It is the year 2055, thirteen years after Willa, with the help of Thomas Sawyer, successfully rescued her then four year old daughter Katy from Renton Children’s Center, home of unlicensed children. Unlicensed children are those born without the necessary but very expensive reproductive permit also called ‘baby license’ under the No Unwanted Children Act.
After a series of disturbing and recurring nightmares and the discovery of an old picture taken in the Children’s Center, Katy starts to have flashes of blurred memories of two long lost friends. An unexpected encounter strengthens Katy’s resolve to go back to the center. Her naivety and inexperience lead her to believe that she can simply go to the center, find her friends and take them away from that dark and cruel place. She has no idea of the extent of the depravity waiting for her in the center where unlicensed children are not even considered humans but garbage that can be tossed about and dispose of.
Though not as suspenseful as the first two books, this is much more intense and more poignant. The description of the place, the corruption of those in charge, the depiction of cruelty and atrocity and the portrayal of hopelessness and helplessness are done in vivid details that twist the hearts of the readers.
Apparently, however, it seems that the author focused more on the plot as Katy is the only developed character in this book and plays a part bigger than that of all the other minor characters put together. Though Katy is too stubborn, too impulsive and too naïve for my type of main protagonist, she proves herself a worthy heroine with her sharp tongue and steely determination to save her friends and other children in the center.
Just like the other books in the series, this is casually worded and easy to read. However, though this book can be a standalone, I recommend that readers check out the first two books and read the series in proper order to get acquainted with and appreciate the important characters.