Friday, May 31, 2013

Books: The Forsaken

The former US has joined with Canada and Mexico to form the United Northern Alliance (UNA), a fascist society that uses mind-altering chemicals to keep its populace under control. Those immune to the drugs are sent to a prison island with savage living conditions; few there live past age eighteen.

After failing the government's genetic profile testing, sixteen-year-old Alenna Shawcross is sent to Prison Island Alpha, otherwise known as the Wheel. She soon joins a band of villagers, falls in love, trains as a warrior, joins an expedition to find a way off the Wheel, and learns just how corrupt and unstable the UNA has become.

This book is supposed to be the first in a trilogy, which is a tired trend. Especially since the premise for the novel is a Lord of the Flies, Lost, and dystopian genre mash-up - not highly original material.

What's more, the book has little or no character development, is ill-paced, has a poorly constructed plot, and the writing is mediocre. The relationship between Alenna and Liam is not authentic or exciting, as is the love/hate relationship between Gadya and Alenna. And the idea that Alenna can be seen as a warrior after one week of training and a couple of skirmishes is equally ridiculous. Frankly, I expected more from this librarian author.

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