by Lisa M. Stasse
Published July 10, 2012
Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books, for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
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Let me start off by saying that when I got to the end of The Forsaken, I was really put out that the next book isn't yet available.
Right from the start, I was intrigued. I have to admit, though, that it wasn't until Alenna found herself on The Wheel that I was really hooked. Hooked as in being unwilling to put the book down long enough to drink a glass of water.
There are so many ideas at work here. There's a fantastic friendship between Alenna and two of the girls who were on The Wheel when she arrived. There's a romance, but quite frankly, it's more of a side story; it's not the main event, which was nice. There was action galore, and lots of twists.
One of my favorite things about Alenna is that she's not super-human. She goes into all of this without any survival or fighting skills. She doesn't really even want them. However, after learning a single piece of information, she's determined to learn whatever skills are necessary to learn more.
If you've been following my reviews, you know that it's hard to surprise me. Well, Ms. Stasse did so many times. As soon as I thought I had something figured out, I was proven wrong. The writing is fantastic, and I look forward to reading everything Ms. Stasse writes.