Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Variant by Robinson Wells

Synopsis: Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.

Review: I keep jumping around on what I should rate this. If I overanalyze it I would give it a three, but since I did enjoy it and it totally kept me interested I have to go with four stars. I liked the story, I thought it was original. I thought the story progressed well, for me I was never bored or thought things were moving too slowly. In fact, I was sucked in right from the start and thought it had a fun eerie vibe to it that made you want to keep reading. Some have called this a “boy book” and I can see where they get that. It’s told entirely from our main character Benson’s perspective, is somewhat violent and has little to no romance. By the end I still didn’t feel like I had really connected with Benson. I liked him, I was glad that he wasn’t just submitting like so many others had, but there was just something missing for me. I think a little romance would have really gone a long way here. What little was in the book felt flat, unreal, and lacked chemistry. Benson didn’t act like a guy in that regard. I’ve read plenty of books with male POV, and it can be really fun to see a guy fall in love with a girl, and this book was missing that fun element. Like others have said, there are a few twists and a huge cliffhanger ending. I wasn’t too surprised with the twists, but was a little disappointed that some of my questions still weren’t answered by the end. The ending was way too abrupt. I can see why an author would enjoy having a huge shocker ending, but I need a little more closer and a few more answers. I’ll definitely be reading the next book though.

I saw on the author’s blog that this is actually only a two-part series and the next book, Feedback, is scheduled to come out around October 2012!

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