Friday, July 10, 2015


Alive by Scott Sigler
Del Rey: 7/14/15
eBook review copy, 368 pages
hardcover ISBN13: 9780553393101
Generations Trilogy, book 1

Alive by Scott Sigler is a very highly recommended first book in a new YA trilogy.

When she wakes up because something is biting her on the back of her neck all she knows is that it's her 12th birthday and it isn't right. Slowly it becomes clear that she is not in her bed at home, trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep. She is in some kind of box, or coffin, and it is pitch black. Her arms and legs are restrained. She has to struggle to stop whatever is biting her, escape and get out. When she does get out, she sees she is in a room with other coffins and she's wearing too tight clothes. Her coffin is marked M. Savage, which she guesses is her name, Em. When Em hears shouts coming from inside one of the other coffins, she manages to get another girl out, Springate. Together they get more children out, boys and girls.

Today is the 12th birthday for all of them - but they don't look 12. They look older, stronger, maybe 18 or older. How did they suddenly get these adult bodies? Together these children must find food and water while trying to figure out where they are and what has happened to the adults. With bones, skeletons, and the gruesome evidence that some kind of battle took place in the past that resulted in a great loss of life, what could possibly have happened to the adults? And where are they? And why can't they easily remember things they should know?

Em is chosen as the leader of their small group and they set off to try and find food, water and help. Her small group encounters another group of children/adults and the two groups join together to seek their common goals: sustenance, information, and answers.

I've enjoyed Sigler's books in the past and was anxious to see what he did with a YA book. Sigler has already proven he's an excellent writer, and that is the case in Alive too. The horror/terror found in his other novels is certainly present. This time there is no strong language, but there are plenty of horrific sights and certainly terror. Sigler writes Alive using short sentences and in a first person narrative, which made sense to me on several levels. These are children waking up in adult bodies and they have found themselves in uncertain circumstances. It makes sense that thoughts and sentences are abbreviated as they puzzle their way through this unknown habitat. I also appreciate the immediacy of the first person tense because it helps create tension.

The best recommendation, though, is that I'm anxious to read book two and find out what happens to this group next. I've avoided reading and reviewing a lot of the YA fiction out there because I know there are plenty of reviewers who enjoy YA. Anything Scott Sigler writes is worth making an exception for because I know several things are true: he will present a well-paced and carefully plotted novel with some twists and surprises, and the characters in his novels will also be well-development and show growth. Win/win.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Del Rey via Netgalley for review purposes.

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