By Lisa M. Stasse
Simon and Schuster
Summary taken from Goodreads:
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.
The Forsaken is the first book of a planned trilogy by Lisa M. Stasse.
I'm not sure you are going to find a book this year with more mixed reviews. Book reviewers loved it or hated it. I find myself somewhat in the middle. I liked The Forsaken. It's a great story that left me wishing for a bit more.
I really liked that main character Aleena is a strong, smart female thrown into a situation that forces her to fend for herself. She doesn't waste time feeling sorry for herself. She quickly learns the skills she needs to survive and decides she won't be a victim to The Wheel.
I really disliked the romance-it didn't feel like it truly had a place in this book-possibly added as an after thought.
The story without a doubt drew me in with it's non-stop action but left me wishing for more information. For example the U.N.A. -At the beginning of the book Aleena fails the Government Personality Profile Test (G.P.P.T.) and is quickly shipped to the Prison Island Alpha(The Wheel)but I would have liked more about the world she grew up in so I could better understand her-maybe allowing me to feel more of a connection to her.
Once on "The Wheel" Aleena meets several characters good and bad. The world building here is more detailed. The wheel is divided into sectors and a gray zone. Tribes have claimed the different sectors and war with each other. The Monk and his drones rule most of the sectors-they raid and kidnap from the tribe that takes Alenna in. It's here that Alenna learns her warrior skills and decides to become part of a plan to escape The Wheel. Two thumbs up for the creepy factor involving several elements on "The Wheel"-intense/shocking/heartstopping.
Along the way there are several plot twists and a few surprises that left me eager to read the second book of The Forsaken. I'm curious to see what happens next to Aleena. I'm sure author, Lisa M. Stasse will keep us on our toes.
I would definitely reccomend this book to readers who like action and dystopia.
A giant thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing this ARC.