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Tankborn (Tankborn #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,251 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn famil
Kindle Edition, 383 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Lee & Low Books / Tu Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
"When is the DNA surely human? When is it not?"

"I speak. I feel. I laugh and cry." She broke off and looked away briefly. "Some things I want so badly I think I'll die of it. I do worship the Infinite. But to be told everyday that I'm not human..."

In the 400 years since the end of Earth, human society is a vastly different place on the Planet Loka. There are levitating cars, strange monstrous creatures, and babies that are suddenly taken by the government without any explanation. Best friends Ka
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
This is one of those very rare occasions when I feel comfortable recommending a book I didn’t enjoy myself. Tankborn is a story that raises some very important issues and manages to make all the necessary points while completely avoiding a condescending tone. It is a dystopian novel with elements of science fiction, and I think it’s safe to say that it stands out among the (too) many dystopian novels that seem to be growing like mushrooms these days.

There are three levels of society in Tankborn
Stacey (prettybooks)
Let’s just get straight to it: I loved Tankborn. If I’m being really, really honest, I wasn’t looking too forward to reading it. It’s the second to last book in my Dystopian August schedule and I had yet to come across a book that was mostly dystopian. I’ve had post-apocalyptic and science fiction, often with dystopian-type aspects (and some with none) but nothing like Matched, Divergent, The Giver or The Hunger Games – ‘traditional’ dystopian societies. The reason I was apprehensive about Tankb ...more
Tina (yAdultReview)
Original review posted at Nose in a Book

Oh, my goodness, is that a person of color on the cover of a YA novel? It is! And she’s beautiful, and Sandler is awesome for writing about women of color in a genre that is inundated with stories about white teenagers, their special powers and their absent parents. And that cover is beautiful by itself with all that green and blue. I would apologize for starting this review with a little politics, but seriously. This book is about two women of color (who
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Tankborn surprised me. What I initially assumed was simply a run-of-the-mill, churn-'em-out-quick young-adult dystopia, Tankborn emerges as a strong novel with compelling adult-ish themes about defining what humanity and beauty mean to every individual. Clocking in at a nice length of almost 400 pages, Karen Sandler creates a distinctive, dark and utterly readable world with her science fiction gem. I would put her indie-published Tankborn up there
At first I was hesitant on reading Tankborn. I don’t know why—I just was. I requested it from NetGalley on whim; I heard about it from Lenore’s August dystopian, but that was it. And when I saw it on NetGalley? I requested it to see what it was all about.

I almost gave up, fifty pages in. It takes a long time to get started, but when it does, it’s amazing. I’m so glad I didn’t give up because it’s such a powerful book.

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blurb, “A riveting, romantic, sci-fi mystery that explo
Kayla è una NGM, una non umana geneticamente modificata: concepita artificialmente in una capsula, presenta parte di DNA di origine animale. Tale DNA è in grado di dare ai soggetti che lo posseggono particolari caratteristiche: nel caso di Kayla, un'enorme forza nelle braccia. A questo punto probabilmente starete pensando che quindi Kayla sia una specie di super eroina. Niente di più sbagliato. Gli NGM del pianeta Loka sono infatti trattati in tutto e per tutto come schiavi. Privi della libertà, ...more
Generations ago, a select few fled Earth to colonize a new world. The rich who funded the project became known as "high-born," the scientists and engineers into "demi-status" and the laborers as "lowborn." The low born were only supposed to stay in indentured servitude for 50 years, but by that time, the caste system was too entrenched to break out of. Just when lowborn riots started becoming a serious problem, the GENs appeared. Gifted with the strength or senses of animals, with brains that co ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tankborn is a reference to how GENs (Genetically Engineered Non-natals) are created, rather than nurtured in a womb, they are in a tank. Because of this they are considered non-Human…even though they are mostly created with human DNA and maybe a bit of animal DNA to enhance physical attributes they would need on the future job assignment they are being created for. Because of their non-human status they are the “untouchables” of this society, both literally and figuratively.

Kayla and Mishalla ar
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Tankborn was definitely another reminder to me not to judge books by their covers, which I will undoubtedly continue to do ad infinitum. Still, I know I shouldn't. The only reason I requested this on NetGalley was because of the golden word dystopia in the description. If it says dystopia, I will read it. So yeah, the cover's not the best (and, yet again, does not seem to depict one of the main characters), but don't let that stop you.

