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Harper Collins, Oct 4, 2011 - Juvenile Fiction - 384 pages
3 Reviews

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.


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I'm an old guy (58) and my son wanted me to read this. I think it's great YA reading. Though some of the ideas are old hat, the way they are treated is fresh and original. This micro society that Robinson has created is well thought out. No where did I think, "Aw, that can't be". Neither could I predict what would happen next and there are a LOT of surprises. A high level of tension is maintained all through the book. The writing isn't H. L. Menken, but it is adequate for the purpose of the book and its audience I had no trouble imagining the people and the school as they are vividly described. And yeah, I got near the end and thought, "Uh Oh, this is a continued story", What IS this place? 

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About the author (2011)

Robison Wells lives in Holladay, Utah, with his wife and three kids. He recently finished graduate school, during which he read and wrote novels when he should have been studying finance. He is also the author of Variant.

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