The Last Graduate Review by Naomi Novik (Scholomance #2)

The Last Graduate Review Naomi Novik

If you missed my last review, I absolutely devoured A Deadly Education and immediately hopped straight over to The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik.

These are big books. And I don’t mean Sanderson type big, I just mean that the chapters are huge and like take an hour to churn through in a single sitting.

But that didn’t deter me from finishing this book in less than 3 days.

I don’t have a crazy amount of time to dedicate to these beefy chapters, and I don’t like stopping mid-chapter. And I say all this to show you just how absorbed I was in this book.

I found myself staying up in the wee hours of the morning, foregoing normal activities like my evening binge-watch, etc, all so I could stay inside the Scholomance with El and Orion, but mostly El.

Let’s get on with this review of The Last Graduate

The Last Graduate Review by Naomi Novik

The Last Graduate Review

El is now a senior and graduation is approaching. The title of the book should provide a lot of foreshadowing. My first thought before I even cracked open the book was “El is going to shake up or dismantle the system.”

I won’t say exactly what happens because I always provide spoiler-free reviews, but just know that you’re in for one epic tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

The Plot

Much like the previous book, there isn’t a whole lot of dread or anticipation in The Last Graduate. That is to say that there’s no great mystery or information being withheld from either the character or the reader that makes wonder what’s going to happen.

This is very much a “in the life of” type story where the desire to turn the page comes not from figuring out the plot twist before the main character, but simply because you must know what’s going to happen to El next.

El’s life is not dull. And that’s an understatement.

In The Last Graduate, the Scholomance is out to get her. El is given the worst possible class schedule in the worst possible locations, and all the mals are attacking only her, leaving every other student ignored.

At first, the other students think she’s extremely unlucky, but as the semester rolls on and the trend continues, they start getting suspicious about El and her power.

Throughout The Last Graduate, there are several power struggles and many many surprises.

The Good and Bad

I don’t think I could say anything truly bad about The Last Graduate, but if I had to nitpick on something, it’s Orion.

The relation between El and Orion is one of my favorite parts of the whole book, and quite frankly the number one thing I was looking for during my read.

I wanted to see this budding romance from A Deadly Education blossom in The Last Graduate, and we certainly aren’t disappointed in that regards.

But my complaint stems from a complete lack of Orion in the first 30-40% of the book. Now, this makes sense later on as El explains she’s avoiding him because of what he does to her emotionally.

But still.

Like, I want more El and Orion.

So yeah, that was a bit of a bummer. But not enough to affect my star rating or anything.

The Last Half

What unfolds in the last half of The Last Graduate is not only shocking, but it’s straight up breathtaking. It’s amazing. It’s powerful. It’s earth shattering.

I’m running out of words to use to explain just how epic and explosive this is.

El’s world-ending power goes on display for the whole school to see, on multiple occasions. And it’s everything you hoped it would be and more.

I cannot get ahold of The Golden Enclaves soon enough after that ending.

And that ending.

Oh boy.

If you haven’t started The Last Graduate yet, and you can manage to refrain from picking it up until The Golden Enclaves releases, I might recommend that.

There’s a pretty huge cliffhanger.

Fair warning.

The Last Graduate Naomi Novik

Final Thoughts on The Last Graduate

Love, love, love.

I haven’t enjoyed a series this much since…I can’t remember, honestly. Perhaps Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And even then, the Scholomance might be better than that.

I’ve placed a hold in my library for Uprooted and I can’t wait to keep reading Naomi Novik’s wonderful story-telling.

The Golden Enclaves releases on September 27, 2022.

The Last Graduate is an easy 5 out of 5 stars.

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