Grim and beautifully written…uses a brilliant cast of well-developed characters and its singular setting and premise to present a provocative examination of the nature of evil and humanity. This is among the best YA science fiction novels of the year.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An amalgamation of society’s most brutal facets—fascism, terrorism, torture, ethnic cleansing—with all kinds of relevance to our world… a relentless flurry of heavy-hitting issues, hinging on appeasement, complicity, and maintaining one’s morality in the face of impossible choices.
—Booklist (starred review)
Provocative questions about gender bias, racism, the meaning of war and the price of peace are thoughtfully threaded throughout a breathless, often violent plot peopled with heartbreakingly real characters.
Ness takes his characters to new, dark places…the series continues to develop a fascinating world, and its fully formed characters and conflicts draw attention to difficult issues with a rare, unblinking candor.
—The Horn Book
Packed with action and moral dilemmas, this compelling read presents two inspiring, strong characters who act bravely in the face of evil.
—School Library Journal
Science-fiction fans, especially those who appreciate dark stories, will devour the first two novels, and they will eagerly await the conclusion to this planned trilogy.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Gripping story of two young people fighting to stay true to themselves and each other under terrible circumstances…stunningly clear depiction of the moral wreckage of civil war: power-lust, shifting loyalties, betrayals and seductive competing justifications for violence.
—Wall Street Journal
Are revolutionaries the same as terrorists? That’s not just a theoretical question as we watch the protagonists forced into taking sides, especially as the ship arrives from Viola’s home planet. Once again, the final chapter zings.
Ness is both accessible and sophisticated, handling big subjects — terrorism, feminism, genocide, love — in prose that is simple and heart-stopping.
—Sunday Times (UK)