The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik is the second book in The Scholomance series.
El, Orion and the rest of the senior class of the Scholomance are about to enter their final year at this dangerous school where few walk out alive. As the deadly ritual of graduation looms, El is determined that she and her friends will get out alive. But the school itself seems to be against her. Putting her in harms way at every turn.
As graduation grows near, El realizes that something is off and as she digs deeper into the cause of her unease, she begins to understand that the endgame may be bigger than she thinks.
What. A. Cliffhanger. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I go to review this book. Cliffhangers don't usually bother me as much as most people but this one, puts many cliffhangers to shame. Don't like cliffhangers, then just wait until the whole series comes out. Trust me, I'm saving you a lot of frustration.
Otherwise, Naomi Novik does such a great job creating this little bubble of a world. The Scholomance itself is like this world within a world and it's going to be so interesting to see how "life after the Scholomance" plays out in the third book.
I just love the dark savagery of the place. So-and-so lost a hand trying to get some mash potatoes... *shrug* should have been more careful. The fact that these kids are constantly on alert, death and dismemberment is the norm AND they just go about their day anyway, is darkly fascinating. It makes for a really interesting dynamic between the characters.
The Scholomance is basically a nightmare version of Hogwarts and yet everyone still wants to get in because being a magic kid on the outside is even worse that being stuck in a school full of monsters.
Such a twistedly fun series. This one gets 5 stars from me.
That's all for now!