4♥'s, and even a smidgen extra.
I really enjoyed the ensemble cast, how worlds collided, crap hit the fan, and there seemed a (less than) 5 degrees of separation between the survivors (both in charge, and the population being pushed down 'by the man'.) I was engaged and eager to finish, especially to see the wild tangles of stories get finally woven together into one. While the mechanics and history of the 'New World' is left somewhat ambiguous, my inner rebel was wanting to start a battle against both 'the man' and 'the rebels'. Somehow, a line from Romeo and Juliet comes to mind, "All are punished." That describes both sides of the fight- they are both power hungry, and flawed, and cold, and neither will provide a worthwhile future.
There are a moments that didn't work for me... well, I guess the better word would be tone. I felt, especially in the beginning when we are still somewhat disoriented as to where the book is geographically, the dialect, colloquialisms, slang, and other phrases didn't give a sense (even post-switch) of the region like I felt it should have. (The basic idea that even post-disaster I would still expect to hear colloquialisms... like Australians saying 'barbie' or Texans saying 'Y'all', those kind of things. After about a third of the book, they do appear more often, but I still wish I got to see a little more lovely 'accent'.
One thing that I do have to give kudos to- I never react how I expect I would to certain characters. Like you think 'rebels' and I get visions of Luke in a storm trooper outfit, and Lando in his cape, and the Princess with her matching bun earwarmers... all happy things. But when it comes to this war, except for a few key players, I'm just against the war all together. Dammed either way it seems- between a rock and a hard place. I think I need some rose colored glasses to make me see the hope. Maybe some Ewokes, too. Although the male hotness does help.
Overall, 4 BadAss stars and a smidgen extra!I received a free ARC eBook from Janelle in exchange for an unbiased review.