The characters and the story both intrigued me right off. It
Aug 26, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really getting into dystopia types of books and really enjoyed reading this one. I liked the author's story of the future, DNA technology and the struggle to overcome matrix or appearance of what actually is reality.

However, I will say that it was not as an easy read as Delirium and XVI and a few others I have read. The beginning started really slow for me, and I almost lost interest. I understand the author was trying to describe the setting, but I found it really unnecessary (especially in
Kimberly Pauley
Mar 13, 2012 Kimberly Pauley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's kind of reading through the other reviews of this book, everyone is all "O dystopia!" and the reason I was excited to read it was because it's a science fiction book and I cut my teeth, so to speak, on science fiction. And, in the interest of disclosure, it's also published by the publisher of my new book (Cat Girl's Day Off), which is how I came by my copy.

On a planet settled by people who had fled Earth some years before, society is rigidly divided into castes (based on the ca
Sep 28, 2012 Tintaglia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Premetto che, contrariamente a quanto si legge in giro, questo NON è un distopico: è (merce molto più rara di questi tempi - oddio, non che i distopici come Suzanne Collins comanda siano proprio frequenti come margherite...) un ottimo romanzo di fantascienza per ragazzi, scritto con competenza, con una solida trama e la capacità di lasciare molte domande: non domande banali come "ma Tizio si metterà con Caia, o con Sempronia", nè "il pianeta Loka esploderà o la popolazione tirerà le cuoia per la ...more
I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Kayla is a GEN, a Genetically Engineered Non-Human, born into a life of servitude and a member of the lowest rung of society. Despite her life's hardships, she loves the people she has come to know as her family and is not looking forward to her official assignment at the age of 15. When she receives a mysterious package that she must deliver and is then assigned to serve a high ranking family, her ideas about h
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

On the distant world of Loka, lightyears away from Earth, humanity has changed. Separated into distinct, non-transmutable castes, Lokans run the spectrum from trueborn humans of untainted DNA and significant wealth to lowborn humans living in shanties and working menial jobs. At the very bottom of the hierarchy of power are the GENs – tankborns with human and animal DNA, as well as some machine integration, noted
Johaleesi (formerly JJiReads)
It's been a while since I've picked up a book that is mainly science fiction and enjoyed it so much. Karen Sandler introduces us to Loka, a planet that the people of Earth colonize in the future due to Earth's climate crumbling down, and in the process introduces us to a whole new vocabulary. Names of plants, animals, inanimate objects, all strange names for strange things. It is truly a fascinating new world. Fans of dystopia and a little known movie called "Avatar" will enjoy this.

Tankborn is
When earth became uninhabitable, the rich decided to pack up and head into space. Realizing they needed laborers to build the ships and their new homes, they brought along indentured servants creating instant hierarchy and discord. To placate the lowborn, the rich created another race to serve, these were the the Tankborn (rather than natural born). These new people were enhanced with animal dna and programmed with special skills that could help them in their labors. Kayla is a tankborn and at t ...more
Rachel Hartman
Nov 13, 2011 Rachel Hartman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, but I'm giving it a half-star bonus on principle (like I did with For The Win). I would rather see more 3.5-star books with a diverse cast and well-thought-out SF worldbuilding than 3.5-star books filled with the same old stuff.

I think now that this world is built, she'll be able to unclench a bit and have more fun with characterization in future installments. The people felt stiff to me, the romance a bit rushed, the conversations a bit lifeless.

The world really carried this. I want
Nov 29, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initial thoughts: slow moving in the first part, but that's a good thing for this book. A lot of the book involves very important (and interesting and creative) world-building, so it needs a patient reader. It picks up quite a bit later on and throws in a lot of things I didn't see coming. I would say this is not a book for a casual SF reader, mostly because the world takes a lot of dedication to understand. You've got to really enjoy that aspect of SF to enjoy the book.

I thought the romances we
Emotonal Reads
I wouldn't call this interracial, everyone seem to be of the same color, at least the couples, It's only the shade of the individual that separated them from GEN to True-born. It was all different shades of black.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the idea of how certain humans were created and how they used that to make an anarchy.
It did put me in mind of slavery but as with slavery there were alot of higher class people willing to fight for the lower. It did piss me off alot.

