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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Tested by Connie Cockrell is a sci-fi story with strong hints of a dystopian element. Readers are introduced to two young characters, Alyssa and Kyra, navigating a desolate landscape and abandoned neighborhoods. After experiencing the cold of winter and relying on campfires for a long time, they finally find a community of gifted scientists who depend on their skills to survive. While this community is apparently the ideal place to settle, things aren’t what they seem to be and they might be in a trap. To survive, Alyssa and Kyra have to face the worst side of science. Do they have what it takes to beat minds that are as gifted as they are cunning?
Connie Cockrell has created fascinating characters in young Alyssa and Kyra and readers will love to follow them as they evolve through the narrative. The author’s gift for descriptive prose is remarkable and it merges with the well-written dialogues to create an enjoyable reading experience. The setting is strong and it has a story of its own. The author conjures up images that will accompany readers as they turn the pages. For instance, the tiny city of Minerva is an awful sight, with doors and windows covered with metal shutters, the idea of people dying of hunger in their homes. This kind of setting evokes a powerful sense of mystery and builds the suspense as the reader wants to know what happened to the inhabitants of this city, hoping the mystery is unraveled soon. Tested is a tale of adventure and rare courage, a tale of survival and what it takes to beat adversity; a story with characters that are memorable, and a setting that is so vivid one might think it is real.