Book Review: ‘Survival Colony Nine’ by Joshua Bellin


There is an abundance of good books in the world, but good definitely isn’t great. I’ve always believed that the difference between a good book and a great book is how much the book makes you think. That’s why The Hunger Games, The Giver, and Divergent are considered modern YA classics – they all raise questions about the modern world, the future, and ultimately, humanity. While I’m no psychic, I believe that Survival Colony Nine will be a YA classic one day. It’s a brilliantly written novel that had me thinking long after I had finished it.

Surprise! Survival Colony Nine is a story of survival, and Survival Colony Nine also happens to be the name of a group of people who have survived the wars and environmental disasters that destroyed what we 21st century humans know of as the world. (That was an incredibly long sentence…). Fourteen-year-old Querry Genn’s father, Laman, commands the group, and let’s just say that he’s not exactly the nicest leader. In his defense, Survival Colony Nine must deal with heat, starvation, and the Skaldi. What exactly are the Skaldi? Simply put, they’re monsters that can act like humans. They basically mean the end of the world. Half a year ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi, and now he can’t remember anything that happened before then. If he can regain his memory, Survival Colony Nine stands a chance against the Skaldi. If not, well let’s just say that Querry will end up six feet underground.

I don’t normally swear in book reviews, but when I do it’s because I’m blown away. So here goes nothing. Survival Colony Nine is fucking phenomenal. Okay, swearing over. Let’s continue with the rest of the review.

Move over, Alicia Keys. Survival Colony Nine‘s plot is hotter than the girl you’re singing about. This plot holds its own when compared to other science fiction novels, and it’s unlike any other YA book I’ve read recently. These twists are genius – nothing in this book is coincidental. I absolutely adore smart plots, and this novel’s plot defies my expectations. I wish I could fangirl over every single nuance, but alas, I’d probably get hate mail for spoiling such a perfect book. Sorry!

As for Joshua Bellin’s writing style, I am more than impressed. He mastered what it’s like to be a fourteen-year-old. Querry is easy to relate to. I definitely enjoyed his narration. What’s wonderful about adolescence is that it transcends settings; although I don’t live in a world with the Skaldi, I still managed to understand Querry’s struggles. Querry is such a great character that he deserves an essay just for himself, but I have a feeling no one would read it.

Simply put, Survival Colony Nine is a masterpiece. It’s smart, beautiful, and heart-wrenching.  Joshua Bellin raises questions about humanity and life, in addition to describing a bleak world of his own. I don’t even think it’s necessary to say this anymore, but I will definitely be reading the sequel!

Rating: 10 out of 10

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 23rd, 2014)


Source: ARC

Length: 336 pages (Hardcover)

ISBN #: 9781481403542



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