The Loop
Life inside The Loop-the futuristic death row for teens under eighteen-is one long repetitive purgatory. But when news of the encroaching chaos in the outside world reaches the inmates and disorder begins to strike, the prison becomes the least of their worries.It's Luka Kane's sixteenth birthday and he's been inside The Loop for over two years. Every inmate is serving a death sentence with the option to push back their execution date by six months if they opt into "Delays", scientific and medical experiments for the benefit of the elite in the outside world. But rumors of a war on the outside are spreading amongst the inmates, and before they know it, their tortuous routine becomes disrupted. The government issued rain stops falling. Strange things are happening to the guards. And it's not long until the inmates are left alone inside the prison. Were the chains that shackled Luka to his cell the only instruments left to keep him safe? He must overcome fellow prisoners hell-bent on killing him, the warden losing her mind, the rabid rats in the train tunnels, and a population turned into murderous monsters to try and break out of The Loop, save his family, and discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world.

The Loop Details

TitleThe Loop
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherChicken House
ISBN-139781338589306
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

The Loop Review

  • James Phoenix
    January 1, 1970
    Many books have claimed to be 'the next Hunger Games or Maze Runner' but few can actually meet that hype. I'm happy to say that this book has met these expectations and then some! This book is mostly set inside a prison known as the Loop, where inmates are subject to torturous conditions and crippling loneliness. We explore this setting through the eyes of Luka Kane, a flawed and very relatable YA protagonist who keeps you engaged as the mysteries of the prison and the world around it begin to Many books have claimed to be 'the next Hunger Games or Maze Runner' but few can actually meet that hype. I'm happy to say that this book has met these expectations and then some! This book is mostly set inside a prison known as the Loop, where inmates are subject to torturous conditions and crippling loneliness. We explore this setting through the eyes of Luka Kane, a flawed and very relatable YA protagonist who keeps you engaged as the mysteries of the prison and the world around it begin to unfold. The side characters threaten to overwhelm at first given their rapid and frequent introductions but ultimately result in a cast of characters that you will route for all the way, Igby and Malachai being particular standouts.I cannot give away any plot here, as it's something you really must experience yourself. There are so many twists and turns right up until the end it'll leave you weepy at the fact the next book isn't out till 2021!!!In closing, YA dystopian fans should get ready, as this book is going to be your next obsession.
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  • Kelli
    January 1, 1970
    This is the birth child of Stephen King's The Institute and Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave series. Similar to those, this was a tough pill to swallow involving torture, prison and war for young adults and children. But damn if it isn't a rocket fueled ride. I couldn't stop reading even when I was hating what was happening. This is a love hate read in my opinion. The characters are absolutely wonderful. Dynamic and engaging! Dialogue was fantastic! Just enough that you get past the horrible things This is the birth child of Stephen King's The Institute and Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave series. Similar to those, this was a tough pill to swallow involving torture, prison and war for young adults and children. But damn if it isn't a rocket fueled ride. I couldn't stop reading even when I was hating what was happening. This is a love hate read in my opinion. The characters are absolutely wonderful. Dynamic and engaging! Dialogue was fantastic! Just enough that you get past the horrible things they endure. If they can, why can't you! And then we're left with the ending...I'm still debating: cop out or good? Let the readers decide.*Thank you to Scholastic (Trade Publishing) in Edelweiss+ for access to the digital review copy!
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  • Joseph Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    Fast-paced, inventive and full of twists and turns, I devoured this book. Whenever I thought I knew where it was heading, it would spin in another unexpected direction, constantly keeping me enthralled.Set in a distopian future, Luca Kane is imprisoned in 'The Loop' - a nightmarish institute where inmates are harvested for their energy and experimented on by the government. Luka and the other inmates dream of escape, but with threats of war and rumours of a killer virus that turns humans into Fast-paced, inventive and full of twists and turns, I devoured this book. Whenever I thought I knew where it was heading, it would spin in another unexpected direction, constantly keeping me enthralled.Set in a distopian future, Luca Kane is imprisoned in 'The Loop' - a nightmarish institute where inmates are harvested for their energy and experimented on by the government. Luka and the other inmates dream of escape, but with threats of war and rumours of a killer virus that turns humans into ruthless murderers, the outside world may prove to be even more dangerous...The Maze Runner meets The Matrix, this debut is easily one the best and most memorable books I have read all year.
