Book Review: Extraction

Book Review: ExtractionExtraction by Stephanie Diaz
Series: Extraction #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 22nd 2014
Pages: 416
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"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.

thoughtOn the heels of some disappointing science fiction reads, I was really crossing my fingers for Extraction. At this point, I tend to ignore the “for fan of …..” parts in blurbs since I have been burned one too many times; however, it was hard not to get excited by the “sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game” promise. So, did Extraction live up to its promises or not? Well, it is a bit of both.

Extraction takes place on the distant (or maybe not so distant) planet of Kiel. Life for the people of Kiel is hard. Those on the surface have to endure the Moon’s moonshine. A toxic acid dripping from the planet’s moon which can cause all sorts of harmful effects, up to and including death. Clementine has spent her whole life living on Kiel’s surface. Starving. Hard manual labor. Dreaming about the year when she turns sixteen and can finally see if she is qualified to be Extracted. You see, not all of Kiel is dangerous. Decades ago, the planet’s leader discovered that they could retreat into the Core of the planet for safety. However, due to the small size of the Core, only the ones who show the most promise as citizens of Kiel can live here. Thus, the Extraction test. While Clementine dreams of leaving Kiel’s surface, she also dreads being chosen. Being chosen would mean leaving Logan, her best friend, behind.

The beginning of Extraction was AMAZING! The world set up was just about perfect. All the little details were there to bring this world to life. I seriously have zero complaints about it.

As Extraction went on, reader got to see the expected darker side of being Extracted. There are some pretty familiar plot lines in use – the testing to see if you are “special” , the “perfect” place isn’t so perfect after all, and evil, possibly mad, leader trying to rule the world, I am sure you get the point. While Extraction could have gone the boring, I have seen this before route, it didn’t. It brilliantly takes the familiar plot lines and twists them a little here and there, adds in a few new elements to make this read completely fresh and addicting.

As for our romance, I am really having a hard time calling it a romance. Clementine wants a better future for herself, but also for Logan. Extraction leads you to believe that there is something going on between these two, but it really isn’t defined until much later. For me, it was little weird. Clementine’s whole purpose in life seems to be get Extracted and save Logan, which kinda contradicts itself, but also works too.

The ending, like the beginning, was pretty perfect. All the plot threads get wrapped up and a few new ones are introduced, making me want the second installment all the more.

Verdict:

One of the best YA science fictions reads of the year. Full of action and quite addicting.

Kate

Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.

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