by Stephanie Diaz
St. Martin's Griffin
YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
"Welcome to Extraction testing."
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.
What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.
Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.
With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters,Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.
This is a dystopian novel, which can hold up with the best of them. Clementine is a self-assured girl who's complete existence centers around survival. If she doesn't pass the test given by the government in the core of the planet, her life will end at 20. Unfortunately, only 10 kids pass the test each year from hundreds. It's a brutal moon, a brutal society and a brutal story, but that's a small part of what makes it good.
The reader is pulled into Clementine's world, and it's easy to sympathize with her. The writer does a terrific job of letting us into her head and world. She has her faults, which not only make her more likable but create a nice character development throughout the book. The other characters are well done, adding a perfect balance to the plot.
The world building pulls into a foreign planet without feeling over-done. But it's no problem to dive in. And the story definitely makes one dive in. There's tons of action, mounting at the end to a flurry, but there's also enough reflection time to get to know the characters well.
I can definitely recommend this. Although the dystopian feel in the beginning is undeniable (and after the wave of dystopians, very familiar), the story takes a wonderful science fiction twist, ending with agile spaceships and alien wars.
And the best part: a book #2 is coming!
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And here she is. . .
Twenty-one-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel, Extraction, when she should've been making short films and listening to college lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn't lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.
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