Book Review: Redux by A.L. Davroe

by - 6:00:00 AM

 Title: Redux
Author: A.L. Davroe 
Pages: 428
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: 21 February 2017

From Goodreads:"The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city. To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created. But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered. Or die trying."

Thank you to Entangled Teen and A.L. Davroe for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

Redux is the amazing concluding book in the Tricksters duology by A.L. Davroe and let me tell you now, it's absolutely fantastic. While I am sad to see this series end (for now) I am so satisfied with the ending! I was worried it wouldn't end nice and clean and would have a lot of lose threads (that's clever, I promise) that wouldn't be tied up, but it was quite the opposite. While there are several things that at completely wrapped up, they're left in a very satisfying way to where things end but can also easily be picked back up in the future to continue the story. I definitely enjoyed the first book, Nexis, but did have a few small reservations about it. Going into Redux, all I knew to expect was the continuation of the story, but never thought I'd get such a satisfying conclusion. This world that A.L. Davroe has so masterfully crafted from the ground up is one that I would gladly get lost in again and is a book that should not be missed!

This book picks up just minutes after the end of Nexis- with Evanescence in ruins and the Aristocrats on the run. One thing that I really enjoyed about Redux is that while you're reading a new book, you get loads of backstory about what happened in the first book so that you don't feel lost. I felt as if I got enough information that I would have been able to pick up Redux with no problems and would not have felt like I missed out on anything. However I would sill recommend picking up Nexis just because it's a good beginning to the series! Despite this book being a rather big one (428 pages!) it does move quite fast. You finally get to see the world outside of the dome and its inhabitants, both the Disfavored and Cannibals, and even get to see the game that the Disfavored play- Redux. There is a lot of action, and the question of who is the "real" Gus is finally answered. Trust me, you won't see the answer coming. There are twists and turns and truths are revealed that are pretty unexpected regarding Ella and her life. Also, the ending is pretty fantastic! While things do get wrapped up pretty nicely, they are also left open for potential future installments with Ella and her world and I am so excited at the prospect of more books in this series. I was on the fence about Nexis (although I did enjoy it) but Redux stole the show and is definitely my favorite book of the two, and I would love to see what direction the story can go from here. Redux is everything I could have wanted in a sequel/duology, and I am incredibly satisfied at the state of things after finishing the book.

In the first book, I wasn't a huge fan of Ella. I was constantly frustrated that she was being held hostage and refused to ask for help from Gus in Nexis because she was afraid of what he would think of her in the real world without her legs. She definitely annoyed me whenever that issue would come up and I just found myself so...annoyed! But Ella in Redux is a completely different person. She's strong and loud and not afraid to be bold/take chances. I loved the huge growth difference from Nexis to Redux and I felt like a proud mom watching Ella grow up, basically. That may sound silly but I just absolutely adored Ella in this book and I could not get enough of her. I was so happy to see her take charge and lead people the way she wanted to, not in the way that others tried to tell her. Ella Drexel for president, am I right? Speaking of presidents, let's talk about Quentin and Gus. But not too much because spoilers. I loved the relationship between Ella and the two boys and I literally screamed when the "reveal" happened because I was so happy. I think there was more growth for Quentin compared to Gus but it was great to see Quentin kind of grow up as well. He gets a few twists thrown at him and it's interesting to see how he handles things as more of an adult rather than a teenager. Other characters, such as Quentin's Dolls, Delia, Bastian, Carsai, Violet, etc. are well-written but don't really stand out to me when I think about this book. They're good characters, especially Violet, and I liked the mini story arcs that they went through, but I like them as background characters and as possible main character story progression plots more than anything. But every character in this book was definitely well-written and I feel like this book is a great blend of both strong main characters and strong story lines.

As a gamer, I loved the idea of a video game that you basically insert your consciousness into and play. Nexis introduced that idea and while Redux didn't expand heavily upon it (it was more about Ella's growth and realization of her purpose) it did reintroduce that concept again and we get to see the Disfavored version of Nexis, which is Redux. I loved that the writing was very balanced and never fell into too much detail and got boring, but never left the reader wondering just what was going on. It was beautiful, brutal, and scary, and I found myself flying through the pages and getting lost in the world that A.L. Davroe has created. There was so much more going on than I initially realized and I actually found myself enjoying the subtle political aspect that was woven in. Not only was there noticeable growth with Ella, but you can really tell there was a huge growth with the author from Nexis to Redux. A.L. Davroe quickly grew to an insta-read author for me, and I would definitely put her on my "you need to read this author" list!

This is a fantastic concluding book in the Tricksters duology that wraps up nicely while still leaving a potential opening for future books. I was so pleased with the beginning, ending, and everything in between. Have I mentioned that enough? If you're looking for an action-packed science-fiction/dystopian series with twists, turns, and creepy spider references, then Redux is the book for you!

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