Monday, October 15, 2012
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Article 2. Literature and other media considered immoral are hereby banned and shall not be owned, bought, sold, or traded in any capacity.
Article 3. Whole families are to be considered one man, one woman, and child(ren).
Article 4. Traditional male and female roles shall be observed.
Article 5. Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife.
It didn't always used to be like this, Ember remembers a time when people were allowed to practice their own religion and to speak their mind. Where books weren't contraband and she didn't have to worry about friendships being tested by the Moral Statutes. She remembers a time when she was in love with a boy named Chase, and life wasn't about getting by and food stamps. But when she and her mother are taken and separated because they've violated Article 5, and arrested by the one she loved the most, her world falls apart. Her one goal in life is to be reunited with her mother, but things are becoming more complicated as Chase sets her free but leads her to a different kind of freedom.
This was so complex yet so simple. The culture that Kristen Simmons created is well done, her world-building was so multi-layered. There were valid reasons behind everything, and you could see the history behind it. Nice.
The characters themselves were complex, their backstories and their the evolution of their personalities. Delightful. Ember is consistent in her focus and yet her personal growth is well plotted. Chase is fantastically enigmatic and loyally haunted. Essentially perfection.
I think what I like most about this, and why I call it a rather simple book, is the fact that while there's obviously a revolution going on around Ember and Chase, which they are rather centrally involved in. Most of the plot is about their traveling together as just a pair. They don't really know what's going on around them, they are more concerned with getting to their unknown destination and getting there alive. And yet they become a symbol of hope and rebellion, which I think is rather lovely.
Article 5 was excellent, and the sequel Breaking Point comes out Feb. 13th. Wahoo!