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As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Alenna is a brilliant character and I feel that a lot of readers will certainly identify with her shy and under the radar tendencies in the beginning. When she arrives on The Wheel she displays these same tendencies, but what I love is that the moment she realizes she has nothing to lose Alenna decides to fight for what she wants and has no second thoughts about it. She develops into a warrior but always remains weary of her leaders knowing that she can’t fully trust everyone. Alenna always tries to do the right thing when living on The Wheel even if it means hiding the biggest secret she uncovers while on the island to the friends she has made.
Liam is one of the best hunters on The Wheel and the one Alenna feels a unique connection to ever since she saw his face on the video footage back home in the U.N.A. I like that author Stasse wrote Liam in an honest way. Meaning that he never seems to be a character that wastes time flirting with Alenna or playing games. He’s just a guy who wants to defend what’s right and does it. He’s a bit of a reflection of the way the people act on the island. Liam has a the nothing to lose attitude so he displays no fear, only confidence that he can do what he puts his mind to.
Forsaken has so many different plots that keep this story going. After I finished I looked at the book and realized how packed it was with different character stories and how Lisa M. Stasse managed to leave some massive loose ends that will have me biting my nails till her next book. The reason for Liam and Alenna’s connection alone was a massive time bomb. While reading Forsaken I couldn’t believe how crystal clear the story played out, I was never confused while being immersed into the entanglement of The Wheel.
Seriously let me just add this final bit about the other character in Forsaken, The Wheel. The Wheel is evil and favors no one. It’s harsh and careless and the machines that help run it are thieves in the night. Another group that lives on The Wheel are the Drones and they are the definition of creepy and madness. The Hunger Games would be a walk in the park to the people who survive on The Wheel.