Ever since Partridge had been brought back into the Dome, they're lives became more restricted than ever. Yes, Partridge has power as the leader of the Dome, but what he didn't realize is how much is at stake, more than he ever realized when he was just his father's son. Every decision Partridge makes is life or death for the people he leads as well as the people who now see him as enemy #1.
Lyda gives herself up in order to stop bloodshed, thinking that if she could just reach Partridge and talk to him, she could help to make a difference. But, what happens when the new, free version of Lyda is put back in the cage that almost caused her to lose her mind initially? Of course, she is carrying Partridge's unborn baby, but that only grants her freedom until the baby is born. What will happen after the baby comes? Will she be able to get through to Partridge? and How will she ever escape the cage after it's locked her in once again?
Pressia is still on a mission to save those who were left outside during the detonations, but throughout this book, she is also on a mission to save herself. After finding the formula, she knows that there may be a cure out there, one that will allow those fused to others to become "pure" again, to erase the past that has scarred them. But, at what cost? Is she willing to give up her truth, her scars, to exist in a reality that neglects the pain?
Bradwell is brooding - really, he spends a lot of this book scowling or mad about something. After Pressia saved his life, he now sees himself as others see him - a monster. His wings are now massive, ugly, but slightly angelic at the same time. Because of this shame and anger, he spends much of the book determined to take down the Dome at all costs. The only problem is that the woman he loves wants the Dome to remain in order to save those who want to be "whole" again. Is his revenge more potent than his love for Pressia? Will he be a lover, a friend, a martyr, or all three when the story ends?
El Capitan said that he loves Pressia. He kissed her. These are things he can't take away, but he feels embarrassed by his confession because now those he's closest to know his secret. Although the secret is out, however, there's a greater mission at hand that needs his attention - the mission that will cleanse his soul and help him to gain forgiveness from others and from himself. With his newfound love for another person as well as the companionship of new friends, he realizes all of the wrong he has done in the past, and he wants to be absolved from all of it. Will he be able to gain forgiveness from those whose family and friends were killed by the precious version of himself, or will his past transgressions end his life?
All in all, I liked this book. It was written just as well as the first two, and I loved the way that Baggott made the characters come to life. I really enjoyed Lyda's progression. She is my favorite character because she is strong even when it seems like she's about to give up. She seemed to be the least selfish out of all the characters, and so I think I was more drawn to her story arc.
My issue with the book is how it ended so abruptly. The last five pages pretty much summed up every character's actions as the Dome was falling, but we never get to see the aftermath. We don't know what happened to many of the characters. The readers never figure out what happened to all of the other strongholds where people were saved from the Detonations. I mean, I get that Pressia is letting go of her father by not convincing Bradwell and El Capitan to stop the Dome invasion and save the map in Ellery Willux's office, but there are still so many loose ends that I feel should have been closed. This is my personal preference, but I just think that the author could have spent less time re-explaining events from the previous two books and spent more time with the ending.