Saturday, November 05, 2011

Variant - Robison Wells

Benson Fisher has been in and out of foster homes since he was five years old. At his last school he filled out a scholarship that was aimed at foster kids. The next day he got a call and was on his way to Maxfield Academy in New Mexico. Right off the bat things seem weird to Benson. He sees two kids try to make a run for it when he's dropped off. Becky, who handles orientation, is a bit to cheerful and tells him to refer to the manual for any answers to questions he will have. There are cameras all around the school to monitor everyones movements. During his first night he has to choose which group to join. There is Society, Havoc, and Variant. Benson chooses Variant, after having not so good encounters with Isaiah and Oakland, the leaders of Society and Havoc respectively. Benson settles into the routine of Maxfield Academy. Some of the days they have class all day, or half a day with paintball in the afternoon. As Benson and some of his Variant members are walking back from paintball they pass a graveyard. Benson is told of the time before the truce between the groups. Everything was chaos and quite a few people died. Later that night Lily jumps the wall to escape and dies. The next day everyone becomes a little on edge when they find out about her death. A few days later the school has a dance. Benson and Jane head out and as they walk by the wall they are attacked by Dylan and Laura. Jane is severly injured and goes to a mechanical room in the basement of the school. Benson follows to make sure she's all right. He then sees her take her ear off and plug a computer cable into where her ear was. As Benson holds on to the knowledge that Jane was an android, unrest begins to take over the school and talk of leaving escaltes.

I didn't want to put this book down. To me it was a cross between Lord of the Flies and 1984. It captured my attention from the first page all the way to the last page. The ending was a twist, and I didn't see that coming. I reread the last few pages a few times to fully understand what was written. From what I looked up this is book 1 of a trilogy, so I will be eagerly awaiting the next book.

T.B. 11/5/11

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