Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.
I really enjoyed The Book of Ivy, so much that I reread it in preparation for this finale. And everything that I enjoyed in the first book: the realistic and healthy relationship between Ivy and Bishop, the ‘coming of age’ vibe, and the bounds of personal growth Ivy experienced all carried over to this second half of the story.
Seeing Ivy outside of the city was interesting, she’s still balancing who to trust and learning how to be honest with herself and those around her. When Bishop re-enters the scene it was well timed and done really well – no running into each others arms and ignoring everything that had happened between them. I loved watching them grow back together, and stronger. Also, I really liked that Ivy found people she could make a family with – one based not on blood but on trust and caring.
The one downside I saw to this installment was the lack of political plot. The first book discusses the issues constantly, and the synopsis of this one makes us think it will all finally be resolved – and it was, but not how I expected and in a way that felt a bit lack luster to me. While the motives that took Ivy back to Westfall were understandable, it felt a bit rushed. I did like that opposed to the usual trope of women doing everything – good or bad – because of of love (jilted or otherwise) we see that theme mainly through the men of this story, which was very refreshing, and added an interesting element to the overall state of the society.
The epilogue was very satisfying and I can see myself coming back to this series in the future. The originality of this dystopian series is so nice in a genre that often falls into the same reused themes.