Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Plot Summary:
When Em woke up in complete darkness, she had no idea where she was or who she was. When she tried to move, something was holding her down and something was trying to hurt her. After fighting the darkness, Em emerged from her trap to an empty room and no idea where to go. What was worse, she noticed other "coffins" liker hers and that is when she heard the screams from the other coffin. After rescuing a girl who happens to have the same birthday as Em, they leave their room to stumble upon other coffins. Not knowing what to do, or where to go, Em tries to rescue other teens who may be laying in the coffins, which gets her nominated to becoming the leader of their group. As Em leads this small band of survivors through their concrete prison, Em and her teammates are being hit with flashbacks and memories from their previous lives, which means that somebody has to be looking for them or missing them. The only thing the group can't figure out is that all of them claim to be twelve years old, but, when they look at each other, they see bodies and faces of young adults and not children. Why would their parents leave them all alone? What exactly happened to them that would leave them abandoned in a tomb filled with dust and bone. As Em and the others explore this maze, not only do they learn that they are not alone, but their escape becomes more complicated and even more dangerous. Readers will not be able to put this book down and the end will leave them starving for more.

Critical Evaluation:
Per the author's request, which I completely respect, I will not divulge any major plot points as to not spoil the story for potential readers. I will instead comment on just how much I LOVED THIS BOOK! OMG! All I can say is that Scott Sigler has given us a gift because it conveys the ultimate power that is the Science Fiction genre. Compared to traditional Sci Fi stories, authors are adding another dimension to the character development that not only makes them accessible to non sci-fi readers, it makes the characters that much more human, which, in this genre, can be a good thing and a terrible thing. I had no idea whatsoever to expect from this story so I highly recommend that readers do not go into this book with expectations. If readers do, this will story will destroy those expectations for the better. I am actually going to be discussing this book with a bunch of teens so I am totally stoked to hear their thoughts and how they can relate to this story. I am going to pick up the sequel, Alight, and I can't wait to return to the crazy world that Em and friends are trying navigate and I am looking forward to their adventures.

Information about the Author:
According to Siglerpedia:

Raised in Cheboygan, Michigan Sigler's father passed his love of classic monster movies along to his son. His mother, a school teacher, encouraged his reading offering him any book he wanted. Sigler wrote his first monster story, "Tentacles", at the age of eight.
Sigler didn't travel far for college having attended Olivet College (Olivet, MI) and Cleary College (Ann Arbor, MI) where he earned a BA in Journalism and a BS in Marketing. Scott has had a varied career path having worked fast food, picking fruit, shoveling horse manure, a sports reporter, director of marketing for a software company, software startup founder, marketing consultant, guitar salesman, bum in a rock band, and social media strategist before turning in his corporate ID to write fiction full time.
Teen Sci Fi, Teen Dystopian Thrillers

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Alive:
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
  • I Am Number 4 by Pitticus Lore
Awards & Recognition:
“Suspenseful . . . [Alive] lives up to its hype, packing plenty of thrills.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Fascinating and intriguing . . . a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Maze Runner and yet . . . so much more.”—Fresh Fiction

“A ripping, claustrophobic thunderbolt of a novel, Scott Sigler’s Alive gives us an unforgettable young hero who must find the inner strength to lead without knowing where she is, who she is, and how bitterly the odds are stacked against her.”—Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising

“Sigler has created a wonderful and engrossing character in M. Savage. Strong and smart, but with the naïveté and misgivings of any teenage girl, she’s someone you’ll definitely want on your side when s**t hits the fan, which it most certainly does.”—Veronica Belmont, host of Sword & Laser

“A tense, unsettling page-turner of a story—both deeply strange and wildly compelling.”—Cherie Priest, author of Boneshaker and Maplecroft

“From the first page I was hooked. The puzzle unfolds masterfully, right down to the last page.”—Dr. Phil Plait, Ph.D., author of Bad Astronomy

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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