Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.
And all that’s left is smoking ruins.
Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.
With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.
Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.
Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.
At fighting back.
Three is the conclusion to the Article 5 series. And while this is my least favorite book of the trilogy, it didn’t ruin the series for me like a particular recent book that shall remain nameless. But what made Article 5 and Breaking Point really work, was the unresolved sexual tension burning just below the surface between Chase and Ember. That seemed to be completely lacking in Three.
What did work really well in this third and final installment of the series is the wrapping up of all of the plot points that have been brewing since Article 5. We finally learn who is behind the overthrow of the old United States and why, what happened to some of our favorite characters, including Wallace and Cara, and whether or not Tucker has been truly reformed.
The story started off slower than in the two previous books, and that may be my biggest issue with the plot. Kristen Simmons did such an amazing job of getting the adrenaline pumping early on in the first two books, that I was almost frustrated when the third book didn’t. Especially after the ending of Breaking Point. I felt like things could have really started off with a bang, heck, I was expecting it. But once things did get rolling, the momentum was sustained steadily until finally building to the climax at the end.
The characters are still solid and complex and nuanced and all of the things I love best in my fictional friends. I love that we got some decent arcs on some tertiary characters now that the major character arcs were pretty much resolved (see lack of UST above). I feel that the storylines for all of the major and minor characters were wrapped up into satisfying conclusions.
Article 5 is still one of the best dystopian young adult series I’ve read, partly because it feels so real. It doesn’t rely on future science or weird theories of what makes people tick. It’s our worst nightmares from now, playing out in the not too distant future. And Three is a completely satisfying conclusion to the series, even if it isn’t as riveting as its predecessors.
A satisfying conclusion doesn’t mean everyone has a happy ending, what it means is that we aren’t left wondering, and to me, that is key. I don’t want or need a happily ever after to feel satisfied, but by the end of the first book, we knew the happily ever after was impossible given the fact that Ember’s mother had been brutally murdered. But we have resolution, closure, and hope, and that’s all I need to end a series on a high note.