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  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    Everything is as it should be.Vicious and efficient, the world of The Loop feels painfully pragmatically real & believably near. The Hunger Games is a walk in the park compared to this! The level of control is terrifying and when it all hits the fan IT REALLY HITS THE FAN! YA Action, Thriller, Horror... Flawlessly executed and what a twist ending! ‪“Everything is as it should be.”Vicious and efficient, the world of The Loop feels painfully pragmatically real & believably near. The Hunger Games is a walk in the park compared to this! The level of control is terrifying and when it all hits the fan IT REALLY HITS THE FAN!‬ YA Action, Thriller, Horror... Flawlessly executed and what a twist ending!
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  • Scarlet Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Finished this book in one sitting. In Scotland, wed call this one a wee beauty.Full of twisty, heart-stopping moments that make your stomach clench in lots of uncomfortable ways. Good world building with just enough questions left unanswered to make you curious about the next one. Got to the end and shouted...NO.... because I wanted more. Pacing great. For sensitive readers TW for death, gore in a Walking Dead kind of way and medical procedures. Wow. Finished this book in one sitting. In Scotland, we’d call this one a wee beauty.Full of twisty, heart-stopping moments that make your stomach clench in lots of uncomfortable ways. Good world building with just enough questions left unanswered to make you curious about the next one. Got to the end and shouted...NO.... because I wanted more. Pacing great. For sensitive readers TW for death, gore in a Walking Dead kind of way and medical procedures.
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  • Lesli Mejia
    January 1, 1970
    What a good story. It's fast-paced, it's entertaining, it's horrifying and suspenseful and moving and intriguing. It's political and subversive, it's funny and wholesome. I didn't know the young adult dystopian genre was still so good and had evolved so much. The Loop is sci-fi, it's zombies, it's social criticism: it is a delightful read.
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  • Anna Waterworth
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of the loop. It was completely brilliant - scary, believable and addictive! If you like dystopia, sci-fi or adventure books, then you will inhale this novel.
  • Nabilah Firdaus
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping, thrilling and terrifying read.The Loop is set in dystopian future, where the world is regulated by the World Government and that government is counselled by Artificial Intelligence named Happy (which is very disturbing). It follows the story of Luka Kane who is an inmate in the Loop where the prisoners here are put through cruel torture and excruciating surrounding. Lukas chance to escape is made possible when rumours of war start to spread and government-issued rain stops falling. A gripping, thrilling and terrifying read.The Loop is set in dystopian future, where the world is regulated by the World Government and that government is counselled by Artificial Intelligence named Happy (which is very disturbing). It follows the story of Luka Kane who is an inmate in the Loop where the prisoners here are put through cruel torture and excruciating surrounding. Luka’s chance to escape is made possible when rumours of war start to spread and government-issued rain stops falling.”This sense of futility, of hopelessness; this is what happens when you take compassion out of leadership, when you take mercy out of judgment, when you let the machines decide the fate of humans.”Ben Oliver threw me in at the deep end. He keeps incidents moving so fast that you don’t really have time to think much about it. I have to admit that I was a bit suprised when I couldn’t put it down (finished it in less than two days, I just kept putting off doing the review). It’s fast, action packed and absolute breathless ride from start to finish. For some reasons, this book reminds me of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Only it is not quite as deep or thought provoking as I expected, which is not a bad thing considering the targeted audience are young readers.I really liked the political and social commentary of the story. There is an obvious social class and regional disparity. There are the Alts, the Regulars, the Naturals and smiley zombies. Yes, you read that right. There are smiley zombies. I’m also glad where the issue of discrimination and brutal treatment against prisoners are brought into the light. In the story, the inmates in the Loop were just guinea pigs for the World Government. The medical experiments on the prisoners exist just for the sake of making the lives of the wealthy better. While I enjoyed the maturity and characterization of the characters, I think the book lacked character development. Even when emotion was clearly conveyed in the pages, the characters appeared okay-ish and not that emotional - if that makes sense? The main protagonist, Luka, was okay. He was kind and brave. He also kept it together and didn’t freak out. But sometimes you want more than that; you want depth, and you want it raw. I think that’s the thing that the author miss on this book. Hopefully the characters grow more as the trilogy goes on. Actual rating: 3.7/5 stars. Thank you @definitelybooks and #pansing for sending me the book in exchange for an honest review. The Loop comes out on 7th of April 2020 so keep your eyes peeled, everyone.
