Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: The Forsaken #1
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published on July 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
Buy the book
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
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.
Alenna was orphaned at a young age when her parents were taken away by the UNA (new nation formed from USA, Canada, and Mexico) soldiers. Now at the age of sixteen, Alenna and other sixteen-year-olds are required to take a government test. The government personality test determines whether or not kids have a gene that makes them penchant to rebellion. Alenna and another kid name David both failed the test, and they wake up on the island called ‘The Wheel’ where all those who failed get sent. What Alenna and David discover is that the Wheel is divided up into multiple colored sectors, and the most feared leader is a mysterious old man name ‘The Monk’. Alenna is still convinced that there was a mistake, and that there was an error in her being sent to The Wheel. As Alenna fights to stay alive and to find a way off The Wheel, she uncover more dark government conspiracies and what really happened to her parents.
I think I had too high of an expectation of the book, I mean look at that crazy-cool cover! The concept is really intriguing but the execution of the story not so much. I had a hard time connecting with the characters, they were just MEH- and I didn’t really care for them. Alenna was an okay character; but I just didn’t see anything special about her. The only thing that was mentioned about her is that she’s prettier than the other girls on the wheel but other than that she was pretty bland. I didn’t really get pulled into the story till the last 70 pages when things about The Wheel, The Mysterious Monk, and Alenna’s Parents were revealed. The technology in the book was kind of weird/different, and I wish I was more fascinated with it but I wasn’t. There are “Feelers” that come out of nowhere, Machines with multiple tentacles that snatch kids randomly. It turns out it’s not so random, each kids has a certain code, so that the feelers know exactly who their targeted victims are. Readers eventually find out the purpose of the feelers and where the kids are taken.
Many readers compared this new series as The Hunger Games meets The Lord of the Flies. In my opinion I suggest you go read either series, it’s much more interesting. Although this book wasn’t my cup of tea, the last 70 pages suggest that there might be some potential for the next book. If you had this book on your radar, I recommend you either borrow it from the library or a friend. Overall an okay read, I’ll probably read the next book in the series but won’t rush to read it.
**Thank you Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of this book for review**
FTC disclaimer: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Forsaken, in return I provide an honest review.