The Sowing by Steven dos Santos (#2 in the Torch Keeper series) (Flux, 8 March 2014)
This review is for the second book in a series and contains spoilers for the first book in the series. Please do not continue reading if you haven't read the first book.
A year after reading THE CULLING, I’ve finally read its sequel, THE SOWING. I remember really enjoying THE CULLING despite my initial doubts about it, and I had been really looking forward to the sequel, but I am sad to say that I really didn’t like it as much as I did the first book.
After the end of the Trials, Lucian “Lucky” Spark is training to become an Imposer, one of those who will help to enforce the law in the Establishment. At night, he’s sneaking out and sabotaging his oppressors. He’s planning to rescue his imprisoned brother and run away somewhere with him, but before that happens, he gets caught up in a rebel plot to assassinate the Prime Minister and Prefect Cassius Thorn. The outcome of the plot results in Lucky getting entangled in an ever more complicated web of danger and deceit. Along the way, he finds out some troubling things about himself and about Digory Tycho, the man he loved who died in the Trials.
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The Culling by Steven dos Santos (#1 in the Torch Keeper series) (Flux, 8 March 2013)
Okay, despite being a bit biased against this book initially because I unfortunately really dislike the cover, I LOVED THE BOOK. This book deserves a better cover, honestly.
So some people have said this is too much like the Hunger Games. I honestly don't really see that. I think the stakes are very different. I mean, I guess I could say it's like the Hunger Games, in that it's a dystopia where teenagers are forced against their will to take part in horrifying activities that result in lots of people getting murdered, but The Culling is even more brutal and soul-destroying. Also, the male protagonist falls in love with another boy.
On Recruitment Day in the Establishment, Lucian 'Lucky' Spark finds himself recruited as one of five teenagers to take part in the Trials. Each recruit has two 'incentives' picked for them before the Trials begin, loved ones who are supposed to motivate them to win the Trials: because in each round of the Trials, the loser will have to select one of their incentives to be brutally murdered before their own eyes. If they lose again, their other incentive is killed too, and the recruit is sent off to a labour camp somewhere, never to be seen again. And on this goes, until only one person is left standing. The sole survivor of the Trials gets to become an Imposer and play their part in the law enforcement of the Establishment. Lucky is determined to protect his little brother at all costs; but as training for the Trials gets underway, Lucky finds himself doing the unthinkable and falling in love with one of the other recruits, Digory Tycho...
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