9 November 2014

Review: Independent Study - Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing was only the beginning. Cia is once again forced to use all her wits as she enters University. Fist she sits the enttry exams, where the penalty for failing is redirection. Then life gets even harder as she is separated from those she trusts and  put through a horrific hazing system.

Here we see Cia develop all over again as she begins to piece together her testing experiences. Her nightmares and the recording she left herself are enough to give her a good sense of the awful things she has to face. People change during the testing, and she has no idea who to trust and who will be the same person they were before they entered the process. Cia is on her own, and with her memories slowly returning, she come to the conclusion that the testing has to end. This character never disappoints. Her trusting nature still makes her an easy target, but she is working on it. The plot device to allow her to forget her memories actually give an excuse to recap the last book throughout, whilst not giving a boring overview at the beginning.  This was great as too many books do this, and when you are reading one after the other, this can be really aggravating.

In this second book of the testing trilogy, we meet more characters, and more about the Government and the rebellion is revealed throughout. This has developed the plot very well, but unfortunately once again the supporting character have not been given the same treatment. While a few key classmates stick out in terms of the fact that they may have ulterior motives and that they have different beliefs to Cia, they do not come to the fore, and Cia remains the only character who truly has a lot of depth given to her.

However, I really enjoyed this book. The pace was as good as the first, and the plot is full of action, with no dull moments. The story definitely pulls you in straight away, and the idea has now taken a further step away from other YA dystopian fiction that may be similar. A great read.