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This book is wild! Part futuristic fight-the-system/zombie(-esque) apocalypse/sci-fi thriller, and a bunch of other things that somehow all seamlessly work together, this book reminds me of the golden days of dystopian YA, but maybe possibly almost does it better? Best yet, it also gives off some strong, early Pierce Brown vibes (extremely high praise), so all Red Rising fans out there, rejoice! Luka is beyond lovely - seriously, what a hero (who, sidenote, also has great taste in books) - as This book is wild! Part futuristic fight-the-system/zombie(-esque) apocalypse/sci-fi thriller, and a bunch of other things that somehow all seamlessly work together, this book reminds me of the golden days of dystopian YA, but maybe possibly almost does it better? Best yet, it also gives off some strong, early Pierce Brown vibes (extremely high praise), so all Red Rising fans out there, rejoice! Luka is beyond lovely - seriously, what a hero (who, sidenote, also has great taste in books) - as are all his friends, and that chilling, chilling ending had me screaming for a sequel. The underlying message that becomes clear at the end carries some major weight, reminding you that this isn’t just a story of nonstop surface action - there is a lot of depth here too. Excellent stuff!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Giveaway win!
  • Insert Name Here
    January 1, 1970
    An AI controlled prison is inescapable for the teenagers inside it. There's no contact with the outside world, but rumours still filter through - and those rumours are very dark.Some time in the future - at least a hundred years from now, it's possible I missed a more exact timeframe - the world has fallen under the power of the One World Government and an AI called Happy. Happy controls everything, everywhere. Including the Loop and Block prisons, one for under eighteens, one for adults. Luka's An AI controlled prison is inescapable for the teenagers inside it. There's no contact with the outside world, but rumours still filter through - and those rumours are very dark.Some time in the future - at least a hundred years from now, it's possible I missed a more exact timeframe - the world has fallen under the power of the One World Government and an AI called Happy. Happy controls everything, everywhere. Including the Loop and Block prisons, one for under eighteens, one for adults. Luka's been in the tightly regimented, isolating Loop for several years when things start going wrong. If Luka is careful, if he's clever and quick, if he chooses his companions wisely, he may just survive. But if not...there are far worse things than the Loop in the world...This is a terrifying, far too plausible look at a possible future. The Loop is inescapable, and isn't that good for dangerous criminals? Happy has found a way to extract energy from the prisoners to help power the prison; isn't that poetic justice, making them part of the system? The med tech keeping them prisoner, the dangerous medical trials they can choose to undertake, it all makes so much sense. That's the most terrifying part of it. And the ending is awful, a real proper cliffhanger.Even without the futuristic parts, there are some genuinely scary scenes - rats, anyone? - and I really enjoyed this read.
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    20/3/20This was so good!! It's been a really long time since I read such a thrilling sci-fi story - it had just the right amount of death and violence hahah! So gutted I'm going to have to wait another year to read the sequel xD10/9/19Yes! I won this one at YALC! Thank you so much Chicken House!! The premise sounds super duper cool :)You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
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  • (Love, Stars and Books)
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an ARC from #pansing and @definitelybooks for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)Book review: The Loop by Ben Oliver (4 stars)The Loop by Ben Oliver Genre: YA, Sci-fi, DystopianRating: 4/5 stars (Review)(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own.)This book will be available at all good bookstores once it has been published (2nd April 2020)I was so lucky to get surprise mail from #pansing and @definitelybooks and this book blew my mind! It has (I received an ARC from #pansing and @definitelybooks for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)Book review: The Loop by Ben Oliver (4 stars)The Loop by Ben Oliver Genre: YA, Sci-fi, DystopianRating: 4/5 stars (Review)(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own.)This book will be available at all good bookstores once it has been published (2nd April 2020)I was so lucky to get surprise mail from #pansing and @definitelybooks and this book blew my mind! It has The Maze runner and Sanctuary by Caryn Lix vibes and I liked that there was a mysterious element to the story. I absolutely loved the concept and eerie world building.Luka was very easy to like as a character and thus, I kept turning the pages as I wanted to find out what happened to him next. The story was very eerie and unpredictable, it also gave me the eerie vibes from the Illuminae series. If you are looking for a high stakes thriller book, pick this book up! I was so afraid that I had to only read this book when there was still daylight.This is one of those rare instances that I WANT to see a book turned into a movie as I think it would be AMAZING! I had chills while reading this book and overall, really enjoyed this book and would love to read the 2nd book!
