Review: The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

Series: The Scholomance #2
Author: Naomi Novik
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Released: September 28th, 2021
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Pardon me as I squee, because the new Scholomance novel is finally here! Noami Novik’s second Scholomance novel, The Last Graduate, is a book that I have been counting down the days for. This is a dark world that immediately captivated me, and I am not ready to say goodbye anytime soon.

The Scholomance is a place where magical children are sent to be safe. Well, safer. The school is still dangerous as hell, but it has better odds than trying to make it out in the world on your own. As it turns out, there are lots of monsters that love to eat those with magic but no knowledge of how to defend themselves.

El is one such student, and she has made quite the impression in her time here. Mostly on Orion, one of the top students of her class. Yet the time draws nearer for their graduation, and there’s no telling how many lives will be lost when that happens. Unless El and Orion have something to say on the matter.

“I couldn’t be his savior; I had enough to do saving myself.”

As a huge fan of the first novel in the Scholomance series, I was absolutely thrilled when I got my hands on the sequel: The Last Graduate. This world is exactly what I picture when I think of a dark magical academy, and with good reason.

First, let’s discuss the world. I love the idea of the big bad monsters in the world being SO bad that the safest option is to lock up all the children and hope for the best. It’s dark, yes, but also pretty fascinating. It makes for the perfect excuse to throw all of these characters together into such a deadly situation.

Speaking of the characters – yes, please! El changed so much throughout The Last Graduate. I’m so proud of her! I am also proud of many of the secondary characters; including the rest of her team and a few newer characters.

Then there’s Orion. For a time there, I was really worried about him. I suppose, in a way, I still am worried about him. We learned a lot about his character in this book, and I feel like at least some of it will explain the cliffhanger that came with the conclusion of A Deadly Education.

That being said, if I thought the cliffhanger from A Deadly Education was bad, I was not emotionally or mentally prepared for the conclusion of The Last Graduate. It hit me SO HARD in all the feels. It was brilliant, intense, and horrifically evil on Novik’s part. Now pardon me as I go and pretend that The Golden Enclaves releases soon (September 27, 2022, according to Goodreads, for those curious).

Thanks to Del Rey Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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