Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 10 July 2012
Series: The Forsaken #1
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.I love the synopsis when I fist discovered this book, and it didn't disappoint. I was captivated by the story from page one. Watching your parents get taken away at an early age? Brutal. Pretending they were traitors and horrible people? That's even worse. However, Alenna just accepts things how they are. She assumes she cannot change anything, so why try? She hovers in the background and is a dutiful, obedient citizen. That's why she's so confused when she is sent to The Wheel.
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.
What the new "government" does to the people... it's terrible. It's like the population is one giant herd of cattle being controlled by a giant prod. You never get to meet The Powers That Be, but I'm thinking that will all come a little later. I don't particularly care who they are, only that the "Do unto others..." rule should apply. I feel very strongly that they should have done to them what they do to innocent people.
There are so many twists and turns in this book, so I was constantly kept on my toes. I never really knew who to trust or what to believe. There are so may different things going on, and so many of them are happening at the same time... I don't know how Alenna manages to handle it all. She's one tough cookie, that's for sure.
The people she encounters are so diverse, and so unlike the people she knew back home. I loved all of them. I want to know more about their individual back stories. Where they grew up, when they got sent to The Wheel, and what their lives were like before and after. A little light is shed on a few of them, but I definitely wanted more than I was given.
Again, the twists! Insaneness happens all the time. This is definitely a must read for everyone who comes across it. I couldn't put it down.
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