I have decided to review the entire No Safety In Numbers trilogy in one post. I won’t review the books on great detail, but enough for you to get a good gist of them. The trilogy focuses on four teens trapped in a mall as a chemical bomb forces the government to quarantine the shoppers.
1. No Safety In Numbers
No Safety In Numbers provided a solid start to the trilogy and unfortunately, the best book in my opinion. The atmosphere that Lorentz creates in the first book is tense and mysterious as the teens try to figure out what is going on and survive the ongoing chaos, a hunger games-esque setting if you will. Ryan, Marco, Lexi, and Shay are a bit cookie cutter, but I felt Lorentz established them well enough to serve as the main characters that readers will follow and hopefully, grow to love in the books to come. The fast and frantic pace keeps you entertained and eager to solve the mysterious circumstances of the quarantine. Overall, No Safety In Numbers was a solid start to the trilogy providing a tense atmosphere, competent characters, and just enough mystery to keep reading.
2. No Easy Way Out
Unfortunately, No Easy Way Out squanders whatever momentum Lorentz created in the first book. The main gripe I have with this book is that it never expands on the main characters that were established in the first book. Shay is the worst character in the entire trilogy in my opinion. She’s whiny, manipulative, and just uninteresting. Ryan is a good guy, but bland. Lexi and Marco are the best of the four, moreso Marco as his character arc is taken to a nice turn by the end of the novel. But, in general, I could not care less what happens to most of them and that is terrible. In a book where death looms every corner, I felt no connection to the characters and that undercuts any tension that is created. Why should I care what is happening to them when I don’t even care about them in the first place? What Lorentz does well again is depict the life in quarantine. It’s nervous, scary, and dangerous as the government tries to instill order in what will inevitably fail as people are people; when pushed into a corner, you don’t know what to expect from them. Sadly, the interesting plot is turned into something that we have seen before. On top of that, the pace definitely slows down which I kind of liked, but others may not. Sadly, No Easy Way Out is a meh sequel to a solid first book that fails to establish any development in the main characters and turns an interesting plot into a predictable one.
3. No Dawn Without Darkness
No Dawn Without Darkness is better than the previous installment in the trilogy and offers a somewhat satisfying to the trilogy. The main problem with this book is exactly the same as the last one: there is little to no character development and Lorentz fails to make us care about them at all. In fact, the inclusion of Ginger, Lexi’s friend, as a narrator is the worst part of this book. What was Lorentz thinking? Why would you use the most underdeveloped character in the trilogy as a narrator? Albeit, Lexi is gone for most of this book, but Ginger’s persepctive could have been used to develop the three other characters. Marco, the ONLY interesting character in the series, is barely in this book. Shay was a bit better, but only by the end and Ryan is still boring. The ending did show a bit of character development and how each changed, but was not enough to save the characters. Although, the ending never felt earned. You’re supposed to be happy that you got to see each character grow up in a way, but because there is no connection, no time you recall them developing each character as the ending wants you to think, you just don’t. Lorentz ops for a more frenetic pace and it pays off, adding some much needed excitement into the novel. Again, the chaotic world Lorentz has created is still well done and one of the few, if only, consistent highlights in the series. In conclusion, No Dawn Without Darkness is a step up fron the previous entry and offers a somewhat satisfying conclusion that kinda improves the biggest problem of No Easy Way Out, yet does not solve it entirely.
Overall: The No Safety In Numbers trilogy offers an interesting take on the hunger games-esque setting with a tense and chaotic atmosphere, but fails to develop any connection with the main characters and turns a mysterious plot into a predictable one. It has a solid first book, but ultimately fumbles in the end.
Rating: Check it out if you like Hunger Games type books.