The Culling (The Torch Keeper #1) by Steven Dos Santos

October 5, 2015
The Culling (The Torch Keeper #1) by Steven Dos Santos, Book Review, InToriLex, Netgalley
The Culling (The Torch Keeper, #1)



Recruitment Day is here...if you fail, a loved one will die

For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother.

Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even if it means sacrificing the lives of other Recruits’ loved ones. What Lucky isn’t prepared for is his undeniable attraction to the handsome, rebellious Digory Tycho. While Lucky and Digory train together, their relationship grows. But daring to care for another Recruit in a world where love is used as the ultimate weapon is extremely dangerous. As Lucky soon learns, the consequences can be deadly...


I tried my hardest to give this book a fair chance, considering there are a lot of critiques centered around how similar this was to hunger games. Unfortunately the writing and ideas involved seemed better on their own, then working together to give a compelling narrative. Lucky the protagonist who has to work to save his brother just did not connect with me in a meaningful way. I did appreciate the non-straight romance, but even that seemed underdeveloped.

InToriLex, Book Review

The trials described in the book were challenging, gory and had too much going on. It's good to have world building to help immerse the reader but most of the book included too many elements that made it hard to suspend my disbelief about what was happening. The writing itself wasn't bad per se, but definitely included some sentences that were overly cheesy and eye roll worthy. For Example:

"I finally force myself to pull away. It literally hurts my flesh, as if somehow our skin's bonded together by the most powerful adhesive of all."

I did enjoy many of the action sequences that happened, and that the characters included strong and weak men and women. But overall the book could have used less ideas and more well developed elements that would have given the reader enough unique elements they could remember and separate it from other similar dystopian YA. Overall it was a ok read, that I wouldn't recommend because of the many other far superior dystopian and well written, young adult novels. 

I received a copy of this book from  the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Kindlemom said...

It is so hard to love a book sometimes when things don't add up or the writing just isn't engaging, or whatever have you. Sorry this didn't work and wasn't a better read for you. I hope your next one is fabulous!

InToriLex said...

Thanks for commenting me too!!

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