Author: Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy, #2
When Ivy Westfall was forced to marry the President’s son, Bishop Lattimer, she had one goal, to kill him. But her new husband was not the person she was led to believe and she refused to follow through with her original plan. When the plot to assassinate him is discovered, Ivy is cast out. Little is known about the land outside her city, but Ivy must gather all her strength if she has any hope of surviving. Ivy believes the life she once had is now part of the past, but when a familiar face shows up, she must consider whether her actions irrevocably changed the city she left behind.
“I expected it to be difficult outside the fence. And dangerous. But I never anticipated how relentlessly empty it would be. How vast the land and how small I am in comparison, almost like I’m steadily shrinking nothing under the endless expanse of the late-summer sky.”
The Revolution of Ivy, the final book in Amy Engel’s duology, is a good ending but lacked enough build-up to feel completely satisfying. In the wilderness, Ivy must learn to rely on herself, to recognize her own strengths, something she was only beginning to do in the first novel. Much of the book felt like a sophomore release, tying the first book’s events to its inevitable conclusion. Thus, when the conclusion came, much of what happened felt rushed. Many of the key players could have been given more development, especially Ivy’s father and sister. We learn so little about them in the first book, save for their determination to oust the Lattimers and the callousness with which they treat Ivy. Callie is always presented as everything Ivy isn’t and I would have liked to have spent more time getting to know her.
Along her journey, Ivy meets Ash and Caleb, adoptive siblings who have spent their lives surviving the wasteland. Though Ash immediately takes to Ivy, providing her with the kind of friendship she never had with her own sister, Caleb finds it more difficult to trust a stranger. Slowly, they become to Ivy the kind of family that her real family never was. Instead of trying to be someone she’s not, Ivy is able to be herself around them, something she was never able to be with anyone, not even Bishop.
The Revolution of Ivy really gives the protagonist a chance to shine, but I felt the storyline needed to focus more on the city of Westfall and its politics in order to feel like a fully flushed-out story.