Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy's deadly rules and brutal gangs. The worst was over.
Or so he thought.
But now he's trapped on the other side of the wall, in a different kind of prison. A town filled with familiar faces. People from Maxfield who Benson had seen die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.
They are all pawns in the school's twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. And while Benson struggles to figure out who, if anyone, can be trusted, he discovers that Maxfield Academy's plans are darker than anything he imagined - and they may be impossible to stop.
©2012 Robison Wells (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Feedback is the type of series that will rise or fail based upon the choices made for the final reveal. After book one, there was going to have to be one heck of a surprise to explain the high level of technology of the robots and the reason why the Maxfield Academy exists. Unfortunately, it felt like author Wells wrote himself into a corner and couldn't come out of the premise with enough of a unique twist. As such, I do admit to a bit of disappointment that I didn't get the payoff I was expecting at the end of Feedback. But even more problematic was the lack of impetus and action - the story is fairly static for most of the book.
Story: Benson and Becky escaped from Maxfield - only to be trapped in the village outside. Day in and out, they try to formulate escape plans. But Becky's grave injury, politics within the village, and the remote location of the Maxfield complex continually derail their plans. But while Benson learns more about the robots, they too are slowly closing in - and ready to bring Benson and Becky back into the fold.
Book 2 is very different from the first: where we had a very aggressive and strong Benson in the first, in the second we have a confused and surprisingly passive character who spends most of his time in half hearted escape attempts and mooning over Jane and Becky. In fact, not a lot happens for most of the book; we do learn more about Maxfield but never really get satisfactory answers.
I think the big problem I had with Feedback was the writing. There were a lot of times I had to reread passages to understand what was happening. 3/4 of the way through the book I gave up on the rereading and just let it go. That did distance me from the story further.
That lack of engagement - in both the writing and the plot - translated into a 3 star rating for me. A better (or more original villain) at the ending might have lifted this a star higher. I don't regret buying this but at the same time, I had hoped for more.
Note: I listened to the audible version and the narrator did a great job.
I'm a Sculptor of toothpicks.
I liked the first in the series and had to know how the first one developed so I got "Feedback" and was hugely disappointed. The main character is only focused on teen romance which is tiring after a while when the main focus of the story is escaping their situation. But the main character just worries about his relationships rather than the imminent danger all around him. It got so irritating towards the end that I was hoping the guy would die and so I could end my frustration listening to him whine and moan and not escape. Such a pansy character. Read the first in the series, Variant but not this one unless you like characters who have no guts, talk too much and moan about their misfortunes. It was tedious.
I found the first book much more entertaining and suspenseful. This one did not seem as well thought out and the ending was disappointing.
Narrator was ok.
If you read Variant, you will want to know what happens next, this at least tells you that, but I think it leaves you disappointed.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
I honestly enjoyed this book more than the first one although both are very interesting. My hubby and I listened to the audiobook together and got lots of laughs out of the "we're all gonna die" comments by Benson. The narrator is just great at being dramatic.
The first two-thirds of the book I felt were pretty slow. There's a lot of brainstorming by the "students" about what the heck is going on. What is Maxfield Academy really? Who is running it? Why do they have such crazy technology? It's fun to guess along with them.
The last part of the book totally made up for the slow bits by having all sorts of great action and violence at a higher level than usually allowed in YA. Luckily, when there is some ambiguity about how one treats those of questionable humanoid status you can do all sorts of things to them. So Benson becomes quite the fighter and man of action and as always, throws caution to the wind putting others in danger. That's a trait you rarely see in YA and I loved it.
I was rather startled to find that this is actually the final book of the series. I guess we've all become accustomed to the standard three. I wish I had known that before finishing but still feel fairly satisfied with the conclusion. The main reason being - the scope of the story would drastically have to change to accommodate a third book.
Benson is an orphaned teenager who has been tossed from foster home to foster home and just wants a better life. He applies to a boarding school in hopes for that better life. When he arrives he finds out this is no ordinary school and he is trapped. This book picks up from Benson and Becky's escape, but they are not "out of the woods yet", literally. The mystery continues in this final book when they come upon a compound with familiar faces and more questions. The ending was an absolute surprise for me and threw me for a loop. I had no idea what the conclusion would be about. Again narration was done well. Michael Goldstrom did a good job.
Not as good as Variant, a bit of a disappointment but still entertaining.
It was fast paced and more action packed than Variant but with exasperating results.
