I was given an ARC of Robison Wells Variant a few years back, and had to write a review about it. I re-read it recently so this review may be be different from my first one. Read more after the jump.
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, where video cameras monitor his every move--and where breaking the rules equals death. All Benson wants is to find a way out. But when he stumbles upon the real secret the school has been hiding, he realizes that escape may be impossible.
The setting and story give off a Lord of the Flies vibe. Much like the Gone series, violence is an important theme to the storyline, making the narrative more sinister but also more fluid; the characters actions make more sense. I enjoy a novel where nothing is what it seems, though too much of it and you start feeling duped by the –perhaps condescending- Author. I had that feeling a few times reading Variant, though those instances weren’t often and they didn’t last long. Many characters are a bit two-dimensional, though the ones that matter, like the main character, Benson, feature growth. The story, a mixture of sci-fi, fantasy and Dystopia, makes reference to many novels and themes of the genre, which is a nice metaphysical touch. I haven’t read Feedback, the following novel so I have yet to find out how the story progresses. The novel ends with a cliffhanger that is both shocking and quite interesting and leaves the story open for much interpretation which I expect is expanded on in the sequel.
You can buy Robison Wells’ Variant as well as his other works here
And follow me on twitter and tumblr for more craziness.