ROGUE Review

Title: Rogue (The Vault #2)
Author: A.J. Betts
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Readership: Young Adult #loveozya
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $16.99

I received a copy of Rogue from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

There was no going back; there was no choice, anymore. I’d chosen out and this was it: hot-cold, dry-wet, bright-dark and lonely.

Hayley has gone rogue.

She’s left everything she’s ever known – her friends, her bees, her whole world – because her curiosity was too big to fit within the walls of her underwater home.

But what is this new world she’s come to? Has Hayley finally found somewhere she can belong?

Or will she have to keep running?

Every now and then a book (or series) comes along that completely surprises you, and the second book in The Vault duology, Rogue, is one of those books.

Earlier last month I read and reviewed Hive, book one, and fell in love with the strange and unique world that main character, Hayley, lived in. It was the kind of book that ended on a cliffhanger, with the reader left with far more questions than answers, and a desire to find out what was going to happen next.

And Rogue did not disappoint.

While it’s hard to talk about without significant spoilers, the core of this story is Hayley discovering the world she’s never truly known. She’s trying to unravel what has happened and who the people are she can trust while seeking these answers and she finds herself caught up in situations that she could never have been predicted.

One of the most intriguing parts of the story is watching Hayley begin to understand herself and the world she’s found herself in. She undergoes a lot of rapid growth because she has to; she needs to learn and adapt on the fly and she becomes a more well-rounded character as she does. Her innocence begins to erode away, while still leaving her a deeply earnest, lovely young woman who’s a victim of circumstance.

Again, the most fascinating part of the story is the world; Betts’ world building is fantastic, especially since she doesn’t give away a lot of the details that you get in a lot of dystopian books that love to get in-depth with the why and how of how things came to be how they are. Betts’ world is what it is, and it’s been like that for so many years that no one questions it anymore… except for Hayley, for whom it’s all new. The Australian landscape has been transformed and is recognisable, but now inherently dangerous and almost alien.

The ending, too, was really well crafted and was concluded enough to leave me feeling satisfied with how everything wrapped up, while still leaving me with enough questions that I’m still intrigued by the world.

I’m so grateful to have been involved in the blog tour for Rogue – it was a real pleasure to read both books in the series and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thinks of them.

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