Mar 182014

charbonneau-independentstudyVOYA: Filled with intrigue and suspense, this is a stellar second book in a promising dystopian series. Charbonneau has created an elegantly organized plot that will keep the reader engaged and wondering how this richly layered plot will unfold. This novel surpasses expectations and leaves other comparative novels behind as it forges new paths to a futuristic, alternate world filled with corruption and conspiracy. The tension and conflict will have readers at the edge of their seats as the imagery and complexities of the characters and plot design are exposed.

This is the second book in the series The Testing, in which sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was selected by the government to undergo a series of rigorous examinations in order to be selected as a candidate for higher education. Cia and her classmate—and love interest—Tomas, have both passed these excruciating assessments and have been placed in the university to pursue their assigned paths, all in an effort to revitalize a ravaged, postwar civilization. Though she and Tomas have overcome the odds to succeed together, the second book positions her to realize that her destiny in this quest may leave her acting alone. Despite having her memory of the testing wiped clean by government officials, Cia is haunted by a fragmented recollection of what she has endured, sparking a distrust for those who occupy power in government and a fervor to protect the future of the Commonwealth. Realizing this will make her vulnerable to a system she has been warned to distrust, she guards these memories and seeks to uncover the truth behind them. Her persistence to expose the nature of the government’s corruption puts her on a dangerous path, which unfolds to reveal deep-rooted conspiracy relentlessly guarded by those in power. Cia’s plan to uncover the truth and identify who can be trusted may be jeopardizing all she holds sacred.