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The Network – E. G. Bateman

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If I thought Ms. Bateman couldn’t possibly surprise me more than she had in the first book of this series, I was so, so wrong. I felt like I was on Space Mountain at Disney, where everything is mostly dark and you aren’t sure which way the coaster is going to go, and you’re somehow surprised by every dip and turn even though you know you’re signing on for a bumpy ride. The amount of imagination and creativity in this book was amazing. It took a bit more of a sci-fi turn than I expected, but I actually loved it and thought it was an interesting and fun twist.

The story picks up shortly after the ending of the first book. Jenna is still navigating her lingering feelings of guilt and hurt over the way her last relationship ended up, but she’s finally starting to open up a little more to Connor, who is absolutely enamored with her from the very beginning. It takes her a bit, but once she realizes that he’s not anything like her ex, she decides to take a chance on him and embraces their newfound relationship status. To say I was thrilled by this development is a massive understatement. I adore Connor and I’ve been Team Connor from almost the beginning, so this made my little fangirl heart swoon like mad 🙂

Without giving away spoilers, there are things that happen in this book that send Jenna and her friends’ minds reeling. Suddenly, they find they have to believe the impossible and set aside what they thought they knew about their world and–for lack of a better term–learn to go with the flow. With these new developments come new characters–most of whom I liked, a few I loved, and one in particular, I could’ve smacked upside the head (though he does seem to redeem himself a bit in the end). We also get to see more of some of the secondary characters and get to know them a little better, which I loved.

Along with the new scenario they find themselves in, not only are their preconceptions about the world challenged, but especially later on in the book, each group of characters–old and new–are taught a few lessons about humanity and how prejudice can color the way you view people if you don’t take the time to get to know them and their plight. At the heart of the book is a wonderful story that’s both timely and inspiring and it certainly made me think. It’s pretty amazing when an author can give you a reason to think while reading a fantasy novel.

Without a doubt, this book lived up to my expectations. It definitely ends on another cliffhanger, but that’s okay with me because that just means there’s more to come 😉 I look forward to finding out what happens next!

Happy reading <3

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Check out my review of the first book in The Faders Series here!


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