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  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very page-turning and I had to find out what was happening as we meet Luka Kane in the Loop, a prison for inmates. It started off well with a good amount of time setting the scene and understanding the state of the world and what the Loop was, but it suddenly got very freaky and I was soon creeped out!I do have to say that the creepy bit was very well written and had the right amount of detail and description whilst getting on with the story. A lot happens to Luka Kane, the narrator, This was a very page-turning and I had to find out what was happening as we meet Luka Kane in the Loop, a prison for inmates. It started off well with a good amount of time setting the scene and understanding the state of the world and what the Loop was, but it suddenly got very freaky and I was soon creeped out!I do have to say that the creepy bit was very well written and had the right amount of detail and description whilst getting on with the story. A lot happens to Luka Kane, the narrator, but my god does he get on with it and nothing seems to phase him. I also really liked the friendships he had formed and there were some very interesting characters. It was super intriguing that we didn't know what was going on a lot of the time, but when we find out exactly what's behind what's occurring, I felt somewhat disappointed and it wasn't what I was expecting/hoping? It was a strange one to comprehend.Definitely page-turning and gripping, this dystopian/thriller is not for the faint-hearted.
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  • Julie Zantopoulos
    January 1, 1970
    This book had a lot to say about the prison system, socioeconomic status, and drug addiction among classes all wrapped up in a YA science fiction novel. The blurb at the front of the arc says it's a thriller...and no, just no. It wasn't exactly what I wanted in the moment but it fit the theme of a reading vlog that I was doing and so I read it. I did like the characters enough, I was invested in the outcome, but it fell flat for me in terms of world-building and tying up loose ends about the This book had a lot to say about the prison system, socioeconomic status, and drug addiction among classes all wrapped up in a YA science fiction novel. The blurb at the front of the arc says it's a thriller...and no, just no. It wasn't exactly what I wanted in the moment but it fit the theme of a reading vlog that I was doing and so I read it. I did like the characters enough, I was invested in the outcome, but it fell flat for me in terms of world-building and tying up loose ends about the world. CW: death of loved ones, murder, forced drugging, medical experimentation, wrongful imprisonment, animal death, and a bit of body gore.
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  • Terra Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Fast read I would have finished it last night if it wasnt for my needy bulldog Fast read I would have finished it last night if it wasn’t for my needy bulldog
  • Ciara Smyth
    January 1, 1970
    Lads, she is a BEAUT. This book is so good I want everyone to read it. I am not surprised it's already optioned for TV because it is so gripping. It zips along, at incredible speed but still lets you immerse yourself in its world and the emotional lives of the characters. It is peppered with humour in all the right places. I was blown away by Ben Oliver's ability to merge high octane thrills and a sci-fi nightmare world with soft feelings and regular teenage concerns like 'why does she like him Lads, she is a BEAUT. This book is so good I want everyone to read it. I am not surprised it's already optioned for TV because it is so gripping. It zips along, at incredible speed but still lets you immerse yourself in its world and the emotional lives of the characters. It is peppered with humour in all the right places. I was blown away by Ben Oliver's ability to merge high octane thrills and a sci-fi nightmare world with soft feelings and regular teenage concerns like 'why does she like him and not me!!'. I defy anyone not to love this ragtag group of prisoners. I'm gonna need you all to read it because I need to talk about it and I need to organise who is going to be in my viewing party for when it comes on TV.
