Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Independent study by Joelle Charbonneau

Independent study is the sequel to The Testing so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not already read The Testing.  This is a series where it really pays to read the books in order so if you have not read book one yet then read that before you read anymore of this review.

Cia has successfully navigated her way through the Testing and she is now ready to face the exams which will decide which study stream she enters at the university - and the last thing she expects is to enter the school of government.  Government is not a path she would have chosen, but Cia is not about to let herself fail now - especially when she learns what happens to students who are Redirected out of the university programme.

Making it through the Testing was supposed to be a good thing, but now Cia is not so sure, especially when her dreams turn to veiled hints of those that were lost during the Testing.  It is a stressful time, a time when the students enter the Induction tests for the various schools of study and Cia realises that surviving the Testing was just the beginning of the challenges they will all face - especially when not everyone survives their Inductions.

As the memories begin to crowd back Cia learns more about the government and the other students - and she doesn't like what she is learning and what it means for her and her the Commonwealth.  Battle lines are being drawn and Cia will have to be careful if she doesn't want to end up on the wrong side of the line - or in harms way if people see her as a threat.  In a toxic environment where students are encouraged to spy on each other and report infractions Cia will have to watch her back and learn to tell her friends from her enemies, because sometimes there is a fine line between friend and foe.

Independent study is the second book in The Testing series and does an admirable job of keeping up the tension and pace from the first novel, while adding an extra helping of conspiracy and confusion on the side.  Cia remains a strong character, and the cast of characters built around her is fleshed out a little more in this second book in the series, as is the world in which they live. 

Like with The Testing, talking about the story too much ruins some of the plot twists and turns so I won't go into too much detail - I will only say that I can't wait for the third (and final) book in the series to come out so I can see what happens for Cia and her world because it feels like the tension is building towards something huge!

If you like this book then try:
  • The Hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • Eve by Anna Carey
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • Slated by Teri Terry
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • XVI by Julia Karr

Reviewed by Brilla

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