Published: July 22, 2014.
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin.
Source: Requested an ARC from the Canadian distributor for review consideration. Thanks, Raincoast!
Did not finish. Stopped around page 90.
"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.
Oh, Extraction. I wanted so badly to like you. I really did. Unfortunately, I made it only about 90 pages in before I just had to put you down. I might eventually try to continue you, but to be honest, there's nothing drawing me back.
When I started Extraction I was expecting an exciting sci-fi with high stakes and a strong, passionate romance that makes it impossible for Clementine to leave Logan behind. I got... none of these things. Sure it was sci-fi, and it has some interesting elements to it. I like the idea that people took to different levels of the Earth in order to try and protect themselves - although I'm pretty sure it'd be impossible to live near the core, so... how are they doing that? I like the idea of the shield protecting them from the moon's acid smoke - although, since when does the moon give off acid smoke? How did that start? Starting to see why this isn't working for me? Even the aspects I like are marred with questions that are essential to understanding why these things are the way they are. I wish they had been explained at the same time as the so-called solutions they came up with were.
Now what about those high stakes I thought I was promised? Meh. There were some moments I was supposed to feel tense or scared for Clementine and Logan. I know I was supposed to; that's how it read. But did it actually raise any stakes for me? Nope. Did it create tension? Nope. Did it manipulate my emotions like scenes of that nature are supposed to? Sadly, no. I know that things were bad and that life was dangerous, I could read that. But the writing gave me no feelings about the fact that things were bad and dangerous. It was a lot of telling and not a lot of making me care.
As for the romance, well, I just wasn't feeling it. There was nothing there that made me ship them, let alone anything that would make me feel like Clementine should risk her only chance at safety ever for this guy. There was some sweet backstory but it didn't feel powerful. It wasn't convincing, nor did it even really establish them as an actual couple. They almost had a couple of moments but they kept getting interrupted. There was no passion, just a dull "I like this guy. I want him to kiss me." I'm sorry, but that does not a ship make. I wanted to like them and I wanted to want Clementine to do something about having to leave him to die. But I just didn't care.
I know this sounds a little harsh, but I honestly just wasn't being drawn into this book at all. I promise to be honest when I'm writing reviews, so this is me being honest. I was disappointed. To be fair, I really didn't get that far into the book. It's entirely possible that everything picks up one or two chapters after the point at which I put it down. If you've read it and it does, let me know and I'll give it another shot. And I am still curious about life in the Core. (No, unfortunately I didn't even make it that far). I just wasn't connecting with the story I got. I wasn't feeling anything - not the stakes, not the connection between Clementine and Logan, not the fear that she's supposed to be feeling, nothing. There was nothing there to get me invested in anything. I just... didn't care. Sorry, Extraction. You just didn't do it for me.