- The writing, plot, and pace improvements. This book was such an improvement over the first book. The rebellion has finally ramped up and things are actually happening. The non-stop action and suspense really helped overcome pace issues the first book had.
- The genetics. I have only had one biology class, so I cannot speak to the scientific accuracy of this book, but the government application of genetics was really what made this book so much better than the first. Yes, having all your information tracked in a bar code is frightening, but that is nothing compared to big brother messing around with the genes of babies.
- Aunt Emily. Although crazy Aunt Emily only has a very small cameo in this book, she was easily one of my favorite characters. I could very vividly imagine her standing living the middle of a desert like an Amish person, warding off trespassers with her shotgun. Fantastic!
3/5 - Book two in the Bar Code series was definitely better than its predecessor. The plot was more interesting, the characters felt better developed, just improvements all around. So why didn't I rate this book higher? While it is better than the first and I cannot pinpoint any specific issues with the book, it is just not a mind-blowing, life-changing read. The writing is better than in the first book, but it is still not great. The politics and speculation were what made this book better than average and memorable.