The Test — Sylvain Neuvel

February 16, 2019


TITLE: The Test
AUTHOR: Sylvain Neuvel
RELEASED: February 12th, 2019;
GENRE: Sci-fi/Dystopia


I am on my knees. I have been here before. I have been thrown to the ground and I have felt the tip of their guns on the back of my neck. I have been through this and I have survived. We will survive. All of us.

In The Test, we follow Idir Jalil, an Iranian immigrant who’s looking to pass the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK. Despite the pressure he’s under — because, as he quickly lets us know through his own memories and back story, there’s so much at stake for the Jalil family — Idir’s in a great mood. He’s studied hard, he’s confident without being arrogant, and those first few questions breeze by for him.

Suddenly, a massive wrench is thrown into the works and Idir finds himself being pulled into a warped terrorist scene, where he’s forced to make decisions so much harder than any question the test could have asked him. There’s so much going on in this little story, and I truly can’t say more, because it’s so short and quick-paced that any further details would be spoilers.

Instead, I’ll just say that this is one of the greatest novellas I have ever read. It was a tremendously well-fleshed story despite its brevity, Idir is one of the most likable protagonists I’ve ever read in my life, and the social commentary here on racism, xenophobia, sexism, and more? I was blown away. There are moments in this novella that shook me to my core, and the ending? Wow, what a brilliant way to close it up.

This was my first time reading Sylvain Neuvel’s work, but I can assure you that it won’t be my last.


All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


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No Comments

  • Reply Ola February 16, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Wow, this sounds like an really intense read and I’m excited about it.

  • Reply thelittlebookowl February 16, 2019 at 9:49 am

    This sounds really good. I will definitely be checking it out. 🙂

  • Reply Paul's Picks February 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Great thoughts on this one! I just read it too. I keep thinking: How did he do all that in just 100 pages!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries February 18, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      I KNOW!! It seriously felt like he packed all of the intensity and depth of a full novel into this measly little novella, and I don’t know HOW, but I am in awe.

      • Reply Paul's Picks February 18, 2019 at 9:01 pm

        I read the first of his Themis Files trilogy and this read makes me want to dive into the second.

  • Reply paperbacks.and.planners February 16, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I’m even more excited for this story now!

  • Reply evelynreads1 February 16, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    I really want to read this one! i really liked his Sleeping giants series!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries February 18, 2019 at 8:08 pm

      I haven’t read that series yet, but a friend sent me the first book in the series a few months ago and after reading The Test, it makes me want to read the first book in that series ASAP!

      • Reply evelynreads1 February 19, 2019 at 1:42 am

        Yeah you should!

  • Reply Captain's Quarters February 16, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I enjoyed this author’s other works and was wondering about this one. Yers be the first one I have seen and I am glad to hear good things. So now it be a must to read this book. Arrr!
    x The Captain

  • Reply BOOK TAG (ORIGINAL): Books I WANT to read, but don’t want to READ – JAMISHELVES February 17, 2019 at 8:01 am

    […] am tagging: Natasha, Destiny, Lacy, Laura, Elise, Melanie, Chaima and […]

  • Reply MetalPhantasmReads February 17, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Very interesting. I’ll have to check it out 🙂 awesome review as always Destiny!

  • Reply Sunday Post — February 17, 2019 – howling libraries February 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    […] The Test — Sylvain Neuvel (sci-fi/dystopian review) […]

  • Reply Sarah February 20, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I was a bit on the fence about this, but after this review I REALLY want to read this!

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