SYNOPSIS: For fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Red Rising comes a gripping sci-fi adventure in which a group of teenagers wake up in a mysterious corridor with no knowledge of who they are or how they got trapped. Their only hope lies with an indomitable young woman who must lead them not only to answers but to survival.
REVIEW: YA science fiction Adventure is a good description for ALIVE by Scott Sigler. This novel comes close to thriller territory without crossing that border. Alive proceeds from the waking of heroine M. Savage and continues in a claustrophobic first person POV — appropriate since she awakens in what she believes is a coffin! — with a series of reveals that gradually raise the stakes for survival. Savage becomes the leader of a group of young people who are mentally younger than their physical age. Though they believe it is their twelfth birthday, they have the bodies of young adults. In addition, they have all awakened with no memory of who they are (their first initial and surnames are printed on their “coffins”) or their situation. They proceed down seemingly endless corridors and, early on, their only discoveries are of other chambers filled with violently murdered remains of humans who died at various ages, some very young. Other bodies seem to be the result of malfunctioning “coffins.” Whatever was supposed to have happened appears to have gone seriously awry.
Most of the novel takes place while Savage, who becomes the leader of two groups who team up, discovers the true nature of their environment, followed by the discovery of their intended fate and their struggle to take back control of their lives and destinies.
Alive rarely pulls any punches and keeps you guessing until the tense ending. And while the novel tells a complete story, Sigler clearly leaves the door open for future volumes in the tale of Savage’s group and those who placed them in their coffins long before the novel’s opening scene of awakening.
Recommended for YA readers who enjoy a (somewhat) dystopian tale with a science fiction twist.
Note: my review is based on a e-galley, i.e., an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Alive.