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Variant [Kindle Edition]

Robison Wells
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.00
You Save: $1.99 (20%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


“Variant is a compelling story on so many levels. I loved it! The twist behind it all is my favorite since Ender’s Game.”

About the Author

Robison Wells lives in Holladay, Utah, with his wife and three kids. He recently finished graduate school, during which he read and wrote novels when he should have been studying finance. He is also the author of Variant.

Product Details

  • File Size: 441 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XVN1E4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, action-packed story October 6, 2011
This is the story of Benson Fisher and how he settles into his new life at Maxfield Academy, where there are no teachers, no grades, and only 4 rules. The school is split into three different "gangs" and these gangs have come to an agreement that will keep them at peace..most of the time. And then Benson comes across the school's real, what will he do with this information and what will the consequences of his actions be?

This book was a thriller right from the beginning. Within the first 15 pages or so, I was already asking myself TONS of questions about the school - about the kids - about EVERYTHING. I found myself just as scared/angry as Benson was about the whole situation. I think that's one of the things that made this book so good for me - I really, truly connected with the characters. I felt like I was actually there, right along side Benson.

Variant was such a unique take on the idea of a Dystopian society and the ending left me begging for more. (I literally tweeted at Mr. Wells asking him if he had already written the second book.) I don't know where this series is heading, but this guessing-game is very refreshing for me.

Every so often, a book comes along that I would recommend for anyone and everyone. This is one of those books. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this thrilling, action-packed story - including teenage boys, who are especially hard to pick out a book for.

You'll especially like this book if you enjoyed The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite, but my students LOVE it December 21, 2011
By Sarah
Variant left me feeling conflicted. I was intrigued and hooked by Benson's story and situation right away. Maxfield Academy is surround by an air of mystery, especially when Benson first arrives at the school and sees kids cramming at the windows looking to see the new kid while two other students race out of the building to chase after a car. Very odd. Another interesting plot point is when Benson is getting the tour of the place from a girl who doesn't seem to care that the school is more like a prison. Then he meets the "gangs." All of this happens at the beginning of the novel, so my attention was held. It's once Benson becomes more involved at Maxfield Academy that I grew distant and bored.

What I disliked the most about Variant is that the pace began to drag. So much time is devoted to Benson repeating how brainwashed everyone is and how horrible the school is. I understand that he's concerned and frustrated, which completely makes sense, but after a while it became annoying. Benson obsessed over how to escape and why others seem content to stay locked up in the school. Do I understand how he feels? Yes. Does that move the plot? No. I also didn't feel a connection with Benson or really any of the characters. Everything about the characters felt very surface level.

Something else that slowed the plot down for me was how much time Wells spent describing paint ball battles. The first paint ball match, set up against two gangs, took up an entire chapter. On the positive side, my male readers who enjoy plots with lots of action will probably love this book and those scenes. For me, it felt like a way to drag the story on and make the book even longer.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Plot Twisters! October 4, 2011
Variant by Robison Wells was a really great surprise, y'all! The entire book was very mysterious and sinister - for most of the story the reader has no idea what direction the book will take. There are several plot twists, and a couple of them literally slapped me on the face. I haven't felt so in the dark about where a story would take me in a long time, and it was a great feeling! I loved not being a step ahead.

Benson Fisher gets a scholarship to a boarding school and thinks he has really made it. He grew up in the foster system and definitely got the crappy end of the deal. Right now he is basically being used as free labor and he absolutely jumped at the chance to get himself into a new situation. Unfortunately, the second he is dropped off at his new school he discovers things are not right.

No adult supervision. Cameras and microphones everywhere. Three equally dangerous factions, join one or find yourself completely unprotected. Breaking the rules = detention that you don't come back from. No way out. This is not your mama's boarding school.

Benson is shocked at the way the majority of his peers are accepting of their prison sentence - how can people be okay with being trapped away like this? He refuses to give in and get used to it. At times, he does find himself enjoying life. Intense, all-out paintball wars, really awesome food, some great people (including Jill, who makes a lot of things seem worth it)...but the second he catches himself happy he forces himself to snap out of it. He continually searches to find a way out, which basically alienates him from almost everyone. Nobody wants to get grouped with him since they all think he is headed straight for detention (death).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 hours
I stayed up all night reading. I knew Jane was real. They must have swapped her body when Benson was passed out in the window well. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Crazy Bus
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I was expecting
This book was not what I was hoping for when I bought it off my wishlist. It was tense in a way, but pointless and the twists were just sort of thrown out there. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Corbin Slate
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth giving to a pre-teen
I picked this up not realizing it was Young Adult fiction. Or more likely, Middle Grade - the basic writing style and fairly sanitized violence (with no foul language) makes it... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book ever
This book was awesome. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventurous action pact books. This book was my Favorite book of all time.
Published 20 days ago by Charlie MacLillin
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book is great! I would totally recommend this book! A wonderful mystery and puzzle! Great book!!! Really really good
Published 24 days ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest Review (No Spoilers)
If I could rate different parts of the book, I would give the 1st chapter zero stars. The first chapter was the most boring piece of literature I have ever read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by EstelleEmily
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Average
This is an easy read. Writing and style are too young even for a YA book. Huge cliffhanger at the end.
Published 1 month ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Variant
I need to read the next book! I want to know who runs the school and why they are training the robots.
Published 1 month ago by Pam Eisen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book is wonderful i love it I can't stop reading it I love the twist and turns u should by it
Published 1 month ago by Mckenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Surpassed my expectations
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Like many other reviewers, I found the plot unpredictable and the story exciting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jonathan
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