Saturday, December 24, 2011

Variant by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher is a foster kid who seems to have landed on his feet.  Filling in the scholarship application seemed like a way out of the life he was living, an end to bouncing from foster home to foster home, and an escape from the latest home where he is supposed to be grateful that he has been put to work in the family business without any pay.  But Maxfield Academy is not what he was expecting, and nothing can prepare him for the world he is about to enter. 

There are no teachers on the campus, no adults what so ever.  The classes are taught by other students, and the pattern of the classes makes no sense.  The other students are just as wrong - formed into three different groups calling themselves gangs who seem to have sorted the way the school runs between themselves.  It is a very different world, one where attempts to escape are punished with detention - a death sentence reserved for the worst offences at the school.  Determined to escape, Benson soon finds himself tangled in the world of the school - it's politics, it's friendships, and it's secrets.  But will he discover the darkest secret of all before it is too late?

This is the first book in a new series, and if the rest of the series is as explosive and action packed as this first novel then readers are in for a treat.  There are lots of great things to recommend about Variant - it is deftly written without all the overbearing and O.T.T descriptions that weighs down so many young adult novels, the characters are well defined without any characters being too unbelievable, the pace is just right which keeps you going as the tension builds, and the ending is the perfect "what the?" ending, keeping you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next book in the series.  While Variant may appeal slightly more to boys because the lead character Benson is a boy, it will keep anyone interested in a really good read on the edge of their seats and wishing they could read it in one session.

Highly recommended, and hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the sequel to be released.

If you like this book then try:
  • Hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • Among the hidden by Margaret Patterson Haddix
  • Arrival by Chris Morphew
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Inside out by Maria V.Snyder
  • Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden
  • Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs

Reviewed by Brilla

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