The Extinction Trials
Wilson’s début teen novel is an exciting fantasy thriller set in a dystopian future. The inhabitants of Earthasia eke out a miserable existence struggling to survive on ever-dwindling food resources and in cramped, congested living spaces on their environmentally damaged continent. Neighbouring continent Piloria, across the dangerous seas, with its abundant vegetation and vast tracts of land, offers hope for a better life. There is just one problem. It is inhabited by fearsome dinosaurs and monsters, both on land and under water.
Fifteen-year-old Stormchaser and her teammate Lincoln are among the hundred successful Finalists chosen by the all-powerful Stipulators in a bid to wipe out Piloria’s deadly inhabitants. With promises of unlimited food rations, better housing and healthcare for the winning team and their family, contestants must choose whom they can trust with their lives. Recounted from the alternating perspectives of Stormchaser and Lincoln, this novel, the first volume in a series, follows in the tradition of The Hunger Games trilogy but would be suitable for a pre-teen or young teen readership. The contrast between Earth’s two continents is well depicted: one evocative of a prehistoric paradise, the other an unsettling prediction of the human race’s potential future. Important ethical questions about the effect of human actions on the environment and the animal kingdom are posed. This is also a novel which underlines the value of friendship and trust. The Extinction Trials is thought-provoking and a good, fast-paced read with an unexpected ending. I am looking forward to the second volume already.