Date of Publication: August 27 2013
Sequel to: Don't Turn Around (PERSEF0NE #1)
Source: Complimentary ARC
Noa Torsen is on the run. Having outsmarted the sinister corporation Pike & Dolan, Noa and her friend Zeke now move stealthily across the country, protecting runaways before they become test subjects for P&D's horrific experiments. Noa knows all too well what that feels like: Whatever they did to her has left her exhausted and scared.
Back in Boston, Peter anxiously follows Noa's movements from his computer, using his hacker skills to feed her the information she needs to stay alive. But he's desperate to do something more, especially when he learns what P&D has done to his ex-girlfriend Amanda.
Then, in an explosive confrontation, Noa and her team are trapped in the one place they thought was safe. It will take everything Noa and Peter have to bring down the corporation before it gets them first. And with no one to trust and enemies hiding at every turn, they may be the only people alive who can.
I've been eagerly anticipating the sequel to Don't Turn Around for a while now, and I can say it's definitely a good read. It was slightly underwhelming, but only because my extreme adoration for Don't Turn Around probably muddled my expectations unfairly.
I'll begin and say the sequel wasn't as good as the original. The reason for that is this felt more like a builder book. There was a plot, although it was less singular. This book was an in-between, set up book, something not uncommon in trilogies. The ending was fantastic and promises to be something special. Until then, this book is necessary to advance the plot but it isn't going to be the best book of the trilogy. I still have very high hopes for the third.
It's been a while since the events of Don't Turn Around and Noa and Peter are now separated. They're each playing their own roles in helping fright Project Persephone. I was a little disappointed because I enjoyed their interactions in DTA, especially their budding relationship. In this book, they had more individual storylines that will probably tie together somehow. Like I said, buildup book.
That's not to say the plot was slow. No way. Everything moved fast, especially the ending. I was left wanting more. There were some events that happened like some plotlines with new characters that I would have enjoyed more if there was some more depth. Their time was way too short. For the record, I'm totally in favor of expanding this trilogy. The concept is too cool.
There weren't many questions answered in Don't Look Now. I think there are even more questions raised. PEMA is as horrific as ever, and Project Persephone still has many mysteries to be uncovered. I was engrossed in this book, but the more I think about the plot, the more I want to know how it ends.
There was more hackery goodness (in terms of actions, a little less in terms of explanations iirc), although a little less than in the original. I was slightly disappointed with this because this series is probably one of the reasons I started learning some computer codes.
I still enjoyed Peter and Noa. Amanda also had her own POV, and I thought she was fascinating. I don't know if I liked her all that much, but I did sympathize with her. I do adore Peter and Noa was shown to be a little more vulnerable. In general, I don't think characterization was a strong part of this novel, at least in the ARC I read. I'd like to see that improve in the finale.
Ultimately, I am disappointed. There was action in Don't Look Now and it was incredibly easy to read. However the characters didn't get much focus, the plot got much more suspenseful but never got toned down, and the ending... It ends just as the story is getting very good. The thought of waiting about a year for the next book is torturous, which is a testament to how much I enjoy this trilogy. The concept is still fantastic and I still have faith that the ending will rock due to an exciting overall story arc. Until then, 3 hearts.