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Variant Hardcover – October 4, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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“An intense journey with some of the most shocking twists and turns I’ve ever read.” (Pittacus Lore, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Am Number Four)
“A chilling, masterful debut. With its clever premise, quick pace, and easy-to-champion characters, Wells’ story is a fast, gripping read with a cliffhanger that will leave readers wanting more.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Variant is a compelling story on so many levels. I loved it! The twist behind it all is my favorite since Ender’s Game.” (James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner)
“An exciting, edge-of-your-seat read that combines psychological themes from works like Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game in a truly unique way. Variant should join the ranks of today’s must-read science fiction and fantasy series. A highly recommended addition to any collection for teens.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))
“Benson’s account unfolds in a speedy, unadorned first person. Hard to put down from the very first page, this fast-paced novel answers only some of the questions it poses, holding some of the most tantalizing open for the next installment in a series that is anything but ordinary.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Good old-fashioned paranoia taken to giddy extremes. Take Veronica Roth’s Divergent, strip out the angst, add a Michael Grant-level storytelling pace, and you have this very satisfying series starter.” (Booklist)
“Fans seeking a fast-paced, action-heavy read will find this generates a lot of excitement.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Filled with heart-racing action and suspense. An impressive debut with wide appeal, especially for fans of Alexander Gordon Smith’s Lockdown and James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.” (School Library Journal)
About the Author
Robison Wells is also the author of Blackout, Variant, and Feedback. Variant was a Publishers Weekly Best Book and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Robison lives in the Rocky Mountains in a house not too far from elk pastures. His wife, Erin, is a better person than he will ever be, and their three kids cause mischief and/or joy.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty good storyline, ending a bit disappointing. Quick read and it was a library loan so I can't complain. 3 starsPublished 1 month ago by Artie
Great book to read especially if you are into Dystopian novels. It is the first in a 2 book series and a great and easy read!Published 1 month ago by Matt McClure
Variant is a book about a kid around 17 years old named Benson Fisher who applies for Maxfield Academy that promises him education and a home. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Sharp
This is the second book I've read by Robison Wells. I read "Blackout" about a year ago. Although Mr. Read morePublished 5 months ago by WendyCJorgensen
book has no logic
benson is real self centered
ending is shallow.
this book is about a boy named benson trapped in a school of robots . Read more
Keeps you begging for more, wanting to know everything that happens. Unpredictable with many twists. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bailey Alise
OmG. This book made me die a bazillion times. I cant even. This book I would honestly say is better than the Maze Runner (SORRY JAMES DASHNER). Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amaris A.