This series so far is really great. I love the characters and the storyline. It is a very difficult and harsh world. I love the desperate feel of it all. This one took us to new places, and threw some twists in the mix. We also met some new characters that I really liked. I though this was a fantastic sequel and this series continues to be really great!!Tess was great in this. She is in a new place, with people who seem to hate her, but she does so great. She finds the strength in herself to not let them get to her, to hold her head high and not let them see her as weak. She is still aching and thinking of James all the time, and as she and Henry rekindle their friendship, and he makes it clear he wants more, she doesn't know what to do. She loves James, but has no hopes of ever seeing him again, so she wonders if she could move on and he happy with Henry. She also is very determined to go back and get her sister from Templeton. She can't just abandon the only family she has left. Through all the struggles, and things thrown her way, she really becomes a strong, and brave woman. I loved her so much in this.This is usually where I talk about the male character in the story, but the one I want to talk about isn't in the story very much. James is a thought in Tessa's mind constantly. Her love for him is very strong, but unfortunately he isn't actually there with her. Henry starts to show his affections for her and wants her to be with him. I never really did like Henry. I don't care that they were friends a long time ago, he really comes across as such a jerk to me, and totally not like Tess at all. I don't think he could ever be good enough to deserve her. Especially after a secret he keeps from her in this. I know he was trying to do what he thought was best, but it was still selfish. That being said, when James is back in the picture, I almost cried tears of joy!!There are so many things going on in this. It's made obvious that Templeton knows where Tessa is, and they send her warnings. She fears for her sister so much and knows she has to leave and go find her, even if no one else is willing to help her. When James shows up, that really complicates things. There were so many parts in this book that really threw me for a loop. I have to say, that I totally did not see that ending coming, and it left me in a slight state of shock.This isn't an action packed book, or full of romance. There is some romance in it, but really this book carves out their world, what it's like, where it's going. It's about family, and Tessa feeling like she needs to have her sister with her and make sure she's safe. This is a very depressing environment. They don't have much, they have to be dirty, there is no medicine, but in general, people are happy. That is, all but Tess. She will do whatever it takes to have her sister with her again. I loved the bleak and desperate feel to this, just like with the first book. I am definitely looking forward to the next book!!