Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ARC Review: Variant by Robison Wells - Blog Tour

Title: Variant
Series: I freaking hope so!
Author: Robison Wells | Website
Available: Now
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Sci-Fi

Description 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.

My thoughts:

First thought after finishing Variant? WOW! This is a book that was going along at a nice steady pace and suddenly the author throws in a plot twist that could literally ruin all he has created, but it doesn’t. It worked and I loved it! I always admire authors who are willing to take risks when writing, and Robison Wells took a big one when he went the direction he did with Variant. Will everyone who picks up this book think it worked? Probably not, but I dug it big time. 

I adored main character, Benson (even though his name makes me think of that show from the 80’s). After a life in foster care he finds himself excited about receiving a scholarship to attend an exclusive boarding school. Then he arrives and discovers it was very much to good to be true. He finds himself locked up and isolated from the outside world by a huge wall, and a ruthless security team that is composed of students. Crazy part is the other students seem to accept their fate. Benson on the other hand focuses on escape. This leads him to uncover just a few of the secrets the school is hiding, and let me say those secrets are crazy!

My only complaint is the ending left me confused. The action kicks up several degrees as the conclusion becomes imminent. I felt the writing just didn’t flow in the last few chapters like it had over the rest of the novel. I had trouble keeping up with what was happening and whom it was happening too. Then the final chapter had my jaw hitting the floor. They should have slapped a cliffhanger warning on the cover of Variant because it is a biggie. I’ll assume this is a series debut because of End of Book One stamped on the last page along with the massive cliff edge I fell off on page 375. If it isn’t be warned I might cry. I’m a girl who needs closure and the lack of it in Variant is a cruel form of torture.

Even with the kind of crazy ending and cliffhanger (FYI I hate them) I still loved this book. It was unpredictable and a fab mix of mystery and action. The world building was top notch, and the character development was also pretty amazing. I’m giving this one a very strong 4 kitty rating and highly recommend giving it a read.

I also have to say Yippee for another male main character in Young Adult! As mom of an almost teen boy I’m always on the lookout for male protags. While Variant does contain violence and mentions that sex is against the rules once or twice, I’d have no issue with allowing my tween son to read it.

My Rating:

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  1. "Series: I freaking hope so!" AWESOME! :)That's all I need to know.

  2. I'm not in LOVE with this book but I found it to be a nice read.Plus the end! I mean I read it at least two times (still couldn't make any sense of it )

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers