- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
- Series: Tankborn (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Lee & Low Books; 1 edition (September 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1600606628
- ISBN-13: 978-1600606625
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,368,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Tankborn Hardcover – September 15, 2011
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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.
45 customer reviews
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In this YA sci fi novel, author Karen Sandler tells the story of best friends Kayla and Mishalla- GENs (Genetically Engineered Nonhumans) who, upon their fifteenth birthday, are sent on their assignment. You see, when a GEN reaches that age, they leave their nurture mother and assume the role they were artificially created for- to be a thankless drudge to trueborns. Trueborns- the first class, elite of society, were born humans, whereas GENs were gestated in a tank; a blend of human and animal DNA resulting in neurological differences and a telling tattoo on their cheek. As if their physical disparities didn’t separate them enough, a strict caste system ensured that GENs, lowborns, and trueborns all kept to their respective roles and places.
Only, Kayla’s assignment as caretaker to a wealthy and influential trueborn ends up being challenging in more ways than one. Secrets, near-reset experiences, and a handsome grandson all serve to complicate matters. Then the children Mishalla is assigned to care for keep going missing, and danger and intrigue follow her as well. Will they be able to solve the mysteries surrounding their respective assignments, or will they be reset and realigned trying?
I loved, loved LOVED the world building in this novel! The concept of genetic engineering, the elaborate construction of an alternative society, the complex technology, the religious beliefs held by the main characters… it was great! Plus, it starred characters who weren’t the typical blonde haired, blue eyed heroines! So refreshing! Yay for diverse books!
On the flip side, I almost didn’t finish the book. Within the first thirty percent, the slang was confusing, the new world baffling, and the main character was swooning over a trueborn’s hunky shoulders (well, that was at three percent… talk about love at very first sight!). It was so difficult to get into, I would have given it up if hadn’t been for the fact that…
I met the author at a book signing at Barnes & Noble!!
The setting in the book felt very "possible" to me, in that a dystopian society would probably have this blending of technology AND a return to more rudimentary living, as well as the chasm of quality of living between classes. An imbalance if you would. Another excellent detail of this story is that the end of the book gives you enough closure to be satisfied, but just enough open ended possibilities to be excited about the next book!
It has been a very long time since a story has drawn me in the way Tankborn did, and I eagerly anticipate the release of it's sequels! If you enjoyed Birthmarked, Matched, Hunger Games and similar Dystopian Young Adult reads, you will most likely enjoy Tankborn as well!
I was interested in this book as something that I thought my daughter would like, but I don't think I'll be passing it along to her. She is eleven and some of the themes in this story are too mature for her. That aside this is an intricate and intelligently woven tale of that confronts so many social plagues, classism, racism, economics, the evils of illicit drug use, caste systems, and science all in a wonderful mash up. It takes great care and patience to write about such topics in a way that as honest and sensitive as this story. Kudos to Ms. Sandler on that.
I am not a fan of romance or even YA (some books are an exception) and even though this story was a tad heavy on the romance for my taste the back story more than made up for what that detracted. This story has something for about everyone and at no point did it feel over done or heavy. This is an awesome story with authentic characters in believable albeit fictional circumstances. A truly great read.
I couldn't put Tankborn down. Stayed up late into the night reading, and immediately ordered the sequel upon finishing Tankborn.
Kayla is tankborn, a genetically engineered 'human'. Taking a nod from India, Sandler creates a caste system where tankborns are the bottom rung. They are raised by assigned nurturers, and at the age of 15 are given their assignments. The job that they will do for the rest of their lives.
Kayla is assigned to Zul Manel, a member of one of the true-born families. She quickly becomes friends with Zul's grandson, who is part of a movement to overthrow the current government.
This is a fabulous story, well worth your time and money.