Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a good YA Dystopian Sci/Fi Thriller set on the Arcadia, a luxury liner that set sail 40 years ago after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Since that time, it’s been a refugee camp anchored off the coast of the Federated States. The story centers on Esther a loyal citizen, working to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land, and Nik, a rebel planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the oppressors of the refugees acts despicably toward them, requiring the rebels to alter their plans.

This is a pretty long YA dystopian book (464 pages) and while there were a few slow places, the author did a pretty good job in worldbuilding life on the Arcadia and moving the story along. What the author left a mystery was how the European war started and why, and almost everything about the fractured U.S. The book ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m guessing we’ll learn more about all of that in book 2.

I really liked Esther. She is smart, determined and prickly. She’s got a chip on her shoulder and doesn’t have a problem speaking her mind. She is loyal to her family and friends, much to her detriment on occasion. Nik is clever, loyal and a smart-aleck. I loved the relationship he and Esther developed after they got unceremoniously shoved together. The duo had more bravery than smarts at times, but they’d do anything for their loved ones. The book has plenty of action and for the most part was well paced. It’s an easy read and I think it hits almost all the notes we look for in a YA Dystopian book.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire. All opinions are my own.