Hi everyone! Today I’m here to help kick off the blog tour for the incredible debut novel by S. M. Wilson, The Extinction Trials. If you like dinosaurs then this book is definitely for you! Read my glowing 5* review below and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour throughout the week, ending with a #SundayYA chat on Twitter at 6pm on Sunday! It would be lovely to see you there.
The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials #1)
Author: S. M. Wilson
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Publication Date: December 28th 2017
Format: Paperback (384 pages)
Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.
In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.
But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…
My Rating: ★★★★★
When this book was first sold to me as ‘The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park’ I was in some kind of disbelief. That is one heck of a big statement to make and so I was REALLY excited to get into this book and see if it lived up to my high expectations and I am absolutely THRILLED to say that it did just that and MORE. That’s right, this book was just THAT good.
The plot of the book was really interesting and drew me in straight away. A world where humans live crammed onto one continent whilst dinosaurs (that’s right, real, actual dinosaurs) live on the other. The human continent is hugely overcrowded leaving the people struggling for food, water, energy, accommodation, everything. In a bid to save their race, the humans decide they need to learn more about the dinosaur continent of Piloria in order to take it for themselves. This is where the Extinction Trials come in: a Hunger Games style contest where 100 people are sent to Piloria and encounter a number of gruelling missions and tasks (and that’s aside from the dinosaurs!). I really don’t want to say any more than that about the plot but let me assure you it will keep you flipping those pages and twisting and turning until the very end!
I really liked the characters in this book. The story itself is told from two POVs: Stormchaser is our leading lady. Storm’s upbringing has been far from easy but her character says it all. She is independent, sassy, fiercely determined and competitive but she is also loyal, compassionate and intelligent. I absolutely adored reading her chapters and I especially loved the way she saw the dinosaurs. Lincoln, our other POV, hasn’t had the same difficult start to life as Storm but has much more to lose due to an ill younger sibling. He has a lot more weighing on the outcome of the trials than Storm does and it’s interesting to see how that dynamic pans out during the story.
Of course, there are plenty of secondary characters involved in the story too from some competitive villain types to Storm’s best friend Dell but my favourites of all had to be the blinking dinosaurs. I mean when do we ever find YA books with dinosaurs in? I just loved reading about them and got excited every time a new one was mentioned. Plus, not all of the dinosaurs were terrifying beasts (although plenty of them were!) and I really liked that this was shown too. An element that really interested me was the way in which Wilson set about showing a varied attitude among the human characters towards the dinosaurs. Some of the characters hate the dinosaurs and want nothing more than to see them all dead, others are interested but rightfully wary and a few believe that the dinosaurs should be treated just as the humans would want to be: with respect. I really liked how this was gently explored through the dialogue and reactions of the characters.
The world building is absolutely exquisite! I felt like I was stepping into a full formed world that was vivid and easy to imagine thanks to the gorgeous writing. I felt like I was stepping through the pages into Piloria with Storm, Lincoln and the others for the first time too. Every step they took in their dangerous new surroundings both thrilled and terrified me: I really didn’t know what would happen next but I loved every second of it!
The ending of this book was superb! It has perfectly set up for the next book in the series and the surprises kept coming at me from all directions right up until the end. I really, really loved this book, the characters, the concept, the world building, everything about it was fascinating and exciting. It’s a book I know I will read over and over again. Marvellous!
Huge thanks to the lovely Stevie at Usborne for asking me to be part of the tour and providing my advanced copy in exchange of a fair and honest review.
If you’re not already signed up to the fantastic Usborne YA newsletter you can do that via this link – I’ll let you in on a secret, in the next couple of weeks there will be a chance to win a signed copy of the book and an exclusive chapter extract from book 2 of the Extinction Trials series for subscribers! So what are you waiting for?
Have you read The Extinction Trials? Will you be adding it to your TBR?
The important question: What’s your favourite dinosaur?
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