The Extinction Trials Review

Extinction Trials
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY
Source: Proof via Usborne (released January 1st 2018)

Stormchaser wants to escape her starved, grey life. Lincoln wants to save his dying sister. Their only chance is to join an expedition to a deadly country to steal the eggs of vicious dinosaurs. If they succeed, their reward is a new life filled with riches. But in a land full of monsters - both human and reptilian - only the ruthless will survive.

Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games in this epic new series.

I'd heard a lot about this book at YALC and Stevie from Usborne kindly sent me a proof copy once I'd expressed my interest in it. When I heard it was about dinosaurs, in a dystopian setting...what's not to love?

I was actually very sceptical about how a book with dinosaurs would work, as I've always seen dinosaurs as either for children or adults, so I wondered how it would capture a Young Adult audience. I'll tell you how in this review. Once I'd got started, I was absolutely hooked and unable to put it down. Yes, I finished it in one sitting. It's books like that I find the most enjoyable and this wasn't a particularly short book, at almost 400 pages.

I understood the comparison to The Hunger Games series but I personally think it's so much better. I feel it's aimed at a slightly older audience than THG and I much preferred the pace and the writing style. And the characters. And...well, basically everything. I think what I liked about the trials, is that they had a "purpose", rather than just a reminder of how cruel life can be.

Onward with the story. Every year, 100 volunteers are sent to Piloria (where the dinosaurs live) on a specific mission. The land of Earthasia (where the people live) is cramped, overpopulated, underfed and struggling. Their previous missions included things like finding a new food source. This year, it's stealing dinosaur eggs from Piloria and taking them back to Earthasia so scientists can figure out a way to wipe them into extinction. (Harsh, I know but this book really highlights the self-importance of humankind, no matter how brutal it may be). The prize, if you return with goods? Food, healthcare and shelter.

The story is a dual narrative and switches between Lincoln and Stormchaser (Storm). Storm is an orphan who loves all things nature related, especially the dinosaurs who she claims saved her life. Lincoln loves his family with all his heart; with his sister dying, he will do just about anything to ensure she stays alive.

I have since discovered that Lincoln isn't very popular. Yes, he makes some questionable decisions in the book and thinks of nothing other than winning but I truly believe that makes him the most honourable, loyal character in the book. I put myself in his shoes and I know I'd do just about anything to keep my family alive, just like Lincoln. Don't get me wrong, I also loved Storm but I don't think I connected to her as much as I felt so strongly about what Lincoln was doing and why. I also found Storm was very selfish. Although an orphan, she had people in her life that cared and it never seemed as though she gave them a second thought, as long as she was happy doing what she wanted.

Let's talk about the world building. When they arrive in Piloria and we venture into this unknown territory belonging to the dinosaurs, I was utterly captivated. The description, the thought, the time she had put into making this fantasy world as believable as was truly remarkable and one of my favourite aspects of this book.

Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. This book is gory. This book is brutal. And this book spares no one in it's path. Let's be honest, dinosaurs are the true Kings of the land and this book certainly shows that. Doubts start to creep into the survivors' minds as the week in Piloria comes to an end. Will there only be one winner this year? Should they really be working in teams?

I can't say too much more without being very spoilery but honestly, this book is absolutely stunning and something else I love? The next one is ALSO coming out next year. 2 books from the same series in one year? That's a bookworm's dream. I know this book's not released until January 2018 but believe me when I say, it's worth the wait and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Definitely worthy of the hype surrounding it.

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