I would love t
Aug 27, 2011 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent world created by Karen Sandler. Believable and interesting. The Eastern influences were very interesting and one of my favorite aspects of the book. Took a turn that I was NOT expecting and appreciated.
Nov 13, 2015 Angela marked it as maybe-baby
13 November 2015: $1.99 on Kindle
At some point in the future, humans colonize the planet Loka. It is here on the continent of Svarga that different caste systems exist with True Humans at the top (gestated in the womb) while "Genetically Engineered Non-humans" exist to serve those above them. These GENS are born into tanks and fused with technology, a skill set (sket) and animal DNA.

As best friends Mishalla and Kayla embark on their separate assignments, new information comes to light to either destroy them or set them free.

Jesse Burgoyne
Sep 17, 2011 Jesse Burgoyne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Tankborn by Karen Sandler tells the story of fifteen year old Kayla and her best friend Mishalla. Kayla is waiting to be given an Assignment, something all GENs (Genetically Engineered Non-humans) receive when they turn fifteen. And then these GENs are sent away from their families, sometimes so far away they can never return, in order to complete these jobs. And, since GENs aren't allowed to use any form of communication except word of mouth, they usually never get the chance to speak to their ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Vicky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, ya
Tankborn is set on the planet: Loca, which is similar to Earth. The story is told from the perspectives of Kayla and Mishalla, and Trueborn, Devak. Kayla and Mishalla are GENS – Genetically Engineered Non-humans (GENs). They are at the very bottom of the social caste system and are considered basically as animals. Their entire existence is to serve as a slave to higher castes, which they do once they reach fifteen. They are not given the chance to be anything other than what they are programmed ...more
Allizabeth Collins
Tankborn by Karen Sandler begins with friends Kayla and Mishalla, two Genetically Engineered Non-humans, (GENs), and the futuristic caste society in which they live. Both girls live in the slumlands and are treated as vagrants because all GENs are created, modified, and born in tanks, not in a human mother's womb. Non-GENs get a choice in their upbringing and future, but for Kayla and Mishalla the future is bleak. The only assignment is that of slavery.[return][return] Kayla manages to be assign ...more
Rachel "Rai29"
Sep 19, 2011 Rachel "Rai29" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.
When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Mane
Amy Acosta
Sep 12, 2011 Amy Acosta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopias, space, sci-fi
I usually stay away from anything science fiction, but since this one was labeled as dystopian too (and I love those), I thought I should give it a try. I am very glad I did, because Tankborn has become a top favorite!

Humans left the Earth and settle on Loka, an arid planet with two suns and almost no green except in the genetically grown preserves. They survived by building a caste system, that kept everyone in its place. In an attempt to make lowborns more agreeable to high-born rule, they cr
J.C. Hart
Oct 10, 2011 J.C. Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Initially I only wanted to read it because of the cover, but once I’d received it, and actually taken the time to read the blurb, I was excited to dive in. I keep saying that I don’t want to read YA novels, but I think what I really mean is that I want something like this – something beautiful, something with impact. Books that have something to say about the world. This one has a lot to say.

I thought it was beautifully written, the images easily visualized even thoug
Kristin Lundgren
Mar 05, 2012 Kristin Lundgren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-sci-fi
This is a complex SF book for teens, but written at an adult level. While the characters could have been drawn even a little deeper, with more understanding of what they wanted, etc., that was really part of the plot - they didn't have any thoughts, feelings, or plans, or weren't supposed to. Their lives, as genetically enhanced people, were of extreme lowborn, GENs. They were shunned by the other castes, and were treated as many blacks were it the south before the Civil Rights Act. Separate sec ...more
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Karen Sandler published numerous romances for adults in the late '90s and early 2000s, then shifted to young adult science fiction in 2011 with the publication of TANKBORN by Lee and Low/Tu Books. AWAKENING, the second book in the trilogy, is now available. The third book will be released in Spring 2014.

Determined to let no genre stone be left unturned, Karen is also looking forward to the publica
More about Karen Sandler...

Other Books in the Series

Tankborn (3 books)
  • Awakening (Tankborn, #2)
  • Rebellion (Tankborn, #3)

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“I think one of the prophets stuttered when he dictated your specs,” Jal said, snickering. “Or the gene-splicer was daydreaming about his high-status trueborn love and he botched your programming.” 3 likes
“My nurture mother never would have reset me. And I was never a kit. Or a ‘female.’ I might be a non-human, but I’m not an animal. I’m a girl.” 3 likes
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