In this sequel, Natalie Cammaratta teases out the tension and anticipation the end of "Falling & Uprising" creates while playing on the themes of knowing vs. feeling, friendship, trust, and societal backsliding. It seems that an uprising and seeming environmental disaster (Where did the ocean go? How does that even happen?) isn't enough for Kaycie and its islands to forgo their corrupt government and false sense of security.
Sounds familiar, right?
The complicated political climate of this dystopia reminds me of "Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith," in the best way. Serenity, like Padme, fights for a more fair world, and even with the amnesia shot, Serenity knows something is wrong with the Establishment, and she knows it's more than what she's told. Her sense of right is intact, despite the efforts of the people around her. She feels there is something wrong. The tension between knowing and feeling within Serenity builds out her character and makes it more interesting and complex than it was in Book 1. I liked Serenity in "Falling & Uprising." I LOVE the journey she goes through in "Scattered & Breaking."
Natale also expands the world for both the characters and the readers through Bram--and a third POV (which I am not going to name because I'm not sure if it's still a secret). Through Bram and the third POV, we see and learn more about the islands, how the uprising affected them, and why and how the sea disappeared. While their understanding of the world expands, friendships are tested, and they don't know who to trust. The interweaving of personal and societal relationships is intricate and, well, cool!
Basically, if you liked "Falling & Uprising," you'll love "Scattered & Breaking." It's STEAM-filled and passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. There are also several gay characters (one will surprise you!). I stand by my assessment that this series is for people who like "Downton Abbey," (Season 2!) and "Catching Fire."
And yes, Jase is still sketch. I also stand by that assessment.
Visit Natalie's website and purchase "Scattered & Breaking" through Amazon.