Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Me on Extraction

Title: Extraction
Author: Stephanie Diaz
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan imprint)

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she'll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel's toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be "Extracted," she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life. What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it's free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too. Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running. They want her subdued.

Extraction is tense and dangerous, very secretive and rather deceptive. Clementine thinks she's going to a better place, thinks life in the Core will be easier, but she has no idea what awaits her. Or how hard she'll have to fight back in order to survive.

Clementine grew up, if you could call it growing up, in a harsh environment. It was more like sixteen years of surviving, struggling, existing. All for a chance to be "Extracted" to what she sees as a better place. But it's not better, as she discovers. It makes her question a lot of things, like why some people are valued more than others. Why the tests push her further than she wants to be pushed. Why everyone seems rather compliant at times. I was confused by her character, though. Her willingness to to whatever it took to escape and make it down to the Core, her willingness to survive, seems to be at odds with her unwillingness to give up on Logan. Then technically she's not willing to do whatever it takes. She's willing to do anything that doesn't mean hurting or killing him.

This felt reminiscent of so many other dystopian YA novels and trilogies, like Inside Out, The Testing, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Forsaken, and Glow. The premise sounded interesting. A poisonous moon? Acid spilling down through space towards the planet? Now that's different. But somewhere along the way it fell flat for me, it all felt too familiar. If you're a fan of dystopian novels, of any of the titles listed above, then by all means give this a read. The tension grows and I was surprised as a few secrets were revealed. It just didn't stick with me.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through NetGalley.)

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