Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Science Fiction YA
First Published: 2012
Page Count: 512
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Note: Book 3 of the Matched series
It’s better than it’s predecessors, but still not memorable enough to save the trilogy.
*No Villain *Watery Conclusion
“Things happen whether you deserve them or not.” Cassia and the two men vying for her heart, Ky and Xander, are forced to choose sides as The Rising, a secret group of rebels, reveals itself to overthrow The Society that has long ruled. Do they choose safety with The Society whom they have trusted their whole lives even if it means a loss of freedom? Or do they choose The Rising who promise change and liberty? The choice they make is even more important as a fatal plague sweeps through the cities threatening every thing they love.
I finally finished another series and thank god it’s the Matched trilogy! Book one (Matched) and two (Crossed) were mind numbing so I wanted to be over and done with this series. Despite all my preconceived notions on how dull a read I thought this book would be, I was pleasantly surprised! The addition of the plague completely changes the dynamic of the book for the better. It gives the story a better focus and more urgent feel then the previous two. I love a good “natural” disaster so I found this book far more interesting than the other two and it actually held my attention the whole way through!
Now that Condie has answered some of the questions raised in the previous books (but not all sadly) I finally see what the weakness in this book and ultimately the whole series is. There is no villain. Sure, one could argue The Society is a villainess group, but even within that, it would have been better if there had been a central figure to funnel all our anger towards. However, even as Condie herself explains in the book, no one group or person is the cause of all the trouble in the book. It was all a domino effect of many people’s choices over time. Because she wrote the story this way, the conclusion felt wishy-washy to me. The reader can look back over the course of the books trying to locate the cause of all of Cassia’s pain and anguish, but all I get is a big cloudy question mark. I would’ve preferred The Society to have taken a darker turn with a more clear central figure leading the group down the wrong path. Even in the conclusion, I still was not one hundred percent convinced anything was going to change in the politics of Cassia’s world. The ending does not give enough closure except where Cassia’s love life is concerned. No spoilers, don’t worry!
I was truly shocked that I actually managed to find the last book in this trilogy interesting after not connecting with the first two. However, the story in this book is not strong enough to redeem the entire series and compared to other books felt pretty average due to the lack of action for a plot about a plague and an uprising. I’m thankful it ended on a high note but I’m also thankful to be moving on.