on Jan. 18, 2015 :
What would you be willing to sacrifice for your freedom?
“Better to be dead than a coward fearing my dreams.”
Wow, I’m still trying to come down from the adrenaline rush this book gave me. This novel will get your heart racing from the very first page. After that, you better hold on to your seat because you’re going on a crazy adventure through the Savage Run.
Set in a dystopian future, what used to be North America has now been under the rule of a rogue Eastern Republic group for the past 70 years. The country, Newland, is now based completely on three groups of hierarchy: Masters, Advisors, and Laborers. Masters are the only ones granted freedom and allowed the rights to own land, own businesses, have top careers, and vote. The Advisors are the primary school teachers and regular working group. At the end of the scale, we have the Laborers. These people live just outside the city in metal trailers stacked one on top of the other. They are slaves with very little. By the age of eighteen, you must be sold to a Master and your entire life belongs to them. They will choose what you wear, what you do, what you say, who you marry, where you live…and well, basically anything and everything else.
The protagonist of our story, 17-year-old Heidi Cruise, is a Laborer and will soon be sold by her angry and abusive father. Her best friend has already been sold to an extremely cruel Master, and Heidi is determined to save her. Her plan is for them to escape and join the Savage Run, a male-only competition with deadly obstacles that promises the victors Master-class freedom. When her plan falls short, she is forced to sign up for the Savage Run alone and pass as a guy. Luckily, her handsome registrar, Nicholas, knows her secret and is willing to help her survive, but will it be enough? Can she survive the gruesome obstacles and the many plot twists that threaten her life? In the Savage Run, she will be pitted against much larger and stronger men and must face the reality of each phase with her own intellect and strength.
What I love most about Savage Run is that the characters are so human. They are pitted against terrible odds, and anything bad that can happen, happens. They act as real humans would and show, or hide, their fears in a relatable fashion. The way they get out of each situation is plausible and well written. The plot twists are amazing, and you’ll be squirming in your favorite reading place, wondering what’s going to happen next.
The author writes the point-of-view in perfect first-person. The reader becomes the main character. You will feel every emotion and every event the way Heidi does. That is what makes this book so powerful. You will be laughing, crying, stressing, and scared as hell as you enter this story. When I feel like I’m the one in the book, that’s when I know it’s written well.
Although this book takes place in the future, many problems we face today are present in the story: abuse, relationships, trust, money, economy, foreign trades, slavery, social class, gender roles, responsibility, and the meaning of freedom. The most relatable one to me is the issue of homosexuality. Homosexuality is completely banned in Newland. Anyone found out to be gay will be executed. This issue is very tender to my heart and had me frustrated and emotional at different parts of the story. I am very glad it was added though. It really adds to the story and applies to our present time. True freedom is the freedom to love unconditionally. “If I don’t have those I care about, there’s no use in having my freedom, is there?”
I congratulate E.J. Squires for a tremendous job on knitting so many elements together flawlessly. Thank you for an amazing ride! I really recommend this book to anyone who loves a great dystopian read with a side of romance, or anyone who just wants a thrilling novel with constant action. There is never a boring moment in this novel. You’ll fall in love with, or hate, the characters as you learn more about them and as they develop over the course of the Savage Run. I’m ready for the next book!
(review of free book)