Nexis, the first book in this Duology, was one of my first five star reads of 2016. It was brilliantly crafted in a futuristic world and the ending had me sitting in the same spot, slackjawed and ready for book two already.
For some reason, despite getting approved to read an eARC of Redux on NetGalley, it took me a really long while to tap on the book on my Kindle app and start reading.
It's been a year and a half and well, apart from the basic story and the main characters, I'd forgotten everyone else. This is why the first 10% of the book saved me as it refreshed my knowledge about this series.
In simple short words, Nexis was better than Redux.
After the first ten percent that functioned like a recap to me, I was so confused by the world. Without a map or clear descriptions that functioned like a map, I had this feeling of being lost in my bookish surroundings that I couldn't take. I had no idea what the plan was - was it to try and go to the NEXT dome (I remember that being the plan from the last book?) And if so, why did they never try and only wanted to go back into the dome the destroyed? How many undertunnels are there? What's the plan? I spent most of the book wondering what everybody in it was doing, to be honest.
I can't review this book without spoilers, BUT, despite the death of hundreds of thousands of people at the hands of the “Tricksters” I felt not even a single amount of GUILT or I'M WRONG WHAT CAN I DO from any one of them. They pretty much had made peace with their actions, damn the consequences and moved forward, and were STILL TRUSTED to be leaders of the Rebellion. Or the refugees. I don't know how they were and how NOBODY blamed them but it made the book feel artificial.
Let's also talk about Ella's parents. They were at the top of my list of people who didn't CARE that thousands had died, their “uploaded minds” merely saying “Oh, well, that was only a slight miscalculation” They used their own DAUGHTER to give a face to Rebellion without so much as ASKING her and then made her a Saviour. SIGH.
Apart from that, there were two death scenes where a certain somebody ALMOST died but HAHA HE DIDN'T BECAUSE HE'S THE MAIN CHARACTER AND HOW COULD HE?
I did have a lot of problems with this book, but there was a lot to like too. I still loved the sheer genius of the technology that made up Evanescence. It takes a SPECTACULAR mind to come up with ideas like the one in the book and I loved it. There were also certain gritty and romantic twists that I couldn't see coming but loved when they did because they added a lot to the book.
Mostly, I just wish this book had been better. I wish Ella's parents had asked and not attempt to brainwash an entire population. I wish Ella's wasn't such a NOBLE person and that she wasn't portrayed as a Saint/ Saviour but more like a normal girl.
I love this series, and I definitely recommend it. I just wish that certain elements were better executed. 3 stars.