Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tankborn #Review @Netgalley

Tankborn by Karen Sandler
Tu Books, 2011
372 pages
YA; Science Fiction
3.5/5 stars

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't know much about this book but the summary looked interesting so I requested it through Netgalley. What I did know was that it was YA science-fiction, which I don't read a lot so I was excited to be immersed in a brand-new world.

Unfortunately as is sometimes the case when a new world is built, it can be hard for the reader to enter it. The new words and slang for most everyday objects had me struggling to envision what was happening. The world here is tightly structured with highborns, lowborns, and GENs aka tankborns, who are essentially slaves for the highborns. They are genetically created with specific attributes such as nurturing and strength to make them ideal helpers for the rich leaders of the society. Additionally there was an abrupt change of perspective that was not well delineated so I spent a couple of pages very confused and wondering who certain characters were. Those shifts continue throughout the book but they make more sense as the book progresses and various plot threads come together.

The first main character is Kayla, who is about to start her service to an elderly highborn. Once there she discovers that his great-grandson is the highborn she had met earlier in the book and shared an awkward encounter. At this place, she begins to feel valued and unravels dark secrets about her world. The other perspective is Kayla's friend Mishalla, a nurturer who is unwittingly caught up in some seriously evil doings.  I really liked trying to piece everything together and the characters were well drawn-sympathetic with believable emotions and actions despite the unfamiliarity of the world.

I also appreciated the themes about constructions of society and about what it means to be human, although sometimes they seemed overdone.  One other great aspect is that the book is a wholly contained book; there is still a lot of potential for future stories, such as Kayla (or others) leading a revolution to overthrow the present government but the the main threads are completed and there is no cliff-hanger.

Overall: A good story, one that just took too long to pull me in.

1 comment:

  1. I don't read a lot of YA science fiction either and I find the same things as you do! Authors who write new worlds have to be really careful with world-building, which is sometimes really hard. But I'm glad that, despite all that, you liked the characters and the story enough to enjoy it! :)

    Awesome review, B! And YAY for the no-cliffhanger ending! :) It IS a good strategy sometimes, but I honestly think that sometimes a book with an actual resolution is so much better! ;)


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