Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 518
thrilling dystopian sci-fi
Overall rating
Writing Style
The Matrix meets Maze Runner, THE LOOP is the fascinating start to an engaging YA dystopian/sci-fi trilogy. Luka Kane is a prisoner in The Loop, a circular prison for convicted children, who have been sentenced to death for their crimes. In The Loop, life can be really challenging. They are isolated, used for painful energy extraction, and await their time until they can Delay or be killed. Every 6 months, they are offered the opportunity to Delay their death sentence in exchange for some painful procedure, which may also result in their death - all done without any treatments or painkillers. They are generally treated as less than human.

Luka is hanging on as best he can, living his life as much as he can within The Loop. He begins to overhear rumors of war - something unheard of since the third world war, which decimated the population and resulted in one government. There is nothing left to fight for - or so he thinks. When a Delay is provided off schedule and things begin to change, the prisoners of The Loop will have to figure out how to survive under new conditions and understand what is happening in the world they left behind.

What I loved: The premise and plot of this book hooked me from the first page, and I was all-in to figure out what is going on in The Loop and the world in this dangerous future. The cracks in the seeming perfection become readily apparent in discerning how wealth has drastically separated Alts (people who could afford genetically designed offspring and technological upgrades) and Regulars (those who could not) in housing, job opportunities, and healthcare. These themes along with those of prison reform and humane treatment of inmates are really strong and thought-provoking.

I found Luka to be particularly compelling. We see the world from his point-of-view, which is sometimes naïve and hopeful and other times really cynical - all to be expected. The other characters play a more minor role in the story, as this is really about his journey.

As a note, there are some really tough scenes in the book, related to torture, punishment, inhumane treatment of prisoners (children), unethical experimentation, murder, and war. It does have thriller/horror elements through these things, as a heads up for sensitive audiences.

Final verdict: Action-packed and highly engaging, THE LOOP is a thought-provoking sci-fi/dystopian series that I am eager to continue. Highly recommend for fans of THE MAZE RUNNER, THE 5TH WAVE, and EVE.
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