Out of the Wastelands for the first time, Zander has never been lonelier.
As a mutant he's used to loss, but leaving his 14-year-old sister, Kensy, behind is an emptiness like no other.
As he steps through the walls of Westport, her words are the only thing keeping him going:
Win your freedom. If not for yourself then do it for me.
Fans of Hunger Games, Red Rising, Maze Runner, and Divergent; GET READY TO ROLL!
Skid Kids is a dystopian thrill ride you won't be able to put down.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
When is book 2 coming out???? Please don't make me wait too long! First off I should say I'm a roller and ice hockey fan so this is right up my street. Not much out there for roller fans. So this is a dystopian world where in order to control population, the government released a toxic gas to wipe out "mutants" who had appeared years before after the 4th world war. Mutants are segregated ( like illegal immigrants) and left out in the deserts. Uneducated, they have only one shot at freedom. The skid mark league. Basically a roller race where there are no rules. Enter 2 educated mutants and you have the recipe for an uprising. The book blends together the politics and the racing seamlessly. The characters are likeable and there's quite a few of them, so they aren't overly developed. There are a couple nice plot twists, a few crap I knew it moments, and some definite I can't put this book down until I am sure they are safe moments. I suppose the beginning was a little slow. There was a lot going on to set it all up. But as soon as the story gets going, that's it, it doesn't let up. And let's face it, the dystopian battleground against which all others are judged, took a whapping 11 chapters to get to the battle! I really enjoyed this. The writing style isnt special, but it's easy to read and pacey. I think this would appeal to boys and girls and has male and female protagonists. The ending suggested at least one more book, although I hope this won't be too political. Somehow they need to keep the SML going. I think the game is a unique selling point so I really hope the author reads this and agrees. I've given this 5 stars as I'm looking forward to the next book and although I was kind of hoping there would be a big C at the end, I get why there wasn't and want to see what happens next.
I love this genre. I've been reading dystopian for about as long as I can remember. I was a reading junkie when YA dystopian hit an all time high. I've read almost all the classics-- Hunger Games, Uglies, The Giver, Divergent, Maze Runner, etc, etc, etc. It's no secret that this is MY FAVORITE type of novel. That being said, this is a wonderful example of dystopia! I would line this us beside Hunger Games with no shame at all. You've got all the general tropes-- children competing against each other, two out-of-the-ordinary competitors, competitors joining together to beat the Man, unusual alliances, evil grown-ups. It's all there and very well done. While the novel does have a bit of a large ensemble cast, every character is well-written and well-rounded. You'll find yourself rooting for them from the very first page, and when the antagonist is introduced, you'll despise him right away. In my opinion, the plot actually started out kinda slow. I pushed through in the hopes that it would pick up-- once the main group got to Westport. And man, did it ever pick up! At about the 25% point, when you get past all the exposition, everything falls into place and you're in. PICK THIS UP. You will not regret it. Full review on my blog.
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Wow, what an exciting read! Skid Kids by Micheal Franz mainly follows Zander and his sister Kensy, who are mutants. Mutants descend from the surviving humans of the first cleanse enacted by the government to wipe out Westport’s poor population. They live quite primitively in the Wastelands, a brutal and harsh environment, and they form small communities called circles. The circle is as close as to a family mutants will have, considering how difficult it is for them to grow old when they live in constant fear of another cleanse. The only chance they have at freedom is by going to Westport to join the Skid Kids games, a sort of brutal roller game in which mutant teams compete. The winning team gets their chance at living as close to a normal and safe life as possible within the walls of the city. Zander, Kensy and their friends join the games, and as they fight to stay in the competition, they befriend humans who support the mutant cause and become a part of a bigger movement that could bring liberation not just for them, but also for every mutant in the Wastelands. The atmosphere of this book reminded me of one of my favorite series ever, Red Rising, and while the post-apocalyptic setting is reminiscent of other dystopian reads, the plot and characters breathed an originality to this genre that I absolutely enjoyed. I truly felt like I was living the brutal reality of the mutants and not just witnessing it, so their fight for freedom became my own. And I love a good competition trope, so another aspect I really enjoyed were the parts about the game, but also those scenes were Zander and Kensy got to sneak about to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the games and the mutant plight in general. While this book wasn’t heavy on the romance, there was a romance subplot surrounding Zander and a human girl named Lucky. They were so cute! *cue the sobbing* Their interactions were adorable, and I loved their sort of Beauty and the Beast dynamic, seeing as Zander is not regarded as a human by most of the society because of his physical mutation. I would be lying if I said I’m not dying to know how their story continues in the sequel. Speaking of the sequel, the ending has me thirsting for more. What does the ending mean for the mutants? Will they succeed in their quest for freedom? Who will survive? I need to know! I recommend this book to fans of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series and to readers who enjoy stories like The Hunger Games. It has a healthy mix of action and political intrigue that I truly enjoyed! Thank you to the author for sending me a copy. Opinions are my own.
Can I firstly just say wow! What an amazing YA dystopian/apocalyptic read! From start to finish the story line will have you on the edge of your seat wanting more. The characters are so full of life you can’t help but be drawn into the story. A world where humans are truly the rulers and the mutants who were forced into the wastelands are starving and forced to fight for their freedom in what is called The skid track league, but is freedom what really receive in the end? If it hadn’t of been for the humans disregard for the world to begin with the mutants would not be who they are today. The general overview of the messages in this book really hit home regarding topics of those who are different can never truly belong when prejudice and hierarchy are present. The constant battle to belong and fit in with a society that judges those who do not fit the western ideals that have been passed down from generations before them. The writing style does change point of views of the characters as your reading which could be confusing but how well it is written you will never lose track of characters or the actual storyline. For any YA, dystopian or apocalyptic book lover out there, this is one not to be missed.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. 5 stars Set hundreds of years in the future, climate change has wrecked havoc on Earth. Humans live in a walled city and Mutants live in the wastelands. Once a year, mutants are given the opportunity to compete in a viscous roller derby competition to win freedom and security. Orphaned Zander is focused on winning to help himself and his younger sister Kinsey. My favorite book genre is dystopian and Michael Franz really knocked it out of the park with his debut novel Skid Kids. I absolutely loved this book--fantastic world building with so many wonderful characters. Lots of powerful themes such socioeconomic inequity and ethnic cleansing. But most important is the kindness and thoughtfulness of siblings Zander and Kinsey who are truly altruistic and trying to improve the lives of so many. Zander and Kinsey's mother's wisdom is quoted a lot in the book and I wish I had highlighted it to reread just her wise words. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games and The Red Rising series, this is for you. I hope this is a series so we can go back and revisit this world. If so, I'd love to get more backstory on the mother.