Book One – The Selection (read and reviewed July 2016)
Book Two – The Elite (read 06/03/17)
Book two picks up after the events of the first in the series. America has a firm foothold in Maxon’s affections, but she can’t bring herself to trust her feelings for him/feelings about the caste system and her indecision is the focus of most of the novel.
On the surface we have the superficial Selection process – like Blind Date gone horribly wrong we see the girls who are left put through a series of tasks to prove their worthiness. Lest we forget, we’re reminded regularly that though Maxon gets to choose, there are other forces coming into play that he has less control over.
The book was fairly well-paced and we get some further understanding of just what Maxon is put through as part of his role. This, however, seemed a bit cobbled on to explain why he didn’t stand up to people more.
The threat from the Rebels is closer, and there’s certainly more to this than we’ve been told so far. What annoyed me here though was America herself. She’s reckless, headstrong and so flamin’ indecisive I was really irritated by her. I can see why she’s appealing to some of the characters in the novel, but I hope the anger she was feeling at the end of the book forces her to act with some sense of decisiveness in book three.
Book Three -The One (finished 08/03/17)
A really emotional read, which is no mean feat for a book that is, at heart, focused on the superficial Selection process of choosing a wife for Prince Maxon.
In spite of many of the characters being more than irksome, here we got a real chance to see beyond the surface and come to know more about them/their hopes and fears. I even found myself liking America at points as she wrestles with her feelings for Maxon, comes to acknowledge the true state of her relationship with Aspen and finally acknowledges her role in the process.
For me a strength of this book was the fact it moved beyond the Selection and showed us more about the rebels/state of the country. It was much easier to get emotionally invested in people once we stopped seeing them in isolation.
While the actual process of Maxon and America forming their alliance came under pressure, I was quite stunned by the pace of the final part of the novel. Having already hit us with a death-blow that felt absurdly painful, I couldn’t read fast enough for the closing moments. Though I can’t help but feel shamefully manipulated, those final moments of the process and the emergence of the new order contained some of the best scenes of the series.
Book Four – The Heir (read 11/03/17)
We get to see America and Maxon years after their wedding, and we gain an insight into the changes they brought to their country. This novel focuses on their eldest daughter, Eadlyn, and the attempt to quell disturbances by holding another Selection.
There’s no escaping the fact that this felt like the same book, just with different characters. What I did like in this was the characters who aren’t part of the process. I didn’t particularly like many of the boys and the artificiality of the setting. It seemed an unusual situation to leave the book in, but I’m looking forward to seeing where we end up.
Book Five – The Crown (read 12/03/17)
First, this was full of romance and high on emotion. Second, there are some unexpected twists and turns that you might not see coming. Third, that’s it…
Eadlyn begins the novel in the immediate aftermath of her mother’s heart attack. Things are tense, and the turbulence in the Palace is mirrored in the country.
I unashamedly fell for the events of this novel. Rather predictable in places but Eadlyn grew as a character and there was a lot to like here.