No Plain Rebel by M.C. Frank

Rating: 5/5

Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (very mature and depressing scenes. Some triggering scenes.)

Favorite Quote: “Power will always pollute things.”

BOOK 2 in the NO ORDINARY STAR series A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix a the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do. A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive. A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack. The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty. The year is 2524. Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic young adult novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time. In No Plain Rebel, Felix finds out the truth. Or so he thinks. He’s trying to come to terms with that, as well as with the fact that the Clockmaster’s shack has been discovered by his fellow-soldiers, but he can’t exactly concentrate. The match girl’s fiery curls appear before his eyes every ten seconds, distracting him, and then he starts talking to her in his head. Because she’s no longer there. The Stadium is looming in the distance. It’s ten heartbeats to midnight.

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for promotion and for my honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

I have been itching this whole month to read the next book in the trilogy and I was NOT disappointed when I read it. This book picks up where we left off in the first book and it definitely explains the back story and the overall plot of the series. While there is a lot of information that comes at the reader, it isn’t heavy nor is it overwhelming. And while I thought the story would continue to circle around Astra and Felix, this book starts encompassing more and more characters and for the most part they are all very well developed. I also want to brag about the writing. The writing is so well done. You don’t just read these characters talking, you hear them. Each character has a distinctive voice. M.C. Frank also did something that I thought was very different. The tale is told from Felix’s POV and Astra’s POV and usually the emotional turmoil is told from the female’s viewpoint… but M.C. Frank wrote mostly from the emotional turmoil of Felix for a variety of reasons… that would be spoilery… but it was so well done! I always feel that guys get the short end of the stick in the majority of books I read and I liked that Felix had a wider array of emotions than the majority of guys I read in other books.

While I loved, loved, loved this book I did have some things I wanted to see (and that I’m hoping to see in the next book!). I want to see more of Astra and the Rebel’s story and I want to see their part in this book explained more. I want to know how it is on their side of the conflict and what it would be like to be one of them. While I think that all of the characters are very well developed, I do want to see more about this cast of characters if just for curiosities’ sake! Hopefully I’ll see more of that in the 3rd book, but if not I’d be happy with how the story is. I love this universe and I love how the story is mainly from Felix’s view and I’m rooting for him all the way!
Give this series a read-through! M.C. Frank is one of the most underappreciated authors out there. She writes amazing books and this series is one of my favorite dystopian series already. I can’t wait for the next book and I can’t wait to see how this will end!