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A Reader of Fictions: United States of Eurasia - Muse

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, September 22, 2011

United States of Eurasia - Muse

Variant, Book 1

Author: Robison Wells
Pages: 220
ARC Acquired from: HarperTeen via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Benson Fisher has grown up in and out of various foster families and schools. They all vary greatly, but all share one quality: they suck. Finally motivated to do something about his situation, he applies to a boarding school. When he gets in, he is sure everything will finally be different. And boy was he right, just not the way he thought. Maxfield Academy turns out to be a trap. There are no adults and no ways out. The kids have formed gangs and terrorize one another, some supposedly at the behest of the mysterious force ruling the school.

Variant is like a cross between Lord of the Flies and Winter's End, a less well-known dystopia by a French author that has a school setting like this. Having finished it, I'm not entirely certain how I feel about it. The story definitely left me with more questions than answers (typical) and somewhat frustrated. However, the whole thing was completely engaging and thrilling. Wells definitely had me flipping pages, reading as fast as I could to figure out what the heck was going on this frackin' creepy school.

There is something about schools that makes them perfect settings for horror, maybe the fact that, with boarding schools, you have very few rights. Or, maybe it's the fact that there are so many children; nothing is more terrifying than a creepy child. You expect adults to be jerks, but you hate to such betrayal and evil from younger individuals, perhaps because it hints at the evil in human nature.

Benson, despite his stupid name and the fact that he is a bit of a jerk, is a good main character. He thinks about himself first, something the others constantly rag on him for, but, really, who wouldn't be focusing on getting themselves out of such a weird place? My one criticism for him is that he does some stupid things in trying to escape, but, hey, I knew from the beginning that he was smart, but not insanely so.

Variant definitely is not the most pertinent dystopia for our lives, but it is a thrill ride from the first chapter. If you like action, mystery and twists, you will not want to miss this. I know I won't miss book two!

"You and me fall in line
To be punished for unproven crimes

And we know there is no one we can trust"

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Blogger Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I really would like to read this one. I've seen Variant on many blogs. Sorry, it left you with lots of questions.

September 22, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Questions aren't always bad. It will just depend on whether they are satisfactorily dealt with eventually or not (ex. Lost).

September 22, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Fairday Morrow said...

Sounds like a book that really makes you think. This is a book I would like to read- I don't mind having some questions when I am done with a book- as long as I am not left wondering about too many loose ends. :)


September 22, 2011 at 8:27 PM  

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