The Feeder Series, Book One
by Eliza Green
YA Science Fiction
You have to keep moving forward, he says. But I am afraid of change. Change will kill me.
When their hometown of Brookfield is poisoned by radiation, seventeen-year-old Anya Macklin and her older brother Jason are relocated to the safe but boring urbano of Essention.
While Jason is put to work, Anya is enrolled in the adult skills course at Arcis, a secretive and heavily monitored education facility. There she must compete with other teenage recruits and earn her place in society by reaching the top floor.
At first, Anya fears change, and is reluctant to advance. But then she meets Dom Pavesi, a brooding, evasive stranger who drives her to discover the rules of this dangerous game where there can be only one winner.
Who is Dom? Which side is he on?
And what terrible truth awaits Anya on the ninth floor of Arcis?
Feeder is Book 1 in the Feeder series.
With a wonderful mixture of emotions, characters and intrigue, this book dives into an adventure where secrets and survival are key.
When a knock at the door has Anya's parents forcing her to hide in a hidden space in the wall, the last thing she expects to see is their execution right before her eyes. Orphaned and forced out of the town thanks to spreading radiation, Anya and her older brother find refuge in a governmental sanctuary. While her brother is placed in a normal job, Anya joins the other teens in an educational system, which the government claims prepares them for their lives as adults-something Anya's fine with until the first dead bodies drop from the sky.
Although the blurb reminds a bit of Hunger Games, the plot takes off in a fresh direction. Anya is left shaken after watching her parents' murder, and although she needs time to digest and adapt, this baggage does not weigh down on her or the entire plot. The author allows Anya and the reader to settle into the world a few chapters before taking off into the adventure, and masterfully accomplishes this without losing pace or flow. Anya has a lot to cope with, but her strong character and a few pushes from those around her, get her stumbling in the right direction. This mixture of strength and weakness makes her easy to sympathize with and cheer for.
The supporting characters are by no means left on the way-side. Each one has their own personality, purpose and background. Even when several of them make 'evil' decisions, the reasoning behind these bad choices makes it hard to hate them entirely. The characters are alive with all their dark and good attributes.
The plot is like peeling an onion. In the beginning, its not clear that things are wrong but, bit by bit, the secrets and layers are exposed. The intrigue and tension grows with each chapter (as does the violence and emotional struggles), keeping this a fast paced read the entire way through. The ending leaves many questions open, which will be continued in the next books.
The book is split between three characters: Anya, her brother and a girl which comes in late and remains pretty mysterious until the last couple of chapters. While Anya's parts are always action packed, her brother's are slow in comparison and don't pack the same punch. Unfortunately, I skimmed over his parts quite often.
And there's romance, one that builds nicely with the rest of the plot and molds right into the story seamlessly.
Summed up, this is a read YA scifi/dystopian fans are sure to enjoy. I'll be looking forward to book two.