Kirkus: After discovering in Independent Study (2014) that the rebellion is secretly controlled by the administration it purports to act against, Cia must choose whom to trust. Conspiracies, counterconspiracies, lies and double crosses: It’s quite a ride.
It’s up to Cia to end the Testing and prevent a civil war that’s a setup for slaughter. When she brings the conspiracies to the attention of the United Commonwealth president (whom Cia works for as a student intern), President Collindar concludes that her own office has been infiltrated so thoroughly that none can be trusted. Rather than relying on one of her other underlings, Collindar gives Cia a hit list of strategic targets—Dr. Barnes and various officials connected to the Testing—to assassinate in order to put control of the Testing firmly into Collindar’s hands and to prevent civil war. But Cia knows this task is impossible for one person to accomplish: She must recruit others and, harder, trust them. But she doesn’t have long to evaluate—or test—her friends for loyalty and belief in the cause. Professor Holt and Cia’s other enemies close in on Cia with the goal of Redirecting her out of the University. Once and for all, Cia will prove if she has what it takes to lead or not. Twists and reveals are plentiful but not gratuitous, and the series’ loose threads are tied up. Readers who have been with Cia from the beginning will not be disappointed.