A Select Group
by Blaine C. Readler
Full Arc Press

"We hefted our bags, fell haphazardly into single file, and moments later were surrounded by soft darkness, broken by dappled, trembling spots of sunlight dancing on the needle-carpeted forest floor."

Readler’s tale is a Divergent meets The Hunger Games story of survival by not just the fittest but the smartest. The story takes place in the mountains of California where a selected group of people are put to the test in semi-harsh conditions. Cal and his group of newly found friends leave everything behind and travel to an unknown location to participate in an unknown experiment—one he will soon find that he is not mentally nor physically prepared for. There are surprising twists and turns around every bend in the forest, and Cal and his group must adapt to each situation presented. Their limits and their friendships are tested, lines are crossed, alliances are formed, and outcomes reach an all-time deadly high. Those in charge push the boundaries of what is experimental and what is legal.

The author tells the story from Cal’s point of view; however, other characters are spotlighted throughout the novel. Readers will find it easy to connect with certain characters, as well as learn to disdain others. Each character is vital to the story in their own way. This dystopian novel is well-written with a pace that is both comprehensive and elaborate. With each chapter the reader will come to conclusions about key characters—some ascertaining the correct outcome and others taking on a whole new angle. The struggles and outcomes of the characters (and their dynamics together) are a mystery throughout the novel, leading up to an unexpected ending that will leave the reader shocked and cheering all at the same time.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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