The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse, published by Orchard Books on 2nd August 2012
Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.
But when she unexpectedly fails ‘the test’ - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.
Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Liam, a boy who will become her love... and her lifeline.
Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there’s more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?
When I read the publisher’s tagline for ‘The Forsaken’ which described it as “Lost meets the Hunger Games”, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. Mystery happenings on a strange island and a group of teenagers trying to survive in a foreign and dangerous environment – it sounded amazing and it was!
Lisa M. Stasse has written a thrilling debut novel which captured my imagination from the very first chapter. The story is set in a future society where economic meltdown has caused a block of countries calling themselves the United Nations Alliance to form. It is this society which the main character Alenna lives in as an orphan, her parents having been taken from her when she was ten years old.
I loved the setting of this book. There’s a sense of complete isolation on the island – this is a place so remote that there’s no obvious way to leave and no easy way to survive. The landscape is alien to the teenagers who arrive on the island and there is the added threat hanging over them that the life expectancy of residents is only eighteen years old. It was interesting seeing the way in which they each tried to adapt to their environment, with some settling in better than others.
Action packed from the very first page, the story took a complete change of direction near the end. There was a very surprising twist in the final few chapters which I didn’t seem coming at all. I enjoyed the fact that Lisa M. Stasse kept me guessing and events never became predictable in the slightest.
I would have liked to have seen perhaps a little more romance in the book, as a relationship developments between Alenna and the gorgeous Liam but considering the circumstances, it’s understandable why this had to take a bit of a back seat. Hopefully this will be developed more as the series progresses.
Enormously enjoyable, I loved 'The Forsaken' and can't wait to read the next book!