Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.
My thoughts on the book:
Naturals illustrates just how much Truitt has grown as an author. This installment opens with an emotional prologue in which I could actually feel Tess' emotions. Compared to Chosen Ones, the emotional writing is a huge improvement. The words are beautiful and Truitt shows instead of tells what happens to Tess. The characters continue to grow; the plot is engrossing; and the continued world building is fantastic. This is one book you don't want to miss.
Now that Tess has stopped repressing her emotions, I like her much better. She is a lot easier to relate to in this novel, and she is actually quite likable. I admire her bravery, but the fact that she forgives people (who sometimes don't deserve it) so easily annoys me at times. James is fantastic, just like in the last novel. Robert is MIA for a lot of the book, but I still ended up loving him even more, and Henry is the biggest jerk alive. The new characters, such as Lockwood, add an interesting layer to the story.
The plot is intriguing and captivating. There isn't a lot of action, but the reader is still kept on the edge of his or her seat with this installment. The writing is unbelievably wonderful, and Truitt's ability to show instead of tell improved vastly from the previous book. The character development is believable and engaging. Truitt also paints a very vivid picture of life with the Isolationists, which shows the true price of freedom in Tess' world. Truitt incorporates classical literature as a method of helping us further understand the characters, much like she did in the last novel, and I really like that addition to her stories. There is a big surprise at the ending, and I'm a bit displeased at how things ended. However, I know this isn't the last book, and I appreciate the feeling of suspense that the ending gives. If everything had been happy and perfect, then no one would continue reading the series, right? I'll just suffer until the next book comes out, haha.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and this series to fans of Dystopian literature... especially if you're tired of the same cookie-cutter type plots and characters in the other novels of the genre. The Lost Souls series stands out in an over-saturated genre and is a must-read for all fans of YA Dystopian.