Series: Variant Series
Author: Robinson Wells
Genre: ya, dystopian
Format: Ebook, 384 pages
Publication Date: October 4 2011
Published By: HarperCollins Publishers, HarperTeen
Source: Received ARC from Publisher via NetGalley for Review.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
I highly enjoyed reading this book. It was an interesting and unique story with just enough mystery and action thrown in together to make for a lively read that even the boys out there will enjoy. The pacing was a little uneven at times, but I guess I can't expect a book to rock and roll along through every word and every page. I also found that even though some of the sections were highly predictable, it was evened out by the number of twists and turns that caught me completely unaware.
The characters were fantastic! I completely fell in love with Benson, not in a romantic way, but in the way where he was so realistically stubborn, brave, and willing to stand up for himself and others, no matter the cost...there was no wishy-washyness in this boy!
I got a little blind-sided at the end, in a mostly good way, which was a nice experience. It's not often that happens to me anymore. However, I feel that the last two pages of the book were completely way off in left field, as they say. It's not so much that I don't agree with what was written, I just think because it was so different it should have been saved for the next book in the series, not just slapped in the reader's face with nothing historical to base it on yet, and then just end the book. That earns Variant the "cliffhanger of DOOM" classification that irritates me beyond belief. Bad Variant! (Of course it doesn't help that at the time of reading Variant I had no idea it was even going to be a series!)
I will of course still read the next book in the series. I did enjoy the story and I do want to know where it ends up...I just wish the author had of balanced out the ending a bit more...