Warning, this review contains spoilers regarding Noughts & Crosses, the first volume in the serie.
Persephone (Sephy) Hadley, now an 18-year-old single parent, is raising her biracial daughter in a sharply divided alternate England, where black Crosses suppress the white Noughts. She faces pressure from both her less-than-understanding Cross family and her disintegrating Naught family, and everyone in between. When her brother-in-law's violent behavior leads to murder, Sephy provides a false alibi to save Jude, but doing so irreparably damages other lives.
This time the story is told by many points of view; Sephy and Jude mainly, but also by Minerva, Meggie and Jasmine (Sephy's mother).
After Callum's death, Sephy wishes harder than ever that her daughter Callie Rose was dead and that Callum was back. Yet, she loves her daughter so much, which is the proof of her and Callum's love for each other. We see how mature she has become since the events of Noughts & Crosses, how she takes things with a cool seriousness and determination. I liked Sephy a lot in this book until depression gained over her. After she received Callum's letter - which contents you will only know if you read the book - foolishness heaved a bit too much on her actions. Seeing in what state she was and what she was going through, it's understandable, but still irritable to me.
Jude was deliciously cruel, mean, arrogant and bad-boyish than ever. His side of the story was very interesting to watch and so was his character. I really loved how he tried to be indifferent and cold to everything and how he failed against what he considers his biggest enemy. I was disappointed that he didn't succeed in seeing things properly and didn't give in his true feelings (those who read the book, you know what I mean. ;] ), but I guess that with such a story he just couldn't.
I found Jasmine and Meggie a bit too 'out-of-character', or at least I didn't see the peculiar touch that distinguished them from other characters originated from Noughts & Crosses. They were too soft. Yet again, I guess their personalities have been altered after the dramatic events of the previous volume, and just like every one else, they were trying to start from the beginning.
I found the ending strangely-described though. Not described enough, actually, which left me perplexed on the unraveling of those last moments.
This second book had its own share of drama that I enjoyed greatly. There was less romance, more doubt, fears and sadness. There were also more details this time without forgetting the evident underlining of emotions and feelings. I drank it as fast as I drank the first book, and Malorie has a talent of presenting the most atrocious things gracefully. I think fans of Noughts & Crosses will enjoy this second volume even if it wasn't as good as the first, and will be impatient about reading the follow-up.
Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman