Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: The Prey, by Tom Isbell @TomIsbell

The Prey was full of suspense and great action, but the ending really fizzled for me.

This is a book about children after a radiation disaster. There are very few adults, at least that we know of. All the children are in camps for orphans. Some camps are nicer than others. Some camps aren't what they seem to be.

Hope and Faith are twins and they've been running and hiding for years with their father to keep away from the "brown shirts." After their father dies, they are captured and taken to a camp for girls. It soon becomes obvious that this camp is doing medical experiments on these children, and the prized children are twins.

Book is in a camp for boys. He thinks he's in training to be a soldier (they call them LTs, for Lieutenant, right?) He finds out that LT really stands for "less thans." All of the boys in the camp are deformed or deemed inferior in some way, and their future is far more bleak than they think.

Book finds out the truth because of Cat, a boy who is captured and brought into the camp. It isn't clear where Cat came from, but he knows a lot about what is really going on. Cat escapes, but comes back to help some of the other boys escape.

Book has met Hope, realizes her horrible situation, and won't leave without rescuing the Sisters, as they are called.

The Prey is action packed. The way is not easy for these kids, constantly being pursued and running towards an unknown target. The pace is relentless -- and at times it almost seems too easy for them to get food and recover from their injuries. But those details would slow down the pace.

There is a hint at a love triangle between the three main characters which is soon resolved, thankfully. I really don't think it's needed here.

We don't have any idea what is going on in the outside world, or even the motivations of the adults at the camp. We get hints, but it is clear that more needs to be explained in future installments of this story. And that's OK.

What really didn't gel with me was the ending. Without giving away spoilers, I don't see why the group didn't at least investigate where they were before making the decision they did. That didn't make sense. Why would you decide to take all those risks when you don't even know what the reward will be (or if there IS a reward.) It wouldn't have hurt them to explore a bit before rushing off.

I'm ready for the next book in the Hatchery series. I love a plot-driven adventure book, and I'm always looking for new, exciting books to recommend to my students. The Prey will be on the list.

Published by HarperTeen, January 20, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
416 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. This sounds soo good. I haven't seen much postive yet so I was a bit leary of reading it. I think i need to now. my thoughts on the impulsive decision making... i think its a bit realistic. Kids are like this. they usually don't give to much thought to a problem. Although these kids have been through more and one would some wisdom would come with that. I guess it doesn't always come with experience. great review.

  2. I liked this one, but I didn't love it. Perhaps it was the lack of back story, or as you say, the thoughtlessness of some of their action. I can definitely see its appeal though. You are so right about the triangle!

  3. This one looked interesting but I wasn't desperate to read it - I do like a good action adventure, but I haven't really been in the mood for dystopian in awhile. I'll probably pick this one up sometime though since you thought it was very good overall.


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