused, it seemed like some of the scientists at Destiny Station either didn't believe their story or didn't trust them with their plans, forcing them to answers the same questions over and over. It looked like they were about to carry out a plan that Alenna and Liam wouldn't agree to, but then they're attacked, then a lot of things changed, and everyone's on the run again. Then they end up back on the wheel, back where it started.
Alenna is slowly finding her place in the resistance, but what will she have to do in order to survive? Who will she have to trust in order to keep those she cares about safe? As smart as she is, as strong, as understanding, she really has to step up and take action. In the first book, there were times when I found her passive, where she would react, listen to what the plan to survive and escape would be, agree, and then follow. I want Alenna to take over, to lead an uprising, or at least to take control in order to protect Liam and those she trusts.
The title implies an uprising, a revolt, perhaps a revolution, but who will be doing the rising? The resistance, finally acting on years of data? The UNA, overtaking all pockets of rebels searching for a way to break free of their control? The cast-aside teenagers on the wheel, coming together and taking control? The drones, blindly following the orders of the Monk?
One thing that's often a key factor in dystopian novels, in YA, is trust. Who does the narrator, the hero, the heroine, trust? Who don't they trust? How much do they trust them? Trust is key in matters of survival, in life or death situations. Trust is all they have when they know they won't survive on their own, then they know a group will make them stronger. But trust only goes so far when motives and end goals are not the same. There are limits on trust, lines that are often blurred, erased, and re-drawn, and Alenna must decide who to trust in order to survive.
When I started this book, something felt off, felt wrong. Alenna is annoyed, angry, frustrated. There was something about the first third of the book that reeked of a coming betrayal, of death if Alenna and Liam aren't quick enough to act or run of fight back. Even after the book ended it lingered, and so I'm curious as to what will be faced in the third book.
(I received an advance copy of this book to review from Simon & Schuster Canada.)