by Lisa M. Stasse
Published: July 10th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Source: Through Pulse It
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy for fans of The Hunger Games.
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.
*MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS*
Little Hunger Games, some Divergent, a touch of Across the Universe, and voilà, we have The Forsaken! It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really anything special.
I was pretty excited in the beginning, but after that it was sort of a roller coaster (and not the good kind of emotional roller coaster).
My thoughts were something like "Okay, this seems interesting - Aaand now we have some Divergent here - Now this is something different! - oh, wait, that's Hunger Games - I'm not sure how to feel about this now - Can this book just end already?! - Where did I read something similar.. oh, Across the Universe! - what, it's still going on..."
The basic idea is the same with every dystopian book. But the great dystopian books have some unique elements that usually make them a hit. In this case, there's the government who wants to eliminate individuals and control everyone, the same old story.
Teens are injected with some serume to diagnose something.. (now I have to cheat from someone) "to diagnose subversive tendencies". Yeah, couldn't remember that one.
Those, who fail get sent to The Wheel - an island where all the unanchored souls are sent. And that's what happens to our main character. At first she's convinced there has to be a mistake, since she's not a lunatic or a criminal! But soon she realizes that that's just how the government rolls.
Many times, I avoid books that are referred as "the new Hunger Games!" or to fans of this and that. Because many times it means there's too many shared elements between those books, and the new book ends up just repeating the old one.
I usually roll my eyes, thinking "Couldn't come up with something new". And I'm not saying this is the case every time, but sometimes. Like in this case. I ended up rolling my eyes so much I was actually afraid I might hurt myself. Not in the beginning so much, but towards the end. It felt as if the author was just dragging out the ending. In the last part of the book, characters' actions didn't make any sense to me. It was just so transparent! You could clearly see how author wanted to things go, but like I said, it didn't make any sense and ended up forced.
I expected the book to end 100 pages before it did, because those last 100 pages were just.. not so interesting. I also felt this should've been a standalone, since I know how the two other books are going to be, and the whole "let's-fight-the-government"- thing could've been on those 100 last pages.
So I probably won't be rest of the trilogy. This was quite entertaining, but the ending ruined it for me.