Felix is as fierce as ever, and he is becoming more and more devoted to Astra and her cause. He finds himself drawn to her, to her warmth and humanity, unaware what this need for her really means. His waking heart beats to life when she is around.
Having found this bunker and all of its wonders, Astra and Felix are able to live the childhood they never had. They read kids books, laugh, play games, throw snowballs. They are experiencing a lifetime in a matter of days, trying to load as much into their possible last moments of life, and the reader is right there with them, feeling their passion and excitement.
Astra is as kick ass as ever, exploring with abandon, roaming the bunker freely. She is afraid, but at the same time resilient and willing to sacrifice herself if it means exposing the corrupt Government. She has nightmares of her time in prison, 'the Box' (a terrifying place where people are placed for the smallest of crimes, her punishment was being related to a rebel). Her vibrant personality, even after all of her hardships, endears her to Felix and to the reader.
The second half of the novel revolves around clock preparation. We learn what is meant to happen when the clock strikes in the year 2525; Felix and Astra are now determined to prevent it and to create their own awakening (opening eyes to the injustices around the world). This is where new characters come in to play, and the solitary existence of Felix and Astra is broken by the arrival of Felix's soldier friend. Astra moves on to the rebels, and Felix begins working on his soldiers. Operating on both sides, they are convincing their groups to work together; if they can accomplish this, they may be able to survive long enough to stop Kun and the Council.
There is more exposition in this novel, with information on Steadfast (Astra's father), Ulysses, Felix's father (be ready to be shocked by this one), our intrepid heroes childhoods, mother's, and the meaning of love. We begin to delve into their growth and understanding about love and why it is so important for humanity. We learn along with them that health pills, food pills, segregation and complete control over a population does not make a utopia, but breeds a crumbling dystopia. By the end of the novel you are on the edge of your seat, wondering if Felix's plan for the clock will help prevent the end of the Earth. I cannot wait to read No Vain Loss, the conclusion to this fantastic scifi trilogy.