Author: Logan Byrne
Published: Feb 20, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Futuristic, Dystopian
There are far too many similarities in Banded to the dystopian young adult book, Divergent, and even a hint of Harry Potter with the sorting hat. The likeness to Divergent wasn't entirely a surprise given the description of the book (6 factions separated in Manhattan for the good of the country), but I had hoped that the author would have put their own creative spin on things, including the world building, instead of feeling the sense of deja vu while reading this book. When reading about the simulation in the jungle, all I could think was this book is too reminiscent, same with the fighting scenes, being forced to train and fight. This was the one aspect where I thought this book could have differed significantly because the group that Kaleena is put into, isn't tasked with fighting. Instead the book went in the same direction, again, as Divergent. Now, with all that being said, Banded was well-written with decent pacing and I was anxious to read the next chapter and not put down the book. I would have loved Banded had the originality been entirely the authors and not taken from other young adult novels, so much so that I found it distracting. There wasn't a dose of heavy romance like Divergent, which I found to be the biggest difference and the fact that everyone is forced to wear bands, something that I thought could have been further developed and expanded. What makes this book absolutely wonderful and unique, is lost in the repetitiveness of similar works in the same genre.
Reviewed by Marissa Vine
In dystopian Manhattan, society is divided into six zones, with each one representing a citizen’s benefit to society: Stalwart (strength), Astute (intelligence), Collusive (greed), Radiant (beauty), Quixotic (no life direction), and the Altruistic (willingness to help others). On a citizen’s sixteenth birthday, a computer suggests a new zone for them based on their inherent benefit to society. When Kalenna Slater is sorted out of her home zone Quixotic and into Altruistic, she thinks things can’t get worse. Life looks dismal until she meets Gavin, a boy also just sorted into Altruistic who becomes the light needed on her cloudy days.
During sorting she receives a device known as ‘The Band’. It’s a large watch-like device that never comes off, and it measures a citizen’s karma on a scale from one to one hundred. If a citizen does good, they gain points. If a citizen does bad, including breaking laws, they lose points. When your number reaches zero, the band acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and you are injected with toxins that kill you within minutes.
After sorting, recruits are taken to a three month long mandatory school named HQ. It’s at HQ she meets new friends from different zones, and finally begins to feel at ease. Everything goes well until a rare trip home makes her discover that her father, who has been missing for a decade, may have taken part in a terrible program that stands to shake the fabric of society.
This is the first book of three, with the prequel and epilogue novellas out now! This dystopian series has suspense, action and adventure, and romance that will be sure to leave you smiling!
Available on Amazon