I mentioned in my reviews of this book’s predecessors—Secrets of PEACE and Renegades of PEACE—that I was in a unique position while reviewing them because I’d had the opportunity to read them way back in their infancy. Taking that into consideration, I feel like I’m also in a unique position while reviewing this final book in the series, but for the opposite reason: I was left guessing what would happen next like every other reader.
Survivors of PEACE picks up virtually right where Renegades left off and we find the characters diving into (or getting sucked into) a whole new set of problems. While some of these problems affect all the characters as a whole, the interesting thing about this book is that most of the issues are very personal. Zira and Jared each find themselves facing personal demons from their pasts, some of which take the form of people and some of which are more abstract. I love tangible conflicts and gunfights and battles as much as the next person, but I also love seeing broken characters and their individual struggles, and there’s no shortage of those in this book. And in the third book of a series where you’ve gotten to know and grown invested in those characters, the impact is that much bigger.
Anyone who’s read the series thus far shouldn’t be surprised to know that America is in a fragile state when Survivors opens. A lot of change happened all at once at the end of Renegades, which naturally leads to a lot of unrest and uncertainty around the country. Where characters like Zira and Tripp were once part of a rebellion working to bring down the tyrannical PEACE Project, they’re now working to create unity among those resistant to change. Their biggest foe is a new terrorist group that has formed with the intention of restoring power to the Project. This of course means there’s plenty of intrigue, espionage, action-packed shootouts, and explosions. Lots of explosions.
Despite all of that, I felt like there were more “slow parts” in this book than there were in the others, but that by no means actually takes away from the story. This is a different plot with different stakes where quiet, reflective moments were not only appropriate but necessary given everything else that was happening. After going through hell in the previous books (and this one, for that matter), the characters needed these moments. They’re woven in perfectly among the missions, plot twists, and action sequences. The process Zira and Jared go through as they come to terms with everything they—and the other—have done is masterfully handled, and each of them gets a finale they deserve.
This was a great conclusion to this series that built off the previous stories but also added unique elements of its own, some of which I definitely hadn’t expected. Most importantly, there was an extremely satisfying sense of closure that I think was practically a requirement for a story that could be so bleak at times. I’m sad to see it all end, but am pleased with the way it did.
About T.A. Hernandez
T.A. Hernandez grew up with her nose habitually stuck in a book and her mind constantly wandering to make-believe worlds full of magic and adventure. She began writing stories after reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings for the first time at age 10. Thankfully, her writing has improved significantly since then, though she will happily admit that she has much more to learn and is looking forward to a long and exciting journey in her Quest to Tell Better Stories.
She is the proud mother of two girls and a college student working toward her degree in social work. She also enjoys drawing, reading, watching movies, riding her motorcycle, and making happy memories with her family and friends.