by Megan Thomason
Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex. Punishment for disobeying SCI edicts? Immediate Exile or death.
Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.
Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.
Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.
is a book with an interesting concept. I like the blend of philosophy (the Second Chance Institute), political intrigue, and science fiction (Thera, which it took me half the book to realize is an anagram of Earth).
I felt that they were almost real, but lacking enough depth to be more than just representations of their gender/age group/community. Had they been truly analytical and thought-focused (i.e. Kira displaying emotional grief over the tragedy in the early parts of the book, trying to come to terms with the ‘why’ of it, having survivor’s guilt, etc.) instead of repeatedly insisting that they were, I would have been less distracted from the plot.