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  • Jude
    January 1, 1970
    The Hunger Games meets The Maze Runner meets The Walking Dead meets Prison Break meets World War Z. But all those combined are like eating cotton candy compared to this book. This was the most perfect dystopian apocalypse action-horror novel with a touch of politics and class conflict for the moment we're living right now. It was everything I look for in a dystopia: terrifyingly believable. After finishing it, I realized how badly I needed to suffer with a young-adult dystopia as if we were The Hunger Games meets The Maze Runner meets The Walking Dead meets Prison Break meets World War Z. But all those combined are like eating cotton candy compared to this book. This was the most perfect dystopian apocalypse action-horror novel with a touch of politics and class conflict for the moment we're living right now. It was everything I look for in a dystopia: terrifyingly believable. After finishing it, I realized how badly I needed to suffer with a young-adult dystopia as if we were still in 2012. I swallowed every drop of it and it left me thirsty for more, give me more, leaving us like this is ILLEGAL, BEN.
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  • Shelly
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY got around to reading my ARC copy of The Loop! I loved it! a lot of tension, technology and terror! Great characters who you root for and an ending that I read twice because it blew me away!
  • Sharissa
    January 1, 1970
    "Everything is as it should be." This book was my first pre-order ever. I normally behave like a good girl and wait for the price to drop, but when I read the synopsis, I knew I just had to get this one!My TBR is so HUGE, I felt embarrassed to add yet another one to my collection. At night, I felt the cover looking at me (yes...), and I just had to read it the next day (sorry other books, you'll have to wait yet another more weeks...). I read this one in 2 days and I would have finished it in 1 "Everything is as it should be." This book was my first pre-order ever. I normally behave like a good girl and wait for the price to drop, but when I read the synopsis, I knew I just had to get this one!My TBR is so HUGE, I felt embarrassed to add yet another one to my collection. At night, I felt the cover looking at me (yes...), and I just had to read it the next day (sorry other books, you'll have to wait yet another more weeks...). I read this one in 2 days and I would have finished it in 1 if not for my migraine (thanks, brain...).SOOO...This was such a good story! It is as if "The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner" had a baby. (and I know a lot of people will use this comparison, but it just felt so recognizable)After Divergent, I wanted to read a dystopian novel that was worth something, because that one really disappointed me. It isn't easy to write something 'new' when there are so many great YA-novels. The characters where well described, and it felt like I was also 'trapped' in the loop (maybe because I read this during the lockdown-period?).Anyway, I was really disappointed when I read the last page.Book two --> 2021Book three --> 2022But I'll wait, patiently. And I know what I'll pre-order next time ;). You should too. As one!
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  • Energy
    January 1, 1970
    I shouldnt have started The Loop in the evening because I have chronic insomnia and need to sleep at the same time every night, but that process went out the window because I got sucked into the story from the start. In the world of the future, everyone answers to a computer program, Happy. And Happy can determine your fate without the aid of humans. So when Luka lands himself in The Loop, a high-tech prison for teens, it all seems hopeless. Its a strict place where youre cut off from humanity I shouldn’t have started The Loop in the evening because I have chronic insomnia and need to sleep at the same time every night, but that process went out the window because I got sucked into the story from the start. In the world of the future, everyone answers to a computer program, Happy. And Happy can determine your fate without the aid of humans. So when Luka lands himself in The Loop, a high-tech prison for teens, it all seems hopeless. It’s a strict place where you’re cut off from humanity as it’s completely computer operated, except for 1 human warden. That daily companionship from the warden gives Luka strength to repeat the monotony and torture of each day. But there’s trouble brewing on the outside. People are unhappy with the way the world, “As One”, is run. Could it mean hope for Luka? To escape this place before he turns 18 and gets sent to “The Block”, the area of the prison that’s even worse than where he is now?I forgot to make notes as I was reading this because I was so invested in the story. This is a highly imaginative world, and definitely one I wouldn’t want to live in. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I think it’s what the book needed, but it might not be what I needed. Which leads me to question: will there be a book 2, and can I have it yesterday? Superb storyline and an exceptionally fun read. Very well done.
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  • Vee_Bookish // mauve and dangerous
    January 1, 1970
    "futuristic death row for teens under eighteen"This is very high on my April wishlist.
