Spoilers for the first trilogy will follow.
In the end, I actually ended up liking this. But it was a hard road to walk for one major reason: Eadlyn is one of the most annoying protagonists I've ever stuck with.
She is spoiled. She is whiny. She is entitled. She thinks she is better than everyone. She puts people down, makes snap judgements, and thinks publicly humiliating people is appropriate behavior because of who she is.
In addition, her siblings don't seem to share this behavior, and obviously having "met" her parents during their courtship, I can't quite fathom how she could have gotten this attitude problem. But it is a serious and annoying problem, more so because of how hard she attempts to push the idea that she is just being a "strong woman."
Strong women don't need to make people cry to prove they are strong, and we have the evidence of that with a crop of other strong female role models for her. Somehow, she misses this for an awfully long time. There are long rambling internal monologues about her being the most powerful person in the world and complaints about an "annoying bookworm" and just general insults thrown out casually in her head as though they are no big deal.
I get the idea that she is going to have to grow up an awful lot more than her parents really had to, but I also get the idea that she is on her way there, and I trust enough in the series after the original trilogy that she will get where she needs to be and manage to become a decent human being. Eventually.
Several of the supporting characters are interesting enough I'd love to see where they end up going, and I do love the rest of her family. I like catching up and seeing America and Max and the whole rest of the (surviving...) crew years later, and seeing what the world they tried so hard to change has become.
It is darker future than I had hoped, admittedly, but it seems to logically follow, and it adds an element of political intrigue to the story that helped to keep me interested. I'll be interested in seeing where the series goes from here, and that is honestly what kept me reading throughout the whole thing. If you liked The Selection trilogy, this might be worth reading if only to see the characters you enjoyed before as adults. Whether this will shape up as a worthy series (trilogy?) in its own right has yet to be seen.