Honestly, I’m not sure why I finished this series. Sunk Cost Fallacy? Blind hope? Regardless, I pushed through and finally finished The Selection series 8 years after I started it. Was it worth it? Absolutely not. The first three books of the series were a fun, park-your-brain-at-the-door combination of The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games – nothing outstanding but pretty entertaining. For some inexplicable reason, the author chose to extend the series to follow the daughter of the two original leads as she goes through her own Selection. I had hoped that maybe the series would end on a high note – but The Crown set an all time low for the series – a waste of time at best and a waste of paper at worst.
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.
Somehow, the writing got worse in this book. The writing quality of the entire series was never very high, but it got notably worse in this book and the previous one. There was always a lack of a overall writing style, but the quality feels more like an early draft than a published book. By far the worst part of the book was the total lack of a plot. So little happened in this book that it could have been condensed to a single chapter and wouldn’t have lost any of the plot points. Also, some events happened nearly randomly. Examples include: Eadlyn ascending to the throne when her father was still in good health and she had not completed her training (and was objectively immature and incapable of even handling the minuscule fraction of work her father gave her). Another example was when she randomly decided that she would fundamentally change her country’s government structure without warning anyone, talking to advisors, or without any thought. Both of these events had no lead up or foreshadowing, they just felt random and inconsistent with the story at large.
Eadlyn still hasn’t improved from the last book – she’s as insufferable as ever. She continues her streak of being cruel to the people in her life, being blind to the suffering of others, and generally not being a good person, let alone someone who should be ruling a country. Time and time again, she proved that she was not ready or capable of ascending to the throne, yet she was endlessly praised by those around her and very rarely challenged. She fired those with opposing views and sought to create a pool of advisors who only agreed with her opinions and refused to think of any view point other than her own. She also consistently made unilateral decisions about the way the country is run and rarely made educated decisions. Apart from her inability to be fair and just, she was still horrible in her personal life and never developed any further. Her relationship with Eikko was bizarre (non organic and very, very forced) and had much less chemistry than her relationships with several of her other suitors.
Even if you’re a fan of the original series – skip The Heir and The Crown. They’re terrible sequels that ruin the original characters and really adds nothing to the series. The Crown feels the same way that The Heir felt – like a desperate cash grab trying to milk the last goodwill for a tired series. Virtually nothing happens in this book, none of the characters are compelling or likable, and the writing quality dropped once again. Honestly, I can thing of nothing positive about this book other than I finished it. 1/5