If a megalomaniac threatened your family, would you give up your freedom for them? Would you give up your soul?
Asher Solomon is faced with that choice. And makes the ultimate sacrifice.
Exactly as Director Silas Reeves expected him to.
Unable to live as the Colony’s premier assassin, Ash retreats to a corner of his mind, ceding control of his body to the alter-ego he was engineered to be—Subject A36. As he’s unleashed to battle the Insurgents, the only family he ever knew, the tide of war shifts in Silas’s favor.
Combined with his expansion into new territories, the director is poised to take over the world.
But the Insurgents don’t give up easily. Not on their cause, and not on their people. With the help of a few double agents deep in the Colony, they stand a fighting chance at ending Silas’s reign.
In order to shut down the program, they face almost insurmountable odds. And their most dangerous foe—their former champion turned killing machine, A36.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
The Insurgent by Teri Polen is book 2 of a dystopian story where Outliers, even kids, are stripped of their DNA – a procedure they don’t survive- to offer DNA changes for the wealthy citizens of the Colony. The Outliers form groups of Insurgents to fight the Colony and stop the practice of genetic manipulation and engineering.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
I read the first book, so most of my expectations come from what more I want to know. The first book ends with a cliffhanger, which means I have many questions. Based on the cover, I wonder if I will be reading more about The Colony and maybe a glimpse inside a world that uses Outliers for their DNA and discards them as quickly as one tosses a napkin or a food wrapper. From the blurb, I expect a big internal battle for Asher – will he stay A36 and give up his humanity forever or will Asher figure out how to turn the tide and reclaim his body, mind, and family?
Actual Reading Experience:
My reading experience mainly was what I expected before I began reading. I didn’t get to explore the world of the Colony in the way I anticipated, but everything else was pretty spot on.
Like book 1, The Insurgent is told through multiple points of view, each denoted by the character name after the chapter title. This works very well for learning essential aspects of the story and is never confusing. Asher mostly narrates book 1, but book 2 is mainly told by Declan. At first, I was resistant to the change, but I let that go as Declan began to show growth and change.
I loved the pace of both books, which is very fast with plenty of action and dialogue to keep it that way. I tore through both books at breakneck speed, eager to learn how the Insurgents would try to overthrow the big evil Silas and if they would be successful. Would they find a way to stop someone ruthlessly stealing children to kill them for their desirable DNA traits? And, who would be lost in the deadly struggle?
I also enjoyed a big twist that I didn’t see coming. I always enjoy being surprised by a story and this one delivered and then some.
The world-building and story development are excellent, even though each book is less than 200 pages. In books that short, these two aspects can often suffer but not in Subject A36 (book 1) or The Insurgent (book 2). The world feels fully formed and explored, and the story is rich with personal growth, conflict, and relationships.
All of the characters were well-developed, with my favorite being Brynn. I always love a fiery female protagonist who is strong and independent. And if they can kick butt, that’s even better. Brynn is all this and more. And she loves just as fiercely as she fights. Never giving up and never giving in.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you enjoy a fast-paced dystopian story where people have to fight for their lives and change the world, Subject A36 and The Insurgent are just the books you will love spending your time with.