Friday, July 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway of 'Belligerent' by B.N. Mauldin

 
 
Goodreads Description:
 
In a dystopian future the populace is segregated into castes. Belligerents, the lowest of status, are comprised of criminals and outcasts. Content as a faceless Commoner, Ryan has made a life for himself on the streets as a car thief. While the work isn’t the most noble, he’s known as one of the best despite his young age.

Ryan’s skills catch the eye of a flagrant Owner, bent on winning the virtual competition: Vicara. Newly branded as a Belligerent, Ryan struggles for freedom and acceptance at an academy specialized in training teams for Vicara. Ryan’s place on the team is shaky as he learns the truth and tragedy behind the person he replaces.

Join the Belligerents as we get our first look into the world of Vicara!
 
 
About Author:
 
Writing since she was “old enough to hold a crayon”, Brandi resides in Lexington, North Carolina with her two cats. Her parents, Bill, Bobby, Shirley, and Mary have always been great sources of encouragement, as well as her two younger brothers, Matthew and Donovan, whose imaginations inspire her writing. A vital element of Mauldin’s mentality involves looking at something ordinary while contemplating what else it could be.

A tea addict and “Slytherin” at heart, Mauldin also gets a spark of creativity through considerable reading of “some of the greatest works ever written.”
 
My Review:
 
 I won this book in a goodreads first reads giveaway. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I absolutely loved it! The writing hooked me in from the first page. The writing is simple yet elegant and easy to read. It is a fairly short book at 221 pages and a quick read. I read the book in one sitting, unable to tear myself away.
 The world in this book was so unique. It is a world where criminals (mostly children aged 10-late teens) are kept by owners and train at academies to fight in the Vicara games, which are a sort of virtual reality game of capture the flag held in a coliseum. There are teams of eight and the winning team wins riches and a lifetime pass of freedom. This world is made up of elite, commoners, and belligerents. The elite are rich and free. The commoners are poor and seem to mostly be criminals because it is the only way for them to make money to survive. The belligerents are the criminals that are caught and either become beta belligerents and try to get into the Vicara games or if they aren't good enough or too old they become omega belligerents who are basically gladiators who are also used as slave labor. The world is complex and interesting. It beautifully combined new and old to form a disturbing and realistic dystopian future.
The characters are all around fourteen years old. Not since Harry Potter have I read a book with such young characters that I was able to relate with and thoroughly enjoy. The characters are young, but living in a constant life and death struggle. They think and appear as much older than they are due to their circumstances. There were several prominent characters in this book, but I think the main character would be Ryan. He is a fourteen year old master car thief who cherishes his freedom and lives with his best friend Alex (a fourteen year old girl). He attracts the attention of an owner, Shifter, who sets him up in order to get him on his team of beta belligerents. He is 'caught' breaking into Shifter's car and taken in. He ends up at Proserpine Academy to train to be the 'transportation' specialist on the team. Once in the academy he has a lot to deal with in becoming a part of the already existing team, training to hopefully gain his freedom in the next Vicara games, and in surviving the academy.
This book is the first in a series and I cannot wait to see what happens next. This first book was so much better than I thought it would be and it ended in such a way that I have a feeling the next one will be even more nerve-wracking and exciting. It's so hard not to give the ending away, but this book is a must-read in my opinion. I am really looking forward to the next Vicara book.
Because I loved it so much and it is not exactly what I would call a 'mainstream' book I'm giving away a copy in the hopes of spreading the word about this awesome new series!
 
 
My Rating:
 
 
 
 

5 comments:

  1. I just finished The Testing and really liked it. Can't wait for Independent Study!

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  2. The Hunger Games

    ~Veronica Vasquez~

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  3. SO far the hunger games...but I've been reading a lot again so hoping to have another soon.. ;)
    Thank you for the great giveaway.
    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

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