Saturday 18 August 2018

Book Review - The Forsaken

Title: The Forsaken
Author: Lisa M Stasse
Series: The Forsaken (Book 1)
Publisher: Orchard Books (This Edition) Simon & Schuster
ISBN13: 9781408318805

Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.
But when she unexpectedly fails ‘the test’ - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.
Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Liam, a boy who will become her love... and her lifeline.
Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there’s more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?

My Review
This is another book that has sat on my shelves for years, I remember buying this one - seeing it in the shops with the tagline on it saying 'If you love the Hunger Games, you'll love this'! and of course I am a huge fan of HG, so I automatically wanted to read it. I don't remember why I didn't read it back then but either way it's still sat there.
Working my way through my shelves I was picking out books that were on their own, trying to get through as many as possible. Of course I didn't realise that this is now the first part of a trilogy!!!
I found the start of the story a bit slow, you meet Alenna and see a bit of the world inside the UNA, but from reading the blurb you know that she is going to be sent to the Island so I kind of wanted it to get a move on to that point and stop all the 'will she, won't she', stuff. Once she gets on the Island, it really did remind me of the Hunger Games, an island where kids run savage, kill each other and try to survive - the Island is divided into segments and each segment holds a different danger (remind anyone else of the clock island in Catching Fire!) The similarities for me were a bit too close at first and I nearly stopped reading a couple of times, but I decided to persevere and see if the author could take the book in her own direction. The more she sets up the Island the more it takes on it's own life. The world turns out to be very different and run in a rather alarming way. The characters are great, there is a good variety and a few little side stories but not too many so you don't get confused. 
Alenna starts off quite wimpy and rather pathetic but the more she lives through, the more she develops a back-bone, this is of course helped along by Gadya - a fierce and fiery Villager from the Blue Sector. She hasn't got time to babysit and she believes that everyone should fight equally. She's so sassy but also has a softer side. She's just trying to survive like everyone else, but wants to make sure she takes fate into her own hands.
You also meet David on the Island, a seemingly weak and wimpy guy who seems to have a hidden agenda, you are never quite sure who's side he is on and it's actually quite fun trying to work it out. 
Not knowing who to trust and how they will ever get off the Island I found myself reading quicker the more I got through the book. The book was written in a way that meant I could picture the Island and all the characters, the imagery was really good, but there were some occasions when I wished there was more detail on a situation, or that the story would develop a certain way but it would suddenly jump to something else, and likewise there were things that sometimes felt a bit forced and went on a bit too long. There were a couple of times where the pace slowed and I found myself maybe skimming the odd word but overall I actually enjoyed the book. At 426 pages it's quite chunky, but I read it in just 2 sittings.
I'm not sure I would ever re-read the book but I enjoyed it this time round, and was hooked in enough to want to know what happens next - after all it ends on quite a cliffhanger. I actually got to the end, growled and threw down the book, I was so frustrated that I didn't have a full conclusion - I jumped straight online and ordered book 2 and 3 from the library, but knowing I have to wait a couple of days to find out what happens to them is going to drive me mad!
Overall a surprisingly good read, glad I have read it.

My Rating

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