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Variant [Kindle Edition]

Robison Wells
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.46
You Save: $1.53 (15%)
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: 817 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XVN1E4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,566 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 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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49 of 55 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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19 of 21 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
3.0 out of 5 stars The ending mystified me.
Is there a sequel or did I miss something at the end?
Published 3 days ago by Kathy
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It's filled with tones of fairy tail technology, and everyday school, with a bit of romance. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
In good condition
Published 22 days ago by amy wittensoldner
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
Very nice book. It is not THE BEST, but very good read.
Published 24 days ago by O. Brownfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Variant by Robison Wells--loved it!
I thought Variant was a really good book. It kept my interest, characters were believable and I'll be recommending it to kids at my school. I think they'll like it, too!
Published 27 days ago by Amy
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Just a teaser to get you to buy the next book. Shallow and lacking in plot, character development, or literary merit.
Published 1 month ago by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
From the beginning I had a vague feeling as though I was reading another version of The Maze Runner by James Dashner, because our main character - Benson - appears within four wall... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Suren Hakobyan
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
good book
Published 1 month ago by Marc
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it A lot!!
Was a great read, moves fast. The story gets you from the very start. Got done with the first book and want more!
Published 1 month ago by amazonfan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I was expecting something better
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Hansen
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