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Tankborn Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Length: 383 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself? Paperback | Kindle book

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Editorial Reviews


Advanced genetic engineering and upsettingly plausible caste oppression keep pages turning in this futuristic science fiction tale. . . . A good option for science-fiction fans interested in genetic engineering, rebellion and class issues. --Kirkus Reviews

The author s speculative vision of the darker side of future possibilities in genetic engineering and mind control is both chilling and thought-provoking. This is a dark novel that will appeal to those who enjoyed M.T. Anderson s Feed (Candlewick, 2002), and it would make a good stepping-stone to Anthony Burgess s classic, A Clockwork Orange (W.W. Norton, 1963). --School Library Journal

Read this book and be changed. --Mette Ivie Harrison, author of The Princess and the Hound

About the Author

Karen Sandler is the author of seventeen novels for adults, as well as several short stories and screenplays. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software engineer, including work on the Space Shuttle program and communications satellites. Sandler first got the idea for Tankborn in the mid-1980s when she wrote it as a screenplay, and over the years while she was writing other books, the idea grew to include the planet Loka and Kayla's life. Sandler lives in northern California with her husband, Gary, and their three cats, and can often be found riding her Andalusian/Morgan mare, Belle. This is her first novel for young adults.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1637 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books / Tu Books (September 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Karen Sandler published numerous romances for adults in the late '90s and early 2000s, then shifted to young adult with the science fiction Tankborn Trilogy, which includes TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION by Lee and Low/Tu Books. She is also the author of the gritty Janelle Watkins Investigations mystery series, which includes CLEAN BURN and HANGTOWN.

In addition to writing novels, Karen loves riding dressage and is also an avid folk dancer. She lives in Northern California with her husband and dance partner, Gary, and two cats--pleasingly plump Tenka and formerly feral Zak. For more about Karen, visit or tweet her at @karensandlerYA (young adult) or @karensandler (mysteries and romances).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the 400 years since the end of Earth, human society is a vastly different place on the Planet Loka. There are levitating cars, strange monstrous creatures, and babies that are suddenly taken by the government without any explanation. Best friends Kayla and Mishalla were not born of birth mothers in this world, but were designed to be GENS, Genetically Engineered Non-Humans. Each GEN is enhanced with special skill sets that make them desirable workers for trueborns, who are the wealthy, high status members of society. When Kayla is assigned to work for a dying trueborn named Zul Mandel, she must leave her nurture family and the only home she's ever known--and forced into close proximity with his all-too-attractive grandson Devak.

The GENs are really slaves, forced into servitude and at the mercy of a cruel caste system that treats them as lower than the lowest born human. Skin color, clothing, jewels, land, drugs, and levitating cars are all blatant status symbols in this world, and it's interesting to see how the author works in echoes of previous shameful world events in the segregation of the GENs, the widely-held belief that touching a GEN would result in shriveled skin or crooked bones, and even in the saying "Work will make you safe," which is of course derived from "Work makes us free" from Nazi Germany and "Be happy in your work" from the The Bridge Over the River Kwai. These themes are all intelligently and subtly worked into the book in a way that never feels too blatant or pretentious.

Once the story got going, there are plenty of exciting events and issues to think about. I was fascinated by the well thought-out society as well as the presentation of the two very different religions to which humans and GENs subscribe.
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Format: Hardcover
First Impressions: Tankborn, I'll admit, first captured my attention by having a wonderfully colorful cover. I spotted it inside of a local bookstore and I loved how it featured a non-Caucasian girl on the cover, which is a rare find indeed in the Young Adult section. Not only that, but the blue hues that were used are extremely pretty. When I read the book synopsis and found out that Tankborn is a dystopian/sci-fi novel, it just made me want to read it even more. I have a thing for books with caste systems, kind of like The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins, and I was definitely intrigued. I hadn't heard of the author before so I wasn't too sure what to expect.

First 50 Pages: It took me a while to get use to the language inside of Tankborn. Everything has very unique names and the vocabulary aspect was different than I expected. I should have known better. Most science-fiction novels have interesting and different languages that usually takes time to get used to. Once I figured out what everything was, it became a much more enjoyable read. It didn't take me very long, maybe a chapter or two, so it wasn't a big deal. I do think that in order to be able to enjoy this book, you have to be a fan of what I call "high science-fiction," or just have a very good imagination. Karen Sandler does an unbelievably good job with her world-building and she includes a lot of details to help you along the way. I would say that Tankborn is more science-fiction then dystopian, on the exception of the caste system that is used. It was easy to get lost in Loka, the planet this story takes place on. Once I really dug into the story, it was very difficult to put back down.

Characters & Plot: Tankborn takes place on the planet, Loka, and is set 400 years after the destruction of Earth.
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Format: Hardcover
I usually stay away from anything science fiction, but since this one was labeled as dystopian too (and I love those), I thought I should give it a try. I am very glad I did, because Tankborn has become a top favorite!

Humans left the Earth and settle on Loka, an arid planet with two suns and almost no green except in the genetically grown preserves. They survived by building a caste system, that kept everyone in its place. In an attempt to make lowborns more agreeable to high-born rule, they created Genetically Engineered Non-Humans or GENs. Grown in tanks using human and animal DNA, they are built with specific skets (skills sets) and assigned jobs working for high borns at the age of fifth teen. They have a sub-neural circuit installed that permits the download and upload of information from their annexed brain through a dermal interface tattoo place on their left cheek. It's like they have their own internal computer, and like any computer they can be realigned (reset). Even though there are rules against the mistreatment of GENs, they are still treated like scum.

I was a bit daunted at firs with all the jargon and big tech words, but as soon as I straightened it all out in my mind, I was immersed in the story. I found the whole world fascinating; filled with eight legged spider-like animals, micro-lev cars, wristlink communicators, holograms, and the GENs. And that is where the story starts, with a GEN girl.

Kayla 6982 of Chadi sector is a GEN with super strength in her arms and an even stronger will. She is a weird case because her GEN tattoo is on her right cheek. Close to her Assignment day she meets a highborn boy who defends her against some bullies. Bewildered by his nice treatment, she finds herself thinking about him all the time, something sacrilegious.
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