I like this. I like this better than The Maze Runner and I really like that.
Benson Fisher is a teen who has no ties to anyone, having been shuffled through a series of foster homes. He earns a scholarship to a private school in a rather isolated location nestled in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Upon entering the school, the doors lock behind him and he is greeted by another teen who tells him to join one of three groups/gangs. The gangs bid for the contracts to run the school and are rewarded by earning points for merchandise. There are no adults in the school. The students teach, the students lead, the students kill, the students die. They are all prisoners. Benson seems to be the only one who wants to escape, but he learns others have escaped in the past . . . and died.
This is page-turning writing that makes for an engrossing read. Plenty of action, drama, dialog, and suspense enables the reader to learn the secrets of the school right along with Benson. I was rooting for all of the characters except for a couple of Society guys. The frustrating part is waiting another year for the sequel. I am eager to read more from the author. Well done!
Galley review. Publication date 10.4.11