Review + Giveaway: Extraction by Stephanie Diaz

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EXTRACTION FINAL COVERSeries: Extraction #1
Release date: July 22nd 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Purchase: Amazon
Extraction (Extraction, #1)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“Welcome to Extraction testing.”

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon’s lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don’t want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game and leave them breathless for more.

ABOUT THE AUTHORstephaniediazTwenty-one-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel, Extraction, when she should’ve been making short films and listening to college lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Everytime you think that all dystopian stories have been told already, that by no way the awesomeness of books such as Hunger Games and Ender’s Game (yeah, I’m totally quoting from the blurb) will ever exist again, it just totally knocks your socks off when you are proved wrong. Because that’s exactly how I felt after I have finished Extraction. I don’t think it would be a spoiler to say that this book is by far one of my favorite reads of 2014. Why, you ask? Well.

1. The worldbuilding

The worldbuilding was simply mind-blowing. I was intrigued from the very first page by the environmental and social aspects of the world Diaz created.
Kiel, the planet Clem is living on, is constantly threatened by the moon’s lethal acid, causing many people’s death; Surface dwellers are only used as laborers and bullied by officials. People are starving every day. There are actually four levels on the planet Kiel with Surface being the outermost layer and Core the (surprise!) inmost one. Each year, the Extraction test takes place, a possibilitly to escape life on the Surface, but only ten people can pass the test. After Clementine passes the test, she enters Core, where life is a total contrast to the life she has led before: People are safe from the poisonous mmon, there is no suffering hunger. The longer she spends her time there, however, the more she realizes that not everything is as shiny and perfect as she initially thought.
I was really fascinated by the way the society is controlled by the officials/Developers, how Dwellers are manipulated since values such as obedience are indoctrinated  to them from a very early stage. It might sound a little bit strange, but the dystopian world and society was just perfect in its cruelness and controlling brutality.

2. A strong female lead character

Clementine definitely belongs to that kick-ass type of heroines. I liked almost everything about her: Not only is she an outstanding character due to her cleverness (clever main characters for the win!); she also turns out to be a so much tougher girl than you would’ve initially thought. After Clementine passes the test, she realizes she will have to leave Logan, the boy she loves, and promises she will come back to save him. Guys, what Clem is actually showing is called great moral fiber. And that is exactly what I loved about her.
She always stays true to herself. I had so much fun following her on her journey to try to save Logan, laughing but also crying with her, admiring her for her fierceness, no matter how high the stakes are.

3. Wonderfully developed secondary characters

I’m serious. I loved all  of them. The Extraction process actually reminded me a bit of the initiation stage in Divergent at first, so I was really glad the secondary characters were not poor imitations of those in the Divergent series. I also really liked the love interest in this book, Logan. He is actually the reason why Clem stays strong, becomes fiercer and fiercer and never gives up. I was a little bit sceptical at first, whether there would be a love triangle or not — but luckily, NOPE!
Next, there’s Sam, one of the most promising and youngest officials in Core, who turns out to be a real…psycho. I was really fascinated by his obsession with power, which is substantiated by his his twisted, disturbed, yet charming personality. If I had to compare him to a character, it would definitely be Warner from the Shatter Me series. That actually leads me to the next point:

4. Inscrutable antagonists

I TOTALLY enjoyed reading those scenes with the villains in it, especially with Sam (as I have already mentioned). I kind of have this love/hate relationship towards him because he never failed to surprise me with his obsessive personality. Anyway, he is – by far – one of my favorite villains now.
As the story continues, Clem slowly finds out Commander Charlie is planning to start a war which includes exterminating the Surface Dwellers — and Logan. I was swept off the feet by this evil genius plan.

5. Lots of twists and action

There was never a moment I felt the need to skim over a certain passage. The whole story was written beautifully, filled with fast-paced plot I couldn’t put down. The pacing by the end of the book was actually incredible. It was emotional, heart-wrenching and so unpredictible! I really liked the way the book ended. It was tragic and yet, just stayed so true to the stroy.

6. The writing

Stephanie Diaz’s writing is so unique and incredibly well with both Clementine’s character and the story. I developed an emotional connection with Clementine, and as I read, I really felt what she would have felt in certain situations. This fact really boosted my opinions for Stephanie Diaz’s writing skill.

Overall, Extraction is one of the most cinematic books I’ve ever read. I really wish I could go more into detail, add more positive thoughts to this review but there really isn’t anything I can do to describe how in awe I am with this book. If you like dystopian novels, you definitely don’t want to miss this one!

5Schmetterling

These are some of favorite quotes in the book. Let me tell you, I highlighted LOADS of passages in this book, (because trust me, there were SO MANY memorable text passages) but unfortunately, my Kindle broke down just when I was halfway through writing this review. So sorry I can’t show you that many quotes; also, they are mostly from the first half of the book. But they are still memorable!

Every night I pray the shield won’t break and let the acid through.

I open my eyes and focus on the world outside the window, on the acid shiled that’s most beautiful. It shimmers in places, looking like a giant dome enclosing our planet. It traps the pink fog where it can’t harm us; it keeps us safe.

If I’m selfish, it’s because I want to survive. It’s because there’s no way I’ll ever escape this place if I care too much about anyone else.

‘You have nothing to be sorry for,’ he says. I close my eyes and lean into his chest. His skin is warm against mine. His body is solid and present. Usually when we sit like this, I wish he would kiss me. Too many time I’ve thought he was about to, but something always gets in the way.

Even after his breathing slows and steadies, I’m still awake, afraid to dream. The dar hides a tomorrow when I’m certain to lose something dear to me. For a second night, I don’t sleep.

They lied. Safety isn’t a guarantee for people anywhere, no matter what anyone says. Even in the Core, they kill children.

 

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4 thoughts on “Review + Giveaway: Extraction by Stephanie Diaz

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