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The Amplified Trilogy*

Compelling, Flawed Heroine in Harsh World

The Amplified box set is a collection of three novels that follow Mari, who is 15 years old when the series begins. The Community is a dystopian world that is divided into the Regulars, the Amplified, and the Restrainers. Everyone is born as a Regular, but some can choose to become Amplified. Since this collection has the complete Amplified series, I am worried about giving away too much of the plot of each book away because, of course, the early books become the foundation of the later books. So I will just give her a brief description each below.

Amplified: In the first book of the series, Mari is not yet Amplified when it begins. When her Amplified older brother returns from duty, she is surprised–and not in a good way–about how he has changed since he has become Amplified. Still, though, she decides to go through the amplification process herself, which includes getting an implant as well as training. Amplification makes the recipients stronger, faster, and better able to attain and retain knowledge. But things are definitely not what they seem; as you might imagine, the government uses these devices for multiple nefarious purposes. In this book, I really enjoyed Mari’s character. Even though she is young, she seems to be one of the few who questions this system.

The Dissenters: In this installment, we learn more about the dissenters. Because of Mari’s unique abilities, she becomes in danger from her fellow Amplifieds who cannot resist obeying commands. What will Mari do to protect herself? Are there others who can help protect her?

The Restrainers: Knowing all that we know about Mari, it seems a surprise that she’s now a Restrainer. But, of course, she has her own agenda. This installment is fast-paced–sometimes a little too much, as I would have liked to have seen some pivotal moments expanded more–and the ending came as a complete surprise, which is so abnormal in this genre.

If you enjoy books like the Divergent series, you will find this series to be quite similar. Mari is a strong heroine who thinks, so she is enjoyable to watch as she tries to figure out this dangerous system that she is a part of. She is multifaceted and becomes even more so as she matures, yet she is not without flaw. All of that is hard to create in one young character, but the author has done a remarkable job. Other people suffer in this society as well. The Community appreciates physical prowess to an extreme. People who are slow or overweight are censured, even if they are good people or do decent things. The series certainly gets you thinking about topics like peer pressure, accountability, personal responsibility, and societal conditioning.

Unfortunately, there were a few problems with grammar, punctuation, and usage. Sometimes wrong words were used like loose/lose consciousness. They were some spacing errors around quotation marks.

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