Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Survival Colony 9 by Joshua David Bellin

Survival Colony  NineTitle: Survival Colony 9
Author: Joshua David Bellin
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books 
Publishing Date:   
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic   
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC 


In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race.

Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. He has to--because heat, dust, and starvation aren't the only threats in this ruined world.

There are also the Skaldi.

Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts, the Skaldi appeared on the planet shortly after the wars of destruction. No one knows where they came from or what they are. But if they're not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity.

Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi--and now he can't remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi.

If he can't, he's their next victim.

When I was approached to read this book, it was new to me. I am usually hesitant to say yes right away to a book that is completely new to me but this one sounded unique and really caught my attention so I said yes. I am really glad I did. I really enjoyed this book. It was a but different than I expected but it was also better than I hoped it it would be. The read was a slow and deep kind of read. More of a thinking book than an action book and I just fell in love with the story and the characters.

Querrry woke up six months prior the where the story begins. He woke up with no memory of his past, his world, or who he was. He has spent the last six months he has been learning to live in a dangerous world on the run with his colony and trying to remember his past and the terrible accident that took his memory. No one will tell him these things, it is up to him to remember. As things start to happen in his colony threatening and taking the lives of those he loves, memories come trough, secrets are told, and Querry's life changes once again.

I really don't know where to start with my thoughts, It was a very riveting read for me. I normally don't get into the books with little action or character interaction, most of the book, I spent in Querry's head. Trying to figure out what happened to him. It was a huge mystery in the book but was easily put on hold with the present dangers that lurked in his life. It was a book about Querry's  past and present. Both kind of a mystery, but one more so than the other. There were times I was able to forget the looming desire to know about his past when he was running or fighting for his life or when he was dealing with other issues within his colony, but it always came back... the question of what happened. Both the question of his past and the events of the present kept me turning pages. I needed to know about both. 

I really liked Querry. I was able to attach to him from the very beginning. He had a hard life, always on the run from the evil creatures skaldi  and he was constantly trying to prove himself to his father. If that wasn't enough he was picked on because of his father being the commander of the colony and he didn't know who he was. So yes his days were full of fun. He never gave up, he never settled, he was determined and he was loyal, and he was strong. I really liked him. There were a few times in the book when he made some pretty stupid decisions, acting totally like a teenager would, which made him more real and didn't bother me in the least. I was a bit teary eyed and proud of him in the end, like I watched my own child grow into a man. 

Within saying that last sentence, the book read more like a coming to age book than  a survival book, although survival was very essential to the story, it was more about Querry's journey and discoveries. I think that is what really hooked me. I enjoyed Querry's story and his journey. 

The book wasn't fast paced or slow. It started out as a flicker from a match and seemed to develop into a raging fire in the end. It was slow anticipation that kept me on toes but grounded me in the moments too. I was excited and anxious to see what was lurking around the corner but I also content in exploring the moment. 

The only complaints, and they are minuscule, was the world building and the ending.  I really didn't quite get what the skaldi were and how they came about. I would have liked just a bit more explained about the world that Querry lived in and how it came about. The ending was good, like I said I was teary eyed, but it didn't have full completion for me. Like I said the book was more about Querry's journey and that had resolution and was good but I would like to know what happens next in this world, mainly with the skaldi. It all comes down to those darn ugly evil creatures that I know nothing about. So that's it. Other than that, I loved the book. I hope there is more after this one. Please Mr. Author!

A very intense and emotional read about a boy and his journey to become a man in a world of evil ugly little creatures that want to devour every human. 

Joshua David Bellin
I've been writing novels since I was eight years old (though admittedly, the first few were very, very short). I taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to writing fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY NINE is my first novel, but the sequel's already in the works!

I love to read (mostly YA fantasy and science fiction), watch movies (again, mostly fantasy and sci-fi), and spend time in Nature (mostly catching frogs and toads). I'm the world's worst singer, but I play a pretty mean air guitar. I also like to draw, and you can check out some of my artwork on my website.

Oh, yeah, and I like monsters. Really scary monsters.


  1. Thank you so much for your review! And you'll be pleased to know I'm working on a sequel--so you might get the answers to your questions after all!

  2. I only recently discovered this book via Twitter, but I must say, you do make it sound interesting. I have to be in the mood for a "thinking" book versus an "action" book, but I think this one could be very good. Thanks for sharing your review!


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