Ally and her friends are once again leaving the comfort of home and setting their sights on the Southern City. Does it exist? Will Ally find what she is looking for? Someone will become exceptional. Someone will die. New friends will be made. Old friends will be lost.
The title is a perfect description of this novel - it is ordinary.
I really enjoyed the earlier books in the series and wanted to see where the story went from there, and of course, who Ally chooses! In this novel, Ally, Luke, Max, and their crew must complete the journey to the southern city. Despite the comforts of the city of Champagne, Ally is eager to find the people of her settlement and to determine if the southern city really exists. She will take her friends on a trip that will risk and may even end their lives for this journey.
Two new characters are introduced in this novel - Marnie - an exceptional who serves the ordinaries in the southern city and an Ordinary guard who is looks after Marnie. The southern city is neat in that it's the opposite of the northern cities with the Ordinaries in control.
Ally leads her friends through many unnecessary risks in this novel in ways that are not always well planned out and some of which result in tragedy. Ally doesn't seem to grow much as a character in this book and appears less secure and strong than in the past novels. Her main goals are laudable - to build a world where everyone works together and where peace and good communication are established. However, realizing the goal does seem somewhat unrealistic with the tools at her disposal. I think it's a good book for the younger generation who may be inspired by her far reaching goals, but the delivery of those goals could have been better done.
I think the book fluctuates between areas where it felt like there was a struggle to find new things to write about and an ending which seemed rushed. Overall I was glad to see how the story ended, but it wasn't the exciting ending that I had hoped for after the exciting start to this series.
I listened to the audio version of this novel which was excellent. The narration was very clear and easy to listen to. This would be a good family car trip kind of story since it's appropriate for teens and adults a like. Overall the series was enjoyable.
NARRATED BY: EMILY DURANTE
LENGTH: 7 HRS AND 35 MINS
SERIES: EXCEPTIONAL, BOOK 3
RELEASE DATE: 02/17/2015
PUBLISHER: TANTOR AUDIO