As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
I am loving the dystopian books I have been reading of late – they all have such amazing worlds depicted and Forsaken keeps that spirit. It is kind of like Phoenix Island, which I read just before this and a bit of Jyu-oh-Sei (the anime). It’s a survival book mixed in with conspiracy – and even the reveal is a bit of a surprise. The protagonist goes from being an invisible city girl to a half-warrior by the end of the book. I didn’t like the romance as much – I felt it just served to add drama between Alenna and Gadya (who, by the way, is a bit annoying). But the other aspects, like the island sectors and them journeying through it, kept me hooked onto it. I will definitely be picking up the next!