Steven Dos Santos
Lucian "Lucky" Spark has been recruited for training by the totalitarian government known as the Establishment. According to Establishment rules, if a recruit fails any level of the violent training competitions, a family member is brutally killed . . . and the recruit has to choose which one.
As the five recruits form uneasy alliances in the hellish wasteland that is the training ground, an undeniable attraction develops between Lucky and the rebellious Digory Tycho. But the rules of the training ensure that only one will survive--the strongest recruits receive accolades, wealth, and power while the weakest receive death. With Cole--Lucky's four-year-old brother--being held as "incentive," Lucky must marshal all his skills and use his wits to keep himself alive, no matter what the cost.
My Review: I was quite surprised by this book. I had not heard anything about it so I requested it. I started reading and found it amazingly dark , depressing and desolate. Those are also the reason I could not put this book down. Compelling, creative,and stimulating . The world in this book is amazing. The characters are compelling and well developed. As I read this enthralling tale I found my palms sweating and heart pounding, but I did not want to put it down could not tear my eyes away. I still find myself thinking about the story as I work an I pause to think wow that was a great book.
I must address one thing that I have not mentioned above. This book has a gay main character. Did that affect my enjoyment of the book? Hell No. I did not give it one thought until I read the reviews on "Goodreads" everyone seemed to make that a point to mention. To me it did not matter or affect the story at all. I loved this book and recommend it to people who liked "The Hunger Games"