Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Alenna grew up in an United Northern Alliance (UNA) orphanage. She fails a government test and is sent to Prison Island Alpha. Surrounded by island conflict, Alenna is taken in by a village. Alenna trains so that she can help the village try and escape. Their attempt quickly fails as they are taken prisoner by the Monk who coerces their assistance to help him leave the island as well. Alenna finds flash-frozen bodies of thousands of the island's inhabitants, including their friends, waiting to be shipped off for dissection. When she reaches their destination, Alenna defrosts Liam's pod, but they're forced into the pod as it is transported off the island. To their surprise, they are saved by a UNA rebel group.
The Forsaken is a poorly written. The characters feel as though they’re being forced into their plot points and are wholly inorganic. Additionally, the two groups of islanders are highly dichotomized. The Monk’s followers are the essence of all evil, while the villagers are regular people. The plot points themselves are also heavily flawed. The end of the book explains how the island is essentially a giant laboratory with experimental drugs being dumped into the atmosphere. The kids are then picked up with gigantic flying robots to be shipped to a real laboratory to be dissected. This clearly makes no sense. They can’t be sure how much of the drug each kid receives, their ‘lab rats’ are killing each other off, and there are so many other factors that the researchers can’t control in an island-lab setting. Much like the actions of the characters, the premise of the entire book seems as though it was forced into being something it wasn’t meant to be, and that doesn’t make much sense either.
*Contains severe sexual content, mild language, and severe violence.