Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Variant by Robison Wells

** ½

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.

There are two kinds of cliffhangers. There is the cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more, even if that “more” means being tortured until and possibly after the next installment in the story. Then there is the cliffhanger that makes you want to scream and throw things and never pick up the story again. Unfortunately, Variant by Robison Wells falls into the latter category.

I really wanted to love this book. I really did. It was set in a boarding school, which is always fun. The main character was very determined to find the truth of his situation and was never complacent, which of course won me over. And there were lots of action and fun twists. But did you ever watch Lost? Or better yet, Persons Unknown? Do you remember how, at first, the weekly cliffhangers were fun but then became so frequent that they became tedious and annoying? Yeah, that was this book.

Don’t get me wrong. Once all installments of this book are out, I will probably give it another chance. If you have been eyeing this one at the store and are not a fan of Lost-like cliffhangers, I would recommend holding off until the entire story is available. If you ate up the Lost cliffhangers for all six seasons and think you can handle what will probably be a year long wait for the next installment, then go for it.


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