Todays book review is for The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson. This book was one suggested for our bi-monthly book club and as it was described as Hunger Games crossed with Jurassic Park.... well I couldn't resist!! I'm glad we chose this one as I absolutely loved it and am very happy that I had already purchased the other two in the trilogy to read next!
Title: The Extinction trials
Author: S.M Wilson
Source: Usborne books (as part of our book club - Nicolas book Nook)
ONLY THE STRONGEST WILL BE CHOSEN
ONLY THE RECKLESS WILL SURVIVE
In Stormchaser and Lincolns ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.
But in a land full of monsters - human and reptilian - they can't afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other....
I really enjoyed this story. It is a fantastic dystopian tale of teenagers (and adults) needing to complete trials in order to gain insight into the world they live in. A world that contains huge class distinctions -the privilege of the stipulators compared to the destitution of everyone else, lack of food and essential survival resources for the masses, not to mention secret scientific plans and dinosaurs! It had a whole host of interesting ideas from the beginning.
BETRAYAL. SACRIFICE. SURVIVAL
WELCOME TO THE EXTINCTION TRIALS....
The protagonists seem very driven by the state of the world they live in. Stormchaser has nothing to lose as she has no family and no ties, and a deep connection to the dinosaurs. Lincoln has everything to lose as he is desperate to save his sister. Both are dangerous because of these facts - they will try to win at all costs regardless of any supposed loyalty. It is a shame to see that their world has created such a desire to succeed that it overtakes any chance at proper human connection and friendship.
The two characters are developed well as the story progresses and we see other characters begin to emerge who are equally desperate to win the competition. The Norden trio, Dell and Galen to name a few all gave strong performances and built the sense of distrust and urgency between the rivals. It is amazing the impact hunger and poor living conditions can have on the risks you will put yourself forward for. These characters are willing to travel to an unknown world filled with vicious dinosaurs and potential death ahead of them, rather than put up with their meagre existence for one minute more.
The dinosaurs were well described throughout and the scenes with them and how they reacted to the humans invading their territory were well written. The swamp scenes were very tense, for good reason! Imagining a world where dinosaurs and humans co exist but not in any manufactured Jurassic Park way was extremely interesting. The fact that the land being explored belonged to these majestic creatures gave the story a completely different spin. Humans, who were still learning about these creatures, were invading their world, and they reacted the way any threatened species should.
Some elements of suspense kept me on my toes, although there were some predictable plot lines which I saw from the beginning. On the whole it was an enjoyable YA fiction. I look forward to reading the other two in the series to find out what is in store for Stormchaser and Lincoln. I wold like to see the bond they began to form explored more as I feel they would definitely be a force to be reckoned with over the course of the next few books!
A recommended read from me!