  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    *I won an ARC of this book from Chicken House*2.5 starsThe Loop is a prison controlled by an artificial intelligence. Luka Kane has been imprisoned there for over two years. His death sentence is pushed back every time Luka agrees to a 'Delay' - a medical experiment that benefits the wealthy, but could mean death for Luka.Nothing ever changes in the Loop, until one day rumours spread of unrest and a potential war on the outside.Then the inmates find themselves alone in the Loop with limited *I won an ARC of this book from Chicken House*2.5 starsThe Loop is a prison controlled by an artificial intelligence. Luka Kane has been imprisoned there for over two years. His death sentence is pushed back every time Luka agrees to a 'Delay' - a medical experiment that benefits the wealthy, but could mean death for Luka.Nothing ever changes in the Loop, until one day rumours spread of unrest and a potential war on the outside.Then the inmates find themselves alone in the Loop with limited power, but a chance to escape.What has happened to the outside world?Can Luka and his friends all escape the Loop? Are they actually safer where they are?The premise of The Loop intrigued me, especially the idea of a prison run by an artificial intelligence. This is something that I can imagine happening in the future, which is a little scary, but not as scary as the medical experiments ('Delays'), which were awful. The energy harvests were an interesting concept, but again scary. They reminded me a little of how screams were used for energy in Monsters, Inc..I don't particularly have any strong feelings about Luka. I liked that he was a bookworm and I did feel a bit sorry for him, but I feel that I could have connected with him a lot more than I did.I liked the diversity of the characters, but none of them particularly stood out to me.The plot was okay, but it didn't feel revolutionary or ground-breaking, and I did lose interest once or twice. Nothing that happened really surprised me, and I was nowhere near the edge of my seat, but I did enjoy some of the action.There were some quite gory/violent scenes which I wasn't really expecting.The writing style was easy to follow.At this point in time, I don't think I will be continuing with this series as I'm not itching to find out what happens next.I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.This wasn't a bad book, but I wasn't as invested as I should have been.Overall, this was an okay read that I did enjoy at times.
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  • Kimberly Vanderbloom
    January 1, 1970
    Page turnerThe best darn book Ive read in awhile. The writing hooked me and never let me go. I seriously sat down and read it in less than a day. I loved it. Page turnerThe best darn book I’ve read in awhile. The writing hooked me and never let me go. I seriously sat down and read it in less than a day. I loved it.
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  • Susan Gauthier
    January 1, 1970
    I usually never give 5 stars but loved this book! It reminds me of the Maze Runner and left me with wanting book 2.
  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about this one. It definitely kept my interest and is fast paced but the plot had some holes and seemed to fall apart somewhat in the last third of the book. There were also some similarities to other things (namely the Scorch Trials and the Matrix) that I couldn't quite get past.
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  • Samantha Eck
    January 1, 1970
    Where to begin with this one? I'm a mix of emotions...what just happened...no really what just happened. That's one way to end a book that's for sure. Goodness gracious talk about a rollercoaster of emotions. This author definitely told the story in a unique and thrilling way, he had me hooked until the very end.
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  • Melliver
    January 1, 1970
    A dark and gripping debut for dystopian fiction fans. The first in a trilogy, this book gave me renewed hope for UKYA and the dystopian genre. Deliciously dark and with the right notes of action and characterisation, the plot kept me turning the page until I hit the twist ending. This plot will keep you guessing and we have a new Katniss Everdeen in the shape of Luka Kane! A must read during lockdown and these strange times.
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  • Suzz99
    January 1, 1970
    Really great grounded sci-fi. Intriguing first quarter and then it explodes into action and doesn't stop.
  • Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow I really enjoyed this one. It was a quick, easy read but it didn't lack world-building or character development. This one took me by surprise for sure.I really liked the idea of alts vs. regulars and surgeries being first tested on prisoners before being offered to alts. I also like the concept of a "delay" - choosing the surgery in order to delay an execution. It was an unfair choice but that was the point.Without spoiling anything, I'm not sure I like the reason behind the "smilers." That Wow I really enjoyed this one. It was a quick, easy read but it didn't lack world-building or character development. This one took me by surprise for sure.I really liked the idea of alts vs. regulars and surgeries being first tested on prisoners before being offered to alts. I also like the concept of a "delay" - choosing the surgery in order to delay an execution. It was an unfair choice but that was the point.Without spoiling anything, I'm not sure I like the reason behind the "smilers." That felt a bit unfinished for me and the ending didn't give me any clarity or provide any real resolution which is why I knocked down a star. However, this may be the exact reason that others choose to love this book.All in all, a very pleasant surprise. I was hoping that this would be the first in a series but it looks like it's a standalone. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that to change.
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