Tuesday, 10 November, 2015 - 08:16

The Testing

by HannahJ

If you enjoyed watching the Hunger Games movies, I would really suggest reading The Testing trilogy [The Testing, Independent Study and Graduation Day]. It's a dystopian drama set in a world destroyed by war. Only a select few are allowed to attend University and even then they must go through a gruelling and deadly testing to get there.

Its quick pace and gripping storyline make it an enjoyable and easy read. It also raises interesting questions about humanity and society: to what extent does the greater good surpass the needs of the individual? What makes a good leader? How do humans react when competition is introduced?

What differentiates this particular set of novels from its genre is the fact that the protagonists are university-age as opposed to the school-age children we find in The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner. Also there is a rare emphasis on academically intellectual prowess. The usual common sense intelligence is also valued, but this is secondary to bookish intellect.

Don’t worry, however, there are still the typical ingredients found in young-adult dystopian dramas such as action, secrets and a certain quest to make things right. All the ingredients make this genre irresistible and absorbing.

Books two and three of the trilogy do not fail to entertain either. With vague hints throughout  towards things not being as they seem, author Joelle Charbonneau keeps us on our toes guessing what plot twist is yet to come. There is perfect coherence between the books as well which some sagas lack; thankfully, The Testing trilogy was obviously envisioned as a set of three so as to avoid the awkward add-ons we sometimes see when authors try to make more of their series than first envisaged.

All in all: a great read and an intriguing concept.

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