She wants to put an end to the Testing.
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor Cia Vale vows to fight.
But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves - and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.
Who can Cia trust? The stakes are higher than ever - lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope - in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not - it' s Graduation Day. The Final Test is the Deadliest!
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Ending helps an otherwise underwhelming end
The ending was a bit like a magic trick. Once you step back, there are some plot holes created, but in the moment, it's perfect. It wraps up a lot of problems that I have both with this book and the previous installments. I like that it also did not tie everything up in a nice bow. It acknowledges that the situation is messy and there are still problems left. It left me wanting to know more and watch the aftereffects.
Parts I liked least are definitely Cia and Tomas. They were interesting enough everyday views into the world at the start of the series and descending into increasingly horrendous levels of boring. The other characters around them are intriguing and do a good job with making up for our main characters' deficiencies. Cia's obsession with her boyfriend is tiresome especially since it is very much a show and not tell relationship. We know they are in love because they both obsess over it, but there is nothing that makes their relationship believeable or interesting. It is not the worst relationship in a recent dystopian series (that would be the borderline abusive one between Deuce and Fade in the razorland trilogy), it's still pretty annoying though. Cia is a bit better at the end after some of her character flaws are acknowledged, but Tomas is just a useless block in the series.
Honestly, I would have killed Tomas in book 1. It would have given stronger motivation to Cia and there would not have been massive text blocks on how perfect Tomas is.
Other than that, the historical sections, while important in developing the story, were not incorporated as well as they could have been. I also wish that the war wasn't referred to every time as "The Seven Stages of War". It's just a bit clunky.
I couldn't tell any of the male characters apart. Her female voices were decent, but the male ones all sounded very similar, especially those in the same age bracket.
Eh, probably not. The historical sections would be difficult to film and so much is internal monologue. I'm not sure that it would do well with the transition.
The side characters are expanded on a good deal in this installment, to the series benefit. Rafe and Stasia especially are far more interesting in this book. I really loved how they were developed. They were great.
Wonderful book and very entertaining.
- Michelle Diffee