My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I felt frozen. Stuck. Helpless. I’d led too many people to their deaths, and I’d stood idly by while terrible people hurt the innocent. But what else was I supposed to do? Turn myself in? Live here until I got too old, and then be hauled away to an unknown fate? What if they just killed us all?
Benson Fisher thought he had escaped the psychotic scientific experiment of Maxfield Academy, but outside the gates, he finds himself in a small town around an old fort where the experiment continues. He discovers that each robot at the school was hooked up to a real person, and those real people are now imprisoned here in this town. Overwhelmed with the task of trying to free everyone once again, Benson struggles to form a plan to somehow escape from this seemingly impossible, sinister force.
Feedback is exactly what it should have been — an intense, mind-boggling sequel that continues the suspense and action of the first book and leads the reader even deeper down the rabbit hole. More of Maxfield’s secrets are revealed gradually throughout the book, which kept me coming back for more as I tried to puzzle out who was really behind Maxfield Academy, and why they were doing the experiments. Though it’s been six months since I read Variant, I was able to jump back in fairly quickly and still had a pretty good idea of who all the major players were. I appreciated how the author gave enough hints as to their backgrounds to trigger my memory without a using long, drawn out recap of the entire first book within the text. The plot twisted and turned, accelerated and screeched to a halt over and over. Add onto that the emotional complications of Benson being once again thrown in with the same characters who fought together and against one another in the first book and you’ve got quite a ride.
There were some pretty major coincidences and one of those love triangle that YA lit seems so fond of, but these could easily be overlooked for the sake of the story.
Heads up: As with the first book, there is definitely some violence in the plot, and though most of it involves beating up androids, some is directed towards other humans, and does get a little bloody.
Overall: Fans of the first book are in for more of the same intensity, intrigue, and surprises in this heart-pounding sequel.