Generally speaking, whenever I read a book I try to write two reviews – one for the site and one for Good Reads, because I know that I use readers reviews when looking for a new book to read and reviews speak much louder than ratings which can be arbitrary.
This time though, I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it, oddly enough I didn’t want to be unfair to this book. And having read this the morning after finishing The Wise Man’s Fear, I can’t help but shake the feeling that I would be unfair because after reading that book, the weightlessness of this one becomes all the more apparent.
To be fair; this series was never intended to be anything deep or meaningful. It’s The Bachelor meets any number of YA titles of a post-Apocalyptic America where Prince Maxon’s wooing of the ladies of the Selection is used as an opiate of the masses to keep them all compliant. The first book was light and frothy, but the protagonist America was smart and fiery. Here, she seems to take a step backwards. She keeps telling Maxon that she doesn’t know if she returns his love, yet keeps getting jealous every time he spends time with another girl. She sees one of the Elite get caned and thrown from the Selection to the ranks of the Casteless for making out with a palace guard, and yet still seems to carry on an affaire de ceour that she’s not even realizing is such with a guard from her own past.
Towards the end of the book there are signs that the America I enjoyed the first time around is coming back, and I hope that is the case. I’m still planning on reading the final book when it gets released next year, but next time I’m going to be more careful with my timing. This series is still perfect beach reading, it just doesn’t hold up well when you pair it with something so dense and rich like one one of the best high fantasy series of the past twenty years.
Verdict: Borrow it.