One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to finish what I started. There are so many series that I have started, enjoyed, but never revisited and read subsequent volumes. It’s rather depressing, really, how far behind I’ve fallen. I loved Matched, liked Crossed, and so I decided to wrap-up Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy. After a short wait on the hold list, my borrowed copy arrived at the library. How did I like the final volume of the series? Read on to see!
Cassia, Ky, and Xander have all joined the Rising, and they are working to overthrow the Society. Following the hope that the Pilot will show himself and lead them to victory, they work selflessly to achieve their goal. Then the Plague strikes, sickening one citizen after another. The Society is futile in their efforts to contain it, and just as things are becoming even more desperate, the Rising charges onto the scene with a cure and a vaccine. The day has been saved, and the Rising has taken control of the government. Then the Plague changes, mutating into an awful illness that they have no cure for. When Ky becomes a victim of the sickness, Cassia is desperate to sort all of the variables to help discover a cure, but will they find one in time to save Ky?
I thought that Reached got off to a slow, slow start. Cassia is working for the Rising sorting, Xander is assigned to help Plague sufferers, and Ky is a pilot, flying in the cure for the fallen. They remain separated for about half of the book, and alternating chapters follow them as the Plague worsens, supplies are in short supply, and the citizens begin to loose hope. And that’s before the mutation manifests, striking down those people who had been vaccinated and were thought to be immune! I had a hard time keeping my interest, and the only thing that kept me reading was actually my least favorite character, Xander. He is now my favorite character, because he really was the most giving, caring character in the story. He lost Cassia, his Matched, to Ky, and while he is still in love with Cassia, he is driven by a need to help find treat the Plague victims. I thought Xander’s chapters were fascinating. He has a front row seat to the mutation, and even though he’s not certain that he can’t catch the disease, he refuses to leave his post as a medic. Because he has seen the mutation first hand, he is selected, along with Ky and Cassia, to help work out a cure.
The three of them are flown out of the city and out to a village peopled with Aberrations and Anomalies. After Ky falls still, Cassia sorts to discover why the villagers are immune, and Xander works with Oker to formulate the cure. Oker was a researcher who helped to create the first plague, fleeing the Society before his Final Banquet. Good thing he didn’t go silently into the night, because it would have been almost impossible to work on the cure without him.
While I found the first half of the book a bit of a struggle to get through, the rest of it kept me glued to the pages. How would they find cure? Would they discover it before it was too late for Ky? To make the matter even more urgent, Cassia suspects that someone is sabotaging their efforts. It never would have occurred to me that someone would want to prevent them from discovering a cure, especially when it appeared that everyone was working so hard to find one, and because so many lives were at stake. I found everything having to do with the Plague interesting, and it really made this book for me.
Reached draws the Matched trilogy to a satisfying close, reassuring me that the major players get their HEA. The narrative tone is dry, as always, and the slow start knocked it down a grade, but once Ky, Cassia, and Xander are together again, the action picks up. While they face overwhelming challenges, their determination to do everything they can to save their society and forge a better future for everyone gives the series its heart.
Review copy provided by my local library
Conclusion to the New York Times Bestselling Matched Trilogy!
Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.
The wait is over.
One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.