Fieldmouse Books

Natalie Fieldhouse, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book of the Month - The Extinction Trials

2nd January 2018

Wildly descriptive, incredible evocative and almost cinematic in its storytelling, The Extinction Trials is set to be the next big thing in the world of young adult fiction.

Set in a dystopian society where space is at a premium and resources are running out, The Extinction Trials explores what it means to be human in a society that has lost its humanity. Told from the perspectives of two very different characters, the novel shows us how desperation can lead us to do anything to survive.

For Storm, Earthasia is a world of restrictions. Orphaned and forced to live in a shelter with other children like her, there is nothing left for her to care about on her continent. Desperate for freedom and to find something worth living for, she applies to become a trialist, ready to journey to Piloria - the land of the dinosaurs.

With her is Lincoln. Unlike Storm, he has something to live for. Desperate to save the life of his sister, he will do anything to win the much needed medical supplies to make her better. Even if he risks losing his own life to do so.

But this year the challenge for the trialists is different. Rather than searching for new sources of food to bring back to Earthasia, they are looking for a way to take over the continent of Piloria. A way to wipe out the dinosaurs that live there and claim the land for themselves. They are looking for dinosaur eggs.

The Extinction Trials is a novel that grips you from start to finish through its nailbiting adventure, but it is also a novel that really makes you think. Do we have a right to destroy the lives of other living creatures, just so we have a place to live? Do we have the right to choose who lives and who dies, who is good and who is bad? And do we have the right to change the world forever, just so that we can live in the way that we think we deserve?

For many, the comparisons between The Hunger Games and The Extinction Trials are hard to ignore, and we can guarantee that if you liked The Hunger Games, you will be obsessed with The Extinction Trials. Both feature strong female characters, both show us dystopian worlds, and both examine the inequality between those in power and those who are just desperate to survive. But the differences are also quite stark. Through its dual narrative, The Extinction Trials provides not only the voice of a strong female character, but also that of a strong male. It shows us that to survive you have to learn to trust and work with others, to make sense of a world that relies upon division. And finally, it teaches us to value the world around us, and to consider the damage that humans can cause by thinking only of themselves and not of any other living creatures.

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