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Review: Variant by Robison Wells

Thursday, November 10, 2011
5 Stars: Incredible
Series: Variant #1
Hardback: 373 Pages
Publication: September 26, 2011 by Harper Teen

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

You really can’t trust anyone in this book. As much as you want to trust people, you’re better off assuming that everyone is against you. In this brilliantly plotted novel, Robinson Wells brings to life the nightmare that most every child has of boarding school: it’s a prison where the students are lab rats. Only, it’s no ordinary prison, as you’ll soon learn. It is a prison in which everyone is against each other in a game of survival.

I would never want to be in Benson’s position, just saying. If I were Benson, I wouldn’t like any of the things I liked in the set up, but I can say what I like because I’ve never been there. I like how Wells set up the boarding house with its stark lack of teachers, its strange curriculum, and the prison environment. The imagery is bleak and vivid, but Benson’s wit and strength comes through it all. He applied for the school in the hopes of making a life for himself, but he finds himself in a horrifying game where he must play high stakes to survive.

I never knew where Wells and Benson would take me. No matter how much I guessed or hoped, something else happened, something I would never have concluded from prior events. If anything, the mystery grew thicker and the conclusion more indeterminable as I progressed through the book. And you know what the worst of it is? We have to wait for the sequel to find out more.


An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

3 comments on "Review: Variant by Robison Wells"
  1. Oh I just bought this one last week! I'm really excited to get to it because I heard it was hard to guess.. well.. anything! Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. IVE read it....but hated the ending...CLIFF HANGER!!!..i even thought Benson was an android too!!!hate to admit it but im confused in the end of the book...But one thing's sure...I L-O-V-E the book..filled w/ mystery,thrill,action and a fast paced ya robinson wells..the fact that you named ur charac. Benson...was awesome...ROBINSON=BENSON!!!

  3. This sounds cool! I'm a sucker for a great cliffhanger. I really like the cover of this too. I'll definitely add this to my TBR. Thanks for the review.


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