Book Review | The Last Graduate

It has been quite a while since I read a book that would count toward my Popsugar reading challenge but I’m hoping to get more books ticked off the list. This one counts toward A Dark Academia Book.

The Last Graduate
Naomi Novik

The dark school of magic has always done its best to devour its students, but now that El has reached her final year — and somehow won herself a handful of allies along the way — it’s suddenly developed a very particular craving . . .

For her.

As the savagery of the school ramps up, El is determined that she will not give in; not to the mals, not to fate, and especially not to the Scholomance. But as the spectre of graduation looms — the deadly final ritual that leaves few students alive — if she and her allies are to make it out, El will need to realise that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules.

Amazon | Goodreads | Hive

It feels like I have been waiting forever for this book and I was so excited to dive back in, especially as the dreaded graduation looms closer for El and her friends. Of course, straight away things are harder for El as it seems the school is actively picking on her and giving her more than just graduation to concentrate on in a year that ordinarily that’s all she would be thinking about.

I have to admit that even though the school was making it really hard for El, I still loved that it was a character in itself, that it was evolving and really pushing what El could do. I think that is what adds to the completely unexpected nature of this book because you never know what is going to happen next and it gave me this continual on the edge of my seat feeling which made the reading experience exciting.

I loved the growth that El goes through in this book, for the first book she spends her time actively avoiding people and now she is essentially centre stage and decides that she is going to use that advantage. I won’t say how but it is not something I would have anticipated and I loved that she could still be her rude and sarcastic self whilst having a very big revelation that she finds herself working toward. I also like how much of a threat she now appears to be, she spent the first book hiding her power and now she has cause to let it loose a little, it causes some interesting situations between her and some of the other students.

El and Orion were as brilliant as ever, El is still berating him and still having to save him from himself, as he finds himself without as much purpose this year. I like how their friendship kept evolving even though El was actively trying not to let it happen and her new mouse Precious gets in on the action which was funny. We get to see a bit of a different side to Orion and that made me love him a little more and I was glad that El understood him a little better as they headed toward graduation.

I definitely did not expect what happened in this book, everything once again gets turned on its head in the best way and El and her friends and her enemies all have to work together, but I have to say even with all the unexpected things happening I was not prepared for the ending of The Last Graduate. It really had me shook, it kind of feels like the cliffhanger to top all other cliffhangers, it actually took me a few days just to get over it if I’m being honest and now I am desperate for the third instalment of this series.

Reviews of other books by Naomi Novik
Uprooted | A Deadly Education

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