review · young adult

The Extinction Trials – S.M.Wilson

“She’d come for the food, but it wasn’t the rewards that called to her now. It was a chance to see a different land and its awe-inspiring creatures.”

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Blurb: “Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to the Extinction Trials.In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.”

It’s not often that I pick up a book knowing very little about it. It’s also rare that publicity pitches such as “if you liked this then you’ll like this” really grip me because I feel it’s setting yourself for disappointment. But The Extinction Trials blasted these feelings out of the water: all I needed to hear was “The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park” for me to know that I had to read this book.

The Extinction Trials is set in a world of two continents: Earthasia inhabited by humans and Piloria inhabited by Dinosaurs. Overpopulation is an issue the human race is struggling to deal with. There’s a lack of basic needs for survival such as health care and laws in place to discourage reproduction. Every year, trials take place where applicants are sent to the dinosaur continent for various reasons such as finding sustainable food sources. In a last ditch attempt, the government is looking to possibly make Piloria their new home.

The story is told through dual perspectives, Stormchaser and Lincoln which initially threw me, but as the plot progressed made a lot of sense. The Extinction Trials tackles the idea of how far an individual is willing to go for the ones they love; what lengths will you go to when you’re truly desperate to survive? It’s for that reason that having multiple perspectives was a perfect choice because it showed the different character motivations and their reasons for choosing to sign up to the trials. Stormchaser has nothing to lose and just wants decent food, while Lincoln would do anything to get his sister the health care she needs.

Everything about this book is seemless and each plot element just flows so perfectly into the next that almost forgot that I was just reading a combination of letters on a page. The world that S.M.Wilson has created is so vivid that I could picture every snippet of information she provided. It’s the kind of creation that I would love to see in a visual format.

The Extinction Trials is an adrenaline filled thrill ride with an ending that left me begging for more.

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