Review: Three

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ThreeThree by Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #3
Published by Tor Teen on February 11, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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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.

Kristen Simmons’ Article 5 trilogy is one of the best dystopian series to come out of the wave of novels in that genre (or purportedly in that genre) during the couple of years that fad lasted. Set in a terrifyingly possible near future US, the quality of the series remains consistent through the ending. Sadly, though, I found myself somewhat disengaged from Three, a way I didn’t with the previous two novels in the series. Whether I read it at the wrong time or too much time had passed since Breaking Point, I can’t say.

For those considering starting this series, here’s a basic rundown on the world. Like Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, Simmons’ series delves into what could happen if the worst political groups in the US were to take over. Where Doctorow focused on the Patriot Act, Simmons portrays the US if the far right were to obtain full power. Women are treated as the weaker sex and strict moral laws are put it into place. It’s believable, because, even though it’s 2014, the things politicians say about rape and family and women are still incredibly upsetting.

Three finds the heroine, Ember Miller and her rebel compatriots in a tougher situation than ever. The government has more resources and the rebels are woefully under-provisioned and being outsmarted at every turn. The stakes are really high in Three, and the government is actually a major force to be reckoned with, where in a lot of YA dystopians, it seems like a strong wind would blow the formidable dystopian government out of power.

What’s great is that Simmons obviously cares about the political side of things. She clearly set out to write a dystopian series, not to write a romance that’s set in a dystopian world because those were selling like hot cakes at the time. There is a romance in the series, but it’s not particularly dramatic or even close to the focus. In fact, by this point, Chase and Ember have been together for quite a while, and are basically working through what problems they have. It’s pretty healthy and highlights a part of romantic relationships that often doesn’t make it into YA books, which prefer the initial romance.

I really can’t put my finger on why Three didn’t suck me in the same way the others did, so I suppose it must have been due to my mood, which has admittedly been all over the place lately. The only actual criticism I have to offer is the ending, which felt a bit too convenient for my taste. View Spoiler »

Essentially, the Article 5 trilogy is a good choice for people who want to consider the nightmares that could occur if the wrong faction takes power. Reactions are rather varied for this series, but if you enjoyed Article 5, then you should be happy with the rest of the series as well.

Favorite Quote:

“Nothing cancels out the bad. But doing enough good things can make the bad . . . less bad.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

Newsroom America's not the greatest country

11 responses to “Review: Three”

  1. Ha! Your proposed ending is hilarious.

  2. Giselle says:

    I’ve been putting this one off for no real reason. I feel like my mood is not right for this one yet and the reviews have been pretty much all over the place. It does sound like a good finale, if not great though.
    Giselle recently posted…Popular Authors We Should Have Read By Now!My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yeah, I think maybe I wasn’t in the mood, too. There wasn’t much wrong with it, but I just wasn’t into it. Since I really liked the previous two, I think maybe I’d just lost MY momentum. I know Jenni really loved this one, so I’m inclined to think it was me.

  3. Tammy says:

    I just read Article 5 last month and it was the last 15% that saved the book for me. I have both Breaking Point and Three so maybe I’ll read them back to back and see if that makes for a more engaging read.

  4. Alice says:

    I really need to be getting my hands on this trilogy sometime soon – I’ve heard such wonderful things about Article 5 when it came out and I can’t believe I’ve been holding back on reading it. It’s a shame that you didn’t enjoy the final book as much though, but as you say, maybe you just weren’t in the right mood for it. Great review!
    Alice recently posted…February 2014 Wrap-UpMy Profile

  5. Kelly says:

    I went back and forth about whether or not I had read Article 5, because I truly couldn’t remember. When I found my review, I remembered that I had rated it lower for being unremarkable – seems like I was pretty spot-on! Haha

    I didn’t consider this version of the future realistic because I can’t imagine ever voting in a party that would regress my rights, but I never considered how accurate Simmons’ depiction of the future could be, should the wrong people get in to power. It makes me want to re-read Article 5, since so much of my review spoke to how I couldn’t get behind the worldbuilding.
    Kelly recently posted…Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never ReadMy Profile

  6. I haven’t actually read this series yet, but it sounds really good and maybe a little bit controversial given you know, how many people are right-wing. But I am so down for that. And I don’t know, I guess it just seems like kind of a real thinker of a series.

    I liked this review, even though I basically read the first two paragraphs and then skimmed, because you know, spoilers that I won’t remember if i ever do read these books.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Perfect Lies | Kiersten White | Book ReviewMy Profile

  7. Rashika says:

    I STILL haven’t jumped onto the Article 5 bandwagon. The majority of people absolutely love this series but.. dystopia and I aren’t on the best of terms. That could be because at one point I used to be a huge fan of all things dystopia but I got fed up with them so while I pick up the occasional dystopia, I haven’t really gotten back into the genre.

    Although I am extremely tempted by the mature relationship between the teens here and the fact it isn’t the center of the series.

    I am sorry the ending disappointed you though. I absolutely hate it when endings are too convenient. It’s kind of how I felt about Into the Still Blue but I did end up enjoying it never the less.

    Great Review, Christina!! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Dark Days by Kate OrmandMy Profile

  8. Hallelujah for a dystopian that isn’t romance-driven like most books on the market! *cheers* I feel like that happens so often that the first few books will have a really intense romance plot, but once the initial tension and chemistry wears off, the second books crash and burn because there’s no more romance to drive it forward anymore.

    Aww sorry that you weren’t in the right mood for this one! Sometimes certain books just need that magic kind of mindset to make it work. Fantastic review, though! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Ask Again Later by Liz CzukasMy Profile

  9. Bonnie says:

    Hmmm I had avoided this one because I thought it’d be just like the rest of these nutso ‘dystopians’ but I like the sound of this one. It’s a bummer though that it didn’t end on a high note. Might have to check this one out someday though!
    Bonnie recently posted…Book Review – Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

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