Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 362
fascinating YA sci-fi dystopian thriller
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE BLOCK is a thrilling sequel in THE LOOP trilogy, a dystopian sci-fi that is a cross between MAZE RUNNER and THE MATRIX. This book picks up after the first book ended, with Luka imprisoned in The Block. For half the day, he undergoes the devastating and painful energy harvesting and the other half is spent paralyzed or in the Sane Zone, a virtual reality simulation that is designed to keep the prisoners from losing their minds completely - at which time they would be become unusable for harvesting.

In the Sane Zone, Luka is subjected to scenarios that feel incredibly real where he is escaping The Block before he is questioned about where the other escapees from The Loop are hiding. The AI Happy is executing its plan for the world, with only part of the scheme known to Luka and his friends. As he suffers The Block, Luka is desperate to keep his friends safe and somehow escape this torture as himself.

What I loved: Much like the first book, this was a riveting and action-packed read that keeps the reader hooked from the first page. Never a dull moment, there is a lot that happens in this middle book of the trilogy, such that I kept wondering if this was the end of it - particularly with the shocking end. I was left reeling and I cannot wait for the third of this series. Although this is a middle book, there is a lot that happens and more that we learn about this world, the way that it came to be what it is, and the problems/politics of it all. It certainly did not feel like filler and is a great read in its own right.

Luka continues to develop, and he's quite a compelling character, despite what he has been through. As we meet other new characters in the book, there are some interesting discussions about human nature and morality that I found really thought-provoking. In addition to themes around wealth distribution, greed, and systemic privilege, this made for a read that would be worth discussion in the classroom or book club.

Final verdict: THE BLOCK is a fascinating sequel in a YA dystopian thriller trilogy that will leave readers reeling and eagerly awaiting the final book. Highly recommend for fans of THE MAZE RUNNER, THE 5TH WAVE, and EVE.
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