Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review ~ Banded by Logan Byrne

(The Banded Series, Book #1)
by Logan Byrne

Published February 20th 2014
 Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Dystopian

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.

The year is 2112.

The place is Manhattan, New York.

In order to make society a better place, sixteen year olds are taken from their families and sorted and placed in one of six zones based on the benefit they can be to society. Oh, and this selection is all done by a computer.  They never go to college; there is no unemployment and no worries. It’s a perfect society where a person’s strengths determine how bright their future will be.  Sounds just perfect, uh?  After the selection is made, the teenagers go to HQ for 3 months to complete training for their new life and career.  After training, they are place in the job that correlates to their zone.  They don’t even have to worry about choosing the job, they just have to believe in their government, because they know what is best for each citizen.  As an added bonus, they are provided a metal band which they have to wear twenty–four hours a day, seven days a week until they die. The band is programmed to each person’s biometrics and tracks each persons every move. If you’re good, you get points.  If you’re bad, you get points deducted.  Lose all your points, well, you lose your life.

It is Kalenna Slater’s Big Day.  She is now sixteen and the computer has decided that she will be taken from her happy home that she is quite attached to and now be in the Altruistic zone.  Thankfully, she becomes friends with Gavin, Jericho and Ivan and with them the transition is a tad bit more bearable.  Life at HQ is really different than what she and her new friends are used to.  As they settle in, they begin to question the way society is ruled, and set out to investigate. What they find out might just change everything, and if Kalenna has her way, she is going to make sure that the world is changed for the better….No more HQ, no more zones, and most importantly, no more control.

Kalenna is an amazingly strong character but was a little clueless about how much Gavin liked her. I mean really Kalenna, it was right your face!  The guy likes you…..ALOT!  I really want to see more of this relationship and hope it continues to grow into something really terrific.  Gavin is such a good guy and I only hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment later on down the road.  

Jericho and Ivan are like icing on the cake.  Each of them has their own level of individuality and talent that really adds to the group.  Jericho is like a big teddy bear, but watch out because all bears will tear you up if confronted.  Ivan is a total nerd and I absolutely adore him.

I instantly disliked Warden Pumose right from the start and my feelings for this pompous ass never changed.  He enjoys the power that he has and really abuses his position. He needs to be taken out…soon.  

This was my first experience with Logan Bryne, and I must admit, I am extremely impressed!  This well-written book managed to keep my eyes glued to the pages and unable to put it down until I finished. Although there are some elements similar to the Hunger Games and Divergent series, Banded is its own unique story. The bands provided a layer of uniqueness that has yet to be explored in any other novel that I have read.   With a government cover-up of a controversial experiment and the prior disappearance of the two top lead scientists involved and a group of kids that want to uncover it all made this action-packed novel a roller coaster of excitement and intrigue.  The ending left me hungry for more and is an excellent start to what looks to be a promising series.   I am definitely looking forward to the next installment from this truly talented author and keeping my fingers crossed that it comes out soon!

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

~Purchase Links~

Logan Byrne is the author of The Trifectus Trilogy. He currently resides in Northern Illinois and is finishing college. He is an avid fan of the Home Alone series, WWE, and Avatar The Last Airbender.

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