How far would you go to control your own destiny?
I really have some feelings about this book, and the sneak peek into the final installment as well. I am hoping that this review doesn't push the envelope into spoiling anything for future readers. The entire episode really has me pointing my fingers towards a few characters who I know will be breaking my heart and Mia's once everything is said and done. I have hopes that Grant's world will crash down upon his misogynistic, cruel, and arrogant head once and for-all but am also worried as to who will ultimately survive when the final page is revealed.
The Collection, the second installment in The Registry trilogy, picks up right where its predecessor left off. Having made their escape from the evil clutches of one Grant Marsden at the expense of nearly everyone they came in contact with, Amelia (Mia) Morrissey, Carter Rowe, and Andrew find themselves in Mexico where things take a turn for the strange.
Almost right away, Andrew and Carter are taken away by the Mexican Militia to a training camp where they find themselves at the mercy of madmen intent on brainwashing them so completely that they no longer remember why they are there in the first place. Andrew and Carter's journey is fraught with vibes of despair, agony, and the finality that comes with giving up any hope of ever escaping or in finding Mia again. It also brings about LOTS of questions as to the reliability of Carter and Andrew to do the right thing when it comes to Mia's safety and happy ending and how easily manipulated they both can be when someone pushes the right buttons.
While THE BOYS are learning about the true harshness of being in the militia, Mia is found by Riley, an Irish Operative and ends up with a whole new outlook. Riley enlightens Mia on the truth that is behind the current America where men are misogynistic bastards who truly believe that women have no rights except to make babies, and play house all day long. Where men are tossed away like garbage, and given to orphanages where they are at the mercy of a very corrupt government. Mia's own journey is a stark contrast from The Registry. She becomes sure of herself, learns how to defend herself, and understanding strategy while putting her own life on the line to rescue Andrew and Carter. She becomes much more than the meekly rich girl who had no clue about the reality and harshness of the real world she lived in until her sister Corinna woke her up.
If you are a Grant fan, then you can rejoice in the fact that he hasn't changed one iota. He is still furious that Mia and her boys escaped his evil clutches and manipulations. He meets the leader of America aka The Grand Commander who opens doors for Grant. Grant's obsession with Mia is like a crack addict who refuses to acknowledge that they are in trouble, or a politician who is so corrupt that he can actually look in the mirror and lie to his/herself daily into believing that they still have a good heart. Grants background is also shown through flashbacks which gives you an idea how hard it is to really like this guy.
The Collection takes place in a controlled society in which I wouldn't want to live in or wish on my worse enemy. It is a place where if a married man dies, his wife is retired, and loses everything to the government who sells her property and belongings for profit! It is a place where The Registry needs to be blown up and dismantled, and those in the position of leadership, taken down, and arrested, or put in front of a firing squad for culpability in sanctioning murder of women by men.
The Collection does offer a glimpse into a new group called Affinity and where they maintain a headquarters in Guatemala. Their priorities are to close The Registry, stop mandatory service for males while taking the government completely out of people's lives. <-This idea will probably offend those who truly believe that the government is our savior and it is better than believing in any god, or individual freedoms of choice to live the way we want to.
Mia and her boys, including someone I don't trust at all, finally meet the mysterious "S" and the dynamics between Carter and Mia and Andrew have definitely changed and not necessarily for the better. I would say that there is a bit of romance involved in this book, but that wouldn't actually be the truth. The dynamics have changed because both men have had horrific experiences and have no clue what is actual reality and imaginary. Mia has made a choice, but I won't jump into the argument of whether it is the right one, or the wrong one.
In the end, The Collection was better than the first, and I have high hopes that the finale will be even better than the first two. I would love to see more of Mia's growth and hope that she makes the right choices when it comes to putting Grant down like the dog he is.
Author - Shannon Stoker
Title - The Collection (The Registry # 2)
Published by William Morrow
Released: February 4, 2014
Genre - YA Dystopian
Received via Edelweiss/Publisher