The characters felt like they were NOT the brightest crayons in the box, all of them, the humans, the androids.... even *spoiler alert* the alien. (Whaat?!? ,,,,,yep.). The ending felt rushed. like RW (or the publisher) needed a number of pages done and when he reached that number, that was it.
Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!
This series is different and exciting. This sequel to Variant could have gone in so many different ways - it really keeps you guessing on how it will turn out. I enjoyed the story quite a bit. This story is mysterious, suspenseful, emotional, and thrilling! Sometimes i caught myself yelling at the characters regarding what they were doing or needing to do! The characters exhibit loyalty, cowardice, betrayal, and bravery. Do you ever really know who you can and cannot trust? NO. The main character, Benson, is a likeable guy and we observe him dealing with a myriad of emotions regarding his escape efforts and his percieved responsibility for others.
I enjoyed the journey all the way to the end. This sequel eventually answers all the questions that came about after reading the first book in this Robinson Wells series, Variant. How exactly is this strange town connected to the school? What the Heck is really going on at that school? Who, if anyone, is in charge and running this operation? Variant really leaves the reader hanging in a hundred ways and if you are like me, you just need to know the answers! In this regard, this book does not dissapoint!
I originally got Variant - probably on sale (I don't recall). It ended abruptly making me realize there must be a series. So, I bought Feedback to find out how it ends. And, based on how it ended, I'm just guessing that there will be additional books in the series forthcoming.
It was an enjoyable book that is clearly written for more of a teen audience. It captured my attention, made me think now and again, held my interest to the end.
Now, the end was a bit weird. It certainly didn't go to the place that I thought it would. You might call that a twist, but I'll go with more of a surprise. Others might see it coming - I don't typically do that - I just experience it and see where it takes me.
The reader was very good. Voices and dialogue are important in this book. He wasn't exceptional - but he was very believable and fluid.
My kids may give it a listen. I doubt that I'll go through it again - it wasn't that kind of compelling (but I have a REALLY high bar for that). But, it was fun.
Just don't expect it to challenge your adult mind. It wasn't written for that.
Never trust anyone who doesn't enjoy reading.
Variant and Feedback were excellent! I actually enjoyed this 2nd book more than the 1st. Wells did a great job keeping you on your toes. And while the ending is an "ending" (to the series) I think there's enough there for the author to continue the story later if he wants to.
It reminded me of other distopian future books. Not that this was at all distopia.
Benson. Goldstrom performed his role very well.
I would say to name the film "Maxfield", or something with Maxfield in the title.
I enjoyed the "happy ending with unsaid twist". I love that Benson has his happy ending with Becky. But behind the scenes, these "testings" will go on. Benson, Becky, and the other students may have been freed but what happened at Maxfield will continue to happen, just to other people around the world. And it leaves my imagination wondering about Benson and Becky's future...will they come back to kill them? Becky still has the implant so they can kill her at any time. As well as the others! What lasting effects will the implants leave on Becky and the other students? (health wise) It would be neat to see another book made about Benson and Becky 10 years from now and they are after them again. Like Becky becomes pregant and the androids/government try to get Benson to come back to them for another testing and threaten to kill Becky (via the implant) if he doesn't. While the ending is an "ending" I think there's enough there for the author to continue the story later if he wants to.
I purchased this ahead of my credit after finishing "Variant", and can't say that "Feedback" held my interest in the same fashion. It starts off pretty strong, but towards the middle, and especially the end, seems to fall apart into a cliched Made-for-TV movie. I will say, however, that Robison Wells does a great job at creating suspense throughout the first half of the novel. His writing style engrosses the reader creating a sense of terror as if they were running and hiding from the enemy themselves. Although, in "Variant" where I couldn't wait to find out what happened next, "Feedback" left me apathetic to Benson's wavering plights. And what was really disappointing was the sudden lack of detail in the action sequences -- most notably those occurring along the river. Where Wells had once vividly painted pictures of Benson's surroundings and actions, he now seemed rushed to blatantly spew out the gist. As for the ending, I wouldn't say it was far-fetched, just contrived of well-known Hollywood endings spanning the past Twenty-some-odd years. Maybe all of this is a clue that the story wasn't that good to begin with; if everything falls apart after the great secret is revealed and the story becomes worse with the more you learn about the secret. It was still well-written -- for the first, and half of the second book -- just not good enough to garner a re-read or recommendation.
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