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Summary

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape - his only real hope for survival - may be impossible.

©2011 Robison Wells (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy P.
  • 12-01-15

Goldstrom Nailed "VARIANT" AMAZING NARRATOR!

Would you consider the audio edition of Variant to be better than the print version?

I consider the audio edition to be EQUAL to the print edition. With an incredibly will written book like "VARIANT", that's no easy feat!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Variant?

Following Benson's growth and decision making as his challenges kept getting bigger and bigger. He stepped up to every challenge, and I really could imagine him growing from a boy into a young man by the end.

Which character – as performed by Michael Goldstrom – was your favorite?

Benson Fisher

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was ticked off at the adults, who children are taught to trust and believe only have their best interests in mind, turned out to be their biggest terror and adversaries.

Any additional comments?

What a fantastic book for my first audible experience. SO well done! Couldn't ask for a better author or narrator!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Word Nerd
  • 23-10-11

Wow

This book was incredible. I mean, there have been storylines where people ended up where they didn't want to be, but this was written so well. The main character realized right away that something was wrong with the school he was sent to. When he asked the other students, they agreed but they had plausible reasons for sticking around. A lot of books have one character who has some common sense and all the other characters who appear clueless. Some stories have main characters who make really stupid decisions. In Variant, Benson's actions and reactions were believable. I can't say I saw the "explanation" coming. Once it was revealed many things made sense, but there were still many curiosities. Apparantly, there will be sequels to explain them. I look forward to them.

I only have two complaints:

1. The last few lines were very important, yet I had no idea who was speaking.
2. Why do I have to wait so long for the next book?

Great job Robison Wells.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-17

Read it till the end

I really enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoyed The Maze Runner series. It starts off kind of slow but really takes a great turn. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys the MR series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M M
  • 24-10-17

Variant

This book is such a thrilling, amazing, and funny book full of plot twists. If you only read one book on audible I urge you to read this one😄

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 08-10-12

Had to keep listening!

If you could sum up Variant in three words, what would they be?

Suspenseful
Intriguing
Well-written

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting and innovative storyline... if you get past the "this could never happen" thoughts ;-) OH but it ends in a cliffhanger so be prepared to buy book 2: Feedback (which I am doing when I finish writing this review).

Which character – as performed by Michael Goldstrom – was your favorite?

Ice Man. We still don't know much about him by the end of the book but I am crazy intrigued and hope that storyline plays out well :)

Any additional comments?

Listened to it really quickly... it was a great and easy read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • aja
  • 14-09-12

This should be a movie

Would you consider the audio edition of Variant to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version so i cant say which is better. But i favor audio over print unless the narration is bad.

What other book might you compare Variant to and why?

Im not sure if i could compare it to anything out there today. maybe " lord of the flies" mixed with the Matrix.

Have you listened to any of Michael Goldstrom’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

this was my 1st Michael Goldstrom book.

Any additional comments?

Buy this while it's on sale

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Krystal Martin
  • 08-05-12

Great Youth Listen


This audiobook is great for kids and young adults. I'm not in either category, and I still enjoyed it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 14-04-12

Decent dystopfic YA

I will say that this YA novel kept me entertained during a long drive. The setup is intriguing enough: a teenage orphan from Pittsburgh named Benson looks to escape his dreary life by winning a scholarship to a high-end private school in New Mexico. However, upon arrival, he finds that Maxfield Academy contains no adults, is full of security cameras, is surrounded by a high wall, and has a few simple rules that students must never, ever break. Cue shades of Lord of the Flies, Never Let Me Go, and the TV show Lost, as our protagonist learns that the students have organized themselves into different factions, some bent on following the rules, some out to cause mayhem, and some with more pragmatic ideas. The truce that exists between them is tense at best, and Benson must choose his allies and adversaries carefully. Not everything at Maxfield, of course, is what is seems, and, like Lost, it had me hooked.

Well, for the first half. Unfortunately, the twist that comes later would have been inexcusably silly in a grown-up novel. Then again, this is a book for younger readers, and I doubt too many will be concerned about that, or even recognize the creative property that Wells is, um, inspired by. The target audience will probably eat up the who-can-we-trust suspense, the action sequences (including paintball, of all things), the likable, outcast hero, and the romance.

All in all, probably not the most interesting or well-written YA dystopfic out there, but a perfectly readable entry for those who can’t get enough of the genre. Parental note: there’s some PG violence, one implied-but-not-discussed sexual encounter between secondary characters, and no bad language.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 24-03-12

cant wait for the sequel

If you could sum up Variant in three words, what would they be?

unexpected unusual unique

What other book might you compare Variant to and why?

unsure if it was ever a book but it reminded me of an old sifi movie logans run

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Crystal
  • 22-10-11

Didn't see it coming!

I have to admit I didn't see the twist coming. Yeah, maybe it was a little silly but it was interesting enough to make me want know more.

That is why I am *really* annoyed with the cliff-hanger ending. It is such a cheap crutch for writers to use that on principle I usually give the book very low marks for it and don't bother with the rest of a series, knowing I'll get more of the same.

However, I might give the next book a go when it comes out because I am genuinely curious!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful