Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu

The battle is all but over, and all hope seems to be lost. Zoe and her fellow Resistance fighters are on the run, having lost their home, their protection, and their leader. They are outnumbered and outmatched by the powerful corporation that controls the world, and the cruel Chancellor is inches away from completing a scheme that would kill most of humanity. Zoe’s only remaining option is to chase the impossible dream of upending the Link system, freeing the world from the hardware that controls their thoughts and emotions, and hope it will trigger a revolution.

The plot requires a nearly impossible mission to infiltrate the dangerous Community, and it is a task that Zoe must unfortunately complete alone. After horrific torture at the hands of the Chancellor, Adrien remains unresponsive; an empty shell of the boy Zoe loves. With challenges and surprises at every turn, nothing goes according to plan. Adrien’s visions of the future now show two possible outcomes: one in which they succeed, and one in which humanity falls. It all lies in Zoe’s hands.

Zoe is heart-broken with Adrien’s indifference since his return. And it’s no surprise that she won’t forgive Max for his deception and role in Adrien’s capture. Max’s character is beyond redemption at this point, no matter what he says or does from here on. And while Adrien is a different person since his lobotomy, he goes through more changes that at least bring him back to life and less of an emotionless vegetable (as he seems at first).

Just when everyone is at their lowest, disaster strikes. And Zoe and Adrien find themselves lost, alone and struggling to survive. Shutdown is the final installment in Anastasiu’s super-powered trilogy. With plenty of twists and surprises long the way, I loved this novel from beginning to end. Fast-paced, action-packed and impossible to put down – this exciting conclusion should not be missed.