- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Format: Hardback | 328 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 208mm x 34mm | 400g
- Publication date: 9 April 2013
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 006211851X
- ISBN 13: 9780062118516
- Sales rank: 938,174
Fans of the Divergent and Hunger Games series will love Wasteland, the first installment of the Wasteland trilogy, by five-time Emmy Award nominated writer Susan Kim and Edgar Award winning Laurence Klavan. With heart-pounding thrills, this harrowing survival story is alive with action and intrigue. Welcome to the Wasteland, a post-apocalyptic U.S. where no one lives past the age of 19. But an early death isn t the only doom waiting around the corner: Everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the variants hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin.Esther doesn t care that her best friend, a variant, is considered the enemy. She doesn t care that Levi, who controls the Source, is the real enemy and might send his Taser boys after her if she makes one wrong move. Then she meets Caleb, and just possibly, she might have a chance at salvation."
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By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 19 Feb 2013
This got off to a bit of a rocky start with me. I really liked that Ester was different, and seeing her friendship with Skar made me know that she didn't just blindly follow orders. She had a friend from the "enemy camp" according to her village. I liked her point of view, even while in the third person, I got a good feel for her, and that she really had a good heart.
But when it switched to the other villagers, I kinda lost a little steam. I can see why it would be important to get other views, but it just didn't work well in my opinion. Maybe if it would've focused on one other person instead of groups. I did get used to it, but I like the places where it was Ester or Caleb's point of view.
I was intrigued at Levi and his ingenuity, working out the trade system, and I wanted to see what his heart really was like when Sarah, Ester's sister went to see him. Levi set up a place that stockpiled water, supplies and such, and the villagers of Prin traded fuel for these things. That is one of the main jobs in Prin, is to go out and search for gas. And while out searching, there is the danger of running into the Variants, like Skar. I was curious at their motivations for the attacks, because they usually went after buildings, although they would hurt humans that got in their way. Which is another reason I was curious about the friendship between Ester and Skar. Skar teaches her their ways, like how to climb and move about. But Ester didn't seem to know at first why they were attacking, or if so, we as readers didn't know that.
I didn't know who to trust, and what was going to happen next. There were a few things that were revealed and I couldn't believe it, but I could all at the same time.
I liked Caleb. When he entered, I couldn't wait to see how he and Ester interacted, and how their relationship would form, and most of all what Caleb's mysteries and shady past would bring to the story. His story really broke my heart, and everything he did made me admire him even more.
The world building was decent, and they depicted quite a dangerous and grim world. Most die before 19, 3 out of 4 babies die before 3 months of age, the rain causes you to get deathly ill and when that happens you are Shunned-sent away from the community to die. The pacing was pretty good, despite my dislike of the pov that wasn't Caleb or Ester. I thought it was neat using a lot of biblical names and then incorporating the gleaning, harvesting words used in Ruth and the old testament. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a religious book, but I just found tidbit interesting.
There are still a few questions that I want to know, and I of course want to see more of Caleb and Ester's relationship so I will most likely pick up the next books when they come out.
The ending and some of the twists are enough to break your heart. Wasteland is action packed, but it also features a lot of character growth and emotion.
Bottom Line: Well written dark world with surprising twists at every turn.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you would want to try to have a partner and have a baby in a world like this, or prefer to be alone?
Kim and Klavan's world building enticingly trickles through the brutal, fast-paced, multilayered plot, which is fueled by a sweet romance...and plenty of mysteries. Wasteland raises plenty of captivating questions and doesn't shortchange readers on satisfying answers.--Booklist
Back cover copy
Welcome to the wastelandAt fifteen, the citizens of Prin marry.At seventeen, they reproduce.And at nineteen, they die.Esther thinks there's more to life than toiling at the assignments Harvesting, Gleaning, Excavating day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day.She doesn't care that her best friend, a variant, is considered "the enemy." She doesn't care that Levi, who controls the Source, is the real enemy and might send his Taser boys after her if she makes one wrong move.Then Caleb shows up. Could there be another way to fight for survival?"