A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.
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.
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.
I haven’t been reading many dystopians lately. Not many have caught my eye and made me feel like they were something new. The Forsaken definitely caught my eye. That cover might be one of my favorites ever and a prison island? Sign me up! Did the book live up to my hopes? Well, not quite but it was very different.
I loved reading about the UNA. It was kind of scary and just the right level of creepy controlling. It had that frighting realistic feel to it. That’s the element that I always love most about dystopians.
I didn’t connect with the island or The Wheel nearly as much though. I know a lot of reviewers have compared it to Lord of the Flies, but I never read that. (Don’t hate me!) So maybe that added another level of disconnect for me. Whatever it was, I had a hard time feeling for any of the characters on the wheel. Except maybe David. I did like him. I also found some of the situations and fights bizarre. I can usually get behind things that are on the strange side but I never did with The Forsaken.
All that being said, I did enjoy The Forsaken. It held my attention and I enjoyed the unique dystopian world. I guess I was ultimately hoping for some more sinister aspects to the story, but I think it was a good start to a trilogy and I’m anxious to see what happens next.