Friday, June 13, 2014

The Testing

13326831A friend recommended this series to me.  It wasn't even on my radar before that.  The Testing is a Dystopian adventure quite reminiscent of The Hunger Games.  It is a bit more psychological though.  It takes place in a future society decades after the world fell to war.  Bombing and fighting has left the earth devastated.  Most human life erased, animals dead or mutated, and plant life destroyed.  America is broken into colonies, relatively independent of each other.  The central government holds a yearly Testing that takes the top students from each colony and weeds them down to select the top few for university study.  They are trying to pick the best future leaders to help continue the revitalization efforts.  When Cia is one of four picked from the Five Lakes Colony, she is ecstatic.  No one has been chosen in years from her home town.  After warnings from her father, she soon realizes that perhaps the students were being protected from a less than safe and friendly testing situation.  You see, over a hundred are selected to begin with and only twenty will move on.  No one knows what happens to those not selected for University.  They never return home.  Those who do pass, have their memories wiped in order to keep the Testing secret.  The first round of Testing encases a couple days of intense written examinations.  The second round is hands on problem solving.  The third round is an exercise in teamwork.  The fourth round is all about survival and perseverance--the remaining candidates are dropped, by themselves, in the ruins of Chicago.  It is 700 miles away from the Testing grounds.  They have to find their way back.  Some band together, some choose to eliminate the competition.  Of all those who return alive, twenty are chosen to attend University.  Throughout the four rounds, Cia experiences many things she would rather forget, but at the same time doesn't want to ever forget.  She thinks there is something horribly wrong with the Testing process.  She is very smart and recognizes the importance of surviving so she can try to change things.  The only problem, if she does survive, her memory will be wiped out.  I really enjoyed this book.  Book three in this trilogy just came out.  I plan to read the next two books soon and hope I am not disappointed in how it turns out.  I've mentioned before that I am often disappointed in Dystopian trilogies.  They often start out strong, but can't maintain the world they set up.  I'm hoping this series is not one of the disappointments.  I'll let you know.  For the time being, if you are a fan of the Hunger Games and looking for more like it, then this is definitely a book you will like.  Cia is an awesome character, one I would definitely like to get to know more.  Happy reading!

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