- € 2,99
It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (“Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.
Making the jump from adult mysteries to YA, Charbonneau (the Rebecca Robbins series) launches a dystopian trilogy reminiscent of the Hunger Games. Cia Vale is one of four teens chosen to represent her small colony at the annual Testing, an intensive mental and physical examination aimed at identifying the best and brightest, who will go on to the University and help rebuild their shattered world. Forewarned not to trust anyone, Cia nonetheless forms a tentative partnership with resourceful Tomas, with whom she shares an unexpected emotional connection. As the Testing pushes its candidates to the breaking point and beyond, the body count rises, forcing Cia and her friends to fight for survival. The rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture readers' imaginations. However, it's the last-minute revelations, a cliffhanger laden with potential, and the intriguing status quo of Cia's world that will bring readers back for the next installment. Charbonneau works action, romance, intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless narrative. Ages 12 up.