From Debbie Wiley Book Reviews
by Robison Wells
Fisher is tired of the foster care system and ready for a new start. He
thought the boarding school, Maxfield Academy, would be just the
answer. Unfortunately, something is seriously awry at Maxfield Academy.
Why are the adults? Who is the Iceman, who gives the daily rundown of
any of the mysterious “detentions” or rules’ violations? And why are
there cameras watching every move the students make?
The world building of VARIANT is phenomenal, as Robison Wells paints a
startling picture of a world without adults… and yet there is the
feeling of an overriding presence of someone behind the scenes,
manipulating it all. The various hints we see of the outside presence
heighten the tension, even as Benson’s paranoia increases.
Benson is immediately skeptical of everything and everyone. Why are the
other students so accepting of it all? No one else seems to truly
question where the adults are- a fact that leaves Benson almost as
baffled as the reader. And yet the premise works, as the reader is
drawn into the mystery behind Maxfield Academy.
VARIANT is a different kind of dystopian tale. While it reminds me a
bit of THE LORD OF THE FLIES and, oddly enough, THE GROUNDING OF GROUP
6, VARIANT puts an entirely new spin on things. Quite frankly, I just
couldn’t put VARIANT down! Benson’s voice shines through clearly from
the very first page and compels the reader to keep reading, even as the
situation at Maxfield Academy gets stranger and stranger. I worried
that the conclusion would spoil the story but Robison Wells handles it
well. The answers only deepen the mystery and leave the reader
anxiously waiting on the next book..
by Debbie, Debbie Wiley Book Reviews