The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

14

The basics

Title: The Forsaken

Author:

Series: The Forsaken #1

- The Forsaken (2012)
- The Uprising (2013)
- The Defiant (2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

in short

Alenna fails the GPPT and is sent to Prison Island Alpha, where she meets a bunch of teenagers who also failed the test. She learns to fight, and joins the blue sector tribe in their mission to get into the grey zone. The Monk and his people team up with the tribe briefly, because the Monk is Minister Harka and he needs to get into the grey zone to get to the city. Harka dies before he can make it there. Gadya and Alenna are the only ones to reach their destination, as everyone else is either killed or taken by feelers. Alenna unfreezes Liam from his pod, but machines start to attack and they have to get back into the pod together. Gadya is left behind as the pod shoots off. It lands in Australia, where a group of people have intercepted it. Alenna’s mother is part of this group, and the group is part of a hive of resistance groups that want to take down the UNA.

what went down

  • Alenna dreams about being in Old Florida with her parents. In her dream, the cops break into her house and take her parents away. Alenna is made a ward of the UNA, and taken to an orphanage.
  • Six years later, Alenna is a day away from her Government Personality Profile Test. She and her classmates are on a field trip to a museum, that is meant to show the teenagers what happens to those who fail the test. The failbunnies get sent to Prison Island Alpha.
  • Alenna and her classmates see a boy talking to one of the cameras that show Prison Island Alpha. Another boy turns up and the two of them fight, but they disappear into the trees before anyone can see the outcome.
  • Alenna fails the GPPT and is sent to the island. She meets a guy named David, who also failed. Alenna writes a message on a leaf that says “HELP!” and “MISTAKE!”, and holds it up to the camera. Clearly it’s no use.
  • A bunch of boys wearing masks find Alenna and David. The boys tell Alenna and David that they own them because they’re in their sector. They threaten to take them to the Monk, who is their leader. A girl named Gadya rescues Alenna. Gadya is from the blue sector. David gets taken by the Monk’s people.
  • Gadya tells Alenna that she needs to be vaccinated. She also explains that the island – or the wheel, as her people call it – is split into six sectors like a pie. Her tribe owns the blue sector, and the Monk controls the yellow, red, purple, and orange sectors. The sixth sector is a grey zone.
  • Alenna and Gadya arrive at Gadya’s village. Alenna sees that the village is rather small. Right before Alenna is about to be vaccinated, Gadya warns her that it’s actually a truth serum. The villagers think Alenna is a spy for the Monk. She passes the test, though, and the villagers accept her.
  • Alenna is taken to see the Ones Who Suffer. The Suffering is explained to her. It’s all very sad.
  • Alenna meets the boy that she saw on the cameras during her field trip. He’s alive! Rejoice. His name is Liam, and it’s clear there’s going to be instalove.
  • The Monk’s people attack the tribe’s village. David is with them, and one of the boys is trying to teach him how to kill. David is very hesitant, which is kind of a good thing, I guess. David is captured and put in the kennels.
  • It’s revealed that Gadya and Liam dated for a while.
  • Liam tells Alenna about Operation Tiger Strike. The grey zone is surrounded by a high-tech barrier that they can’t cross, but some people are going to try to find a way through. They want to hijack one of the aircraft there and fly off the island. Gadya gets angry about Alenna talking to Liam.
  • Alenna goes to see David in the kennels. He starts to say something about her parents, but they’re interrupted by the guard, Markus. Alenna speaks with David again, and David tells Alenna that he thinks her parents were on the island at some point. Alenna’s name is carved into the rocks near the barrier to the grey zone, which used to be an old prison colony.
  • A group of drones attack the kennels and kill the prisoners. David gets out alive, and leaves with them. Markus is injured. He tells Alenna that there are messages on the rocks from her parents, not just her name.
  • Alenna announces that she’s joining Operation Tiger Strike. Alenna starts training with Gadya. She needs to learn how to fight.
  • Liam kisses Alenna. Alenna tells him not to do it again because Gadya doesn’t want them together. Girl code and all that nonsense. Liam doesn’t listen, of course, and continues to pursue Alenna. Gadya doesn’t show up for training one day, and so Liam takes over.
  • Alenna runs into David and discovers that he’s been spying on her. Oh, and that he’s alive, because she originally thought he’d died at the kennels. They get into a bit of an argument, because David doesn’t want to be part of either side in this silly war between the tribe and the Monk.
  • Operation Tiger Strike begins. While the group is hiking, they’re attacked by drones. Veidman, the tribe’s leader, attempts to talk it out with the drones. It all goes a bit haywire because the feelers attack. They almost get Alenna, but Liam saves her before being taken himself. Gadya blames Alenna for this.
  • The group reach the grey zone’s barrier. It’s like “quasi-transparent jelly”. If you try to make your way through, you get stuck in the jelly and eventually suffocate.
  • They find a boy called Jump in the barrier. He’s suffocating, but they get him out before he dies. He’s one of the drones. The group give him water and ask him to tell them everything he knows about the barrier, but Jump stabs Veidman in the chest.
  • The Monk arrives, and tells the group that he wants to find a way to cross the barrier so he can get the cure to the Suffering, which he is clearly suffering from (teehee). The drones take the group to one of their villages, where Gadya chooses to fight Alenna in a death battle, because she’s still not over the Liam thing. They plan to attack the drones on the count of three. It turns out the death battle was all part of the Monk’s test. He wanted to see if they could work as a group.
  • The Monk tells the group they can get through the barrier using fireworks. They stick the fireworks into the jelly, and it creates a hole and weakens the barrier enough for people to get through before the barrier closes up the hole again. The Monk and the group from the blue sector get through. David, disguised as a drone, follows them.
  • Alenna finds a rock that’s engraved with her parents’ names, dated about two months after they were taken. There’s also an arrow pointing north east, and Sisyphus, telling Alenna to never give up. The group heads north east, with the Monk and David in tow. They come across a frozen lake, and beyond that another barrier. The Monk assures them that the new barrier is merely an illusion to trick anyone who makes it this far.
  • A feeler attacks them as they cross the frozen lake. They see that the feeler is actually a helicopter painted with the UNA logo, with tentacles. The feeler kills Sinxen. Rika is in danger, but David saves her. He falls into the lake, but Alenna helps him out.
  • Gadya tells the Monk to take off his mask. The Monk is Minister Harka, the guy in charge of the UNA. Or, who is supposedly in charge. The government have been using body doubles to pretend Harka was running the place ever since they sent him to the island six years ago. The islanders burnt Harka alive when he first arrived, but others rescued him. He pretended to have the Suffering, and he starting to get a bunch of followers.
  • Harka dies from his wounds before he can tell Alenna about her parents, although he reveals he knew them and that they are free.
  • David reveals he was once in a resistance cell for trying to restore peace to the UNA.
  • The group reach the city hidden by the illusion. Rika and Markus point out the building they need to get to. They discover that the air is freezing cold inside. There are loads of pipes that they have to manoeuvre around. As they’re climbing over a giant pipe, feelers attack. Rika is taken, and David, Markus and James are trapped behind a giant pipe. Gadya and Alenna have to go forward.
  • Alenna and Gadya get into the building, and a computer named Clara greets them and starts to give them a tour. Clara mentions “specimens”, and asks Alenna and Gadya if they want to see them. The girls agree. They see a giant room full of thousands of frozen humans in pods. They’re the specimens that people on Island Alpha have been performing tests on. Although it looks as though the scientists left long ago. The feelers have been grabbing people and taking them to this building to be dissected, only there was no one there so the teenagers have piled up.
  • They find Liam in one of the pods, and Clara says that his pod is scheduled to leave in an hour.They also find other people, all except David. Alenna puts on a suit and smashes the machines to disable Clara.
  • Gadya stays behind in the machine room while Alenna goes for Liam. Alenna reaches his pod and isn’t sure what to do so they reactivate Clara. She’s no use, but another voice tells Alenna what numbers to punch in in order to thaw out Liam. Liam wakes up.
  •  Machines start to attack Liam and Alenna for being out of bounds. Their only option is to get into the pod and leave Gadya behind

