Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse

The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)

Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.
But when she unexpectedly fails ‘the test’ - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.

Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Liam, a boy who will become her love... and her lifeline.

Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there’s more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?

The Forsaken is a book that I really enjoyed when I first read it, but the more I come to think about it it the more flaws appear to me, I would definitely recommend it to a fan of survival fiction but there were a few flaws to me. To start with, I'd like to mention that aside from the political dystopian America setting there aren't that many similarities to The Hunger Games in this book, which is how this book is being marketed, so if that's what you're looking for then this book may be a shock to you.

The characters in this book were strong, but not kick-ass. Alenna came across as weak at times and though her determination shines through it did seem like she spent a lot of the book following the crowd rather than taking the lead as I so like to see a main character do. She was strong when she needed to be, but I would have liked to see more of that. I really liked Liam, he was sweet and caring but I disliked Gayda as a character, she was hot and cold; at one point shes all friendly and sweet and then she's being an uber biatch.

Alenna and Liam's romance is sweet, especially nearer the end after they know each other a little more, but at the beginning it seemed like they got together and didn't really know each other, which annoyed me because I was rooting for them by the end but it could have been so much better written at the beginning. 

I was expecting a lot of action in this book, especially considering the cover,with the glare and the arrows and what not, so I was a little let down by the lack of action, which came in spurts. The action that there was was well written and the pace was fantastic at all times. There were some non-actiony scenes which had me on the edge of my seat, like being in the Monk's camp, which was a horrific setting.

If there is one thing that I like in my dystopian reads it is good world building which The Forsaken lacks. That has to be my biggest complaint in this book - the world could have been gripping but instead it wasn't developed enough. Rather than seeming realistic it seemed like an excuse to get the characters to where Stasse wanted them.

Overall, The Forsaken was a well balanced book. The pacing was great and the characters were good but not amazing. The romance was insta-love but I enjoyed it whilst it developed. I disliked the world building.  
I will be reading the sequel and I would recommend this to fans of survival fiction.

Overall Rating: C

Book released August 2nd by Orchard
Book bought by myself

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