Author: Ben Oliver
Publisher: Chicken House
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Expected date of publication: 5 May 2020
Synopsis from goodreads:
“Luka Kane will die in the Loop, a prison under the control of artificial intelligence.
Delays to his execution are granted if Luka submits to medical experiments. Escape is made impossible by a detonator sewn into his heart.
But on Luka’s seventeenth birthday, life in the Loop is altered: the government-issued rain stops falling and rumours of unrest start to spread. Breaking out might be his only chance to survive… and to stop a catastrophe from deleting humankind.”
I managed to win an ARC copy of this book at YALC this year and I was immediately taken in by the quote that was included on the front cover of my copy: “This will pierce a hole through the right atrium of your heart… It will track your movements. It will connect you to the loop, and, most importantly, it will detonate and will kill you if you step out of line.”
What a quote to entice a reader! I liked the sound of the book and I was in the mood for a bit of a thriller read so I picked it up and I’m so glad I did.
Initially, the scene is set and you come to understand life in the Loop where things are constant and expected and very, very monotonous and mundane. Luka Kane is a great main character and I liked his personality with his don’t look back and just keep moving attitude to everything that happens to him. Even though he is segregated from his fellow prison mates, he still manages to make friends and meets up with them thanks to his friendly Warden.
So we learn about the Loop and I especially appreciated the one sentence chapters in quick succession to reiterate that Luka Kane does the same thing every day, just like his prison mates. I started to wonder where the story would go and as soon as I thought that, something happens.
The pace changes, the tension creeps in, and suddenly this isn’t about life in the Loop anymore. Luka Kane has to battle through darkness of more than one kind, and he soon discovers that if he wants to survive, he will have to make brutal decisions.
I couldn’t believe how tense I felt reading this book when things take a different turn – it really felt like watching a scary movie but you don’t know what’s coming or what’s going to happen. I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of reading The Loop and being surprised and shocked when certain things happen, but when it came to the reveal at the end with regards to why anything in the book happened, I have to say it fell a little flat for me. I had a certain expectation or hope for which direction the story would go, and I just felt disappointed with where it went. But I think that is purely personal preference and what I prefer to read over what someone else might absolutely love. That being said, I still liked this book regardless of my feelings over the ending and I’m still keen to see where the story goes.
The Loop is the first in a futuristic trilogy written by Ben Oliver. With The Maze Runner vibes, it’s the next dystopian thriller to have on your list to read.