how did it end?

The pod launches out, and crashes in the middle of a desert in northern Australia. There’s a settlement there, and scientists have been rescuing teenagers from pods for a month, and taking them there. The scientists reveal that the UNA put chemicals in the food and water to keep the citizens docile. Chemicals that don’t work on some people, and so they get sent to the island. The island is used to test new drugs on those who are immune to the drugs they already have.

Alenna’s mum is in the underground base. Alenna’s father died a few years ago. Alenna’s mother reveals that she knew Liam’s parents, and Liam and Alenna knew each other as children. Alenna’s mother and father were captured by the UNA, shipped to Island Alpha, and then they escaped to Australia.

The scientists tell Liam that they believe Veidman and Meira were spies, put in the blue sector by the UNA to prevent people from escaping. I guess they failed.

anything else

GPPT – Government Personality Profile Test. Used to predict criminal activity years in advance. It actually looks for immunity to the drugs that the government is currently pumping into its population.

Unanchored Souls – People who fail the GPPT.

UNA – United Northern Alliance. The new title for Canada and the USA, which have merged together.

The wheel – Also known as Prison Island Alpha. Where the Unanchored Souls are sent to be tested on. Located between Hawaii and Australia.

The Monk – The leader of one of the groups on the island. A guy who has been there for the longest time. It’s revealed that he is Minister Harka, the UNA’s prime minister.

Drones – The Monk’s followers.

Ones Who Suffer – People from the blue sector who fall sick from the Suffering.

The Suffering – An illness that kills people on the island, caused by the new drugs that are being tested on the teenagers.

Operation Tiger Strike – A code name for a secret mission. A group of hunters from the village are going to look for a way into the grey zone.

Feelers – Helicopters with tentacles that attack from above. They take the teenagers to the building where scientists used to perform experiments.

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