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Extraction #1


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"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.

406 pages, Hardcover

First published July 22, 2014

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About the author

Stephanie Diaz

3 books267 followers
Stephanie Diaz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and dog, writing stories and working as a freelance editor. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in film production. She is the author of the Extraction series, a YA sci-fi trilogy published by Macmillan. Over the past five years, she has worked with numerous self-published and agented writers to build their craft and polish their manuscripts, including award-winning author Don M. Winn. Learn more about her work online at www.stephaniediazbooks.com. Follow her on twitter: @StephanieEDiaz.

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Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
July 29, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
Book One of the Extraction series
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from NetGalley:

Summary (from Goodreads):

"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.

What I Liked:

Obviously, I didn't love this book. Or even really like it. I can't say I like it, either. I wanted to like it though - I mean, come on. Science fiction? Intense action scenes? Earth's Core? Lethal moon acid? This book sounded kickbutt! And science fiction, no less! And... it's a tour review book. My tour post was originally a review one - well, that got changed, because we can't have a 1-star review on tour!

Basically, Clementine is one of ten sixteen-year-old children to be chosen to be taken to the Core. These ten are the elite, the best of the best, the smartest or strongest (or both) teenagers of this year. Clementine's best friend Logan didn't get chosen last year. He'll be killed at age twenty, along with other rejects. But Clementine is chosen. She is taken to the Core for training. But she slowly realizes that the Commander has been lying to her, to everyone, and that there is so much more at risk than Extraction testing and training.

I was not at all impressed with the first half, hmm, three-quarters of this book. See the next section. However, in the last quarter of the book, I was interested. Or maybe desperate to finish because, dear God, this book is a carbon copy of Divergent. With the space aspect.

You'll say, oh, but the space/planets/moon acid thing is SO BIG AND DIFFERENT. Well, it is, but it's not. We really don't get to see much of this aspect until the last 25% of the book, in which suddenly the moon is super important. So, the last 25% was okay. Interesting, but ehhh, I really just wanted to be finished and be done. Sorry to say that (but not really sorry at all).

What I Did Not Like:

I actually made a list of things that I found were disturbingly similar to Divergent. Ready? *Possibly* spoilers. Maybe not though. Depends on what you think is a spoiler. Nothing major.

1. The simulations: Clementine is put under a simulation several times, for intelligence tests. She has to make decisions in the simulations, to show her character, her obedience to the government, her compliance. There is even a FINAL simulation, like how Tris had that last simulation to battle her fears. Eerily similar, eh?

2. Sam (Eric): in this book, there is a character named Sam. He is a ruthless young lieutenant, just under the command of the Core's leader (Commander Charlie, we'll get to him). Sam is bloodthirsty and unfeeling, and takes pleasure in showing off his strengths and picking on weaklings and acting smug. He is just like Eric, but there is one thing that he does that is just like Peter.

3. Oliver (Al): in this book, there is a boy named Oliver. He is weak, has bad eyesight, sucks at fighting, constantly needs people to tell him he'll make it... and there are a few other similarities that I won't mention. HE IS AL.

4. Ariadne (Christina): if we have Al, we have Christina. Ariadne is feisty and tell-it-like-she-wants. She sticks with Clementine, and stands up for her. She fights her own battles and isn't too bad in training. Christina much?

5. Shots: there are monthly shots, to ensure compliance among Core citizens. In Divergent, the Dauntless were given "tracker" shots, which controlled theirs minds. Which is basically what the shots in this book did.

6. Clementine gets chosen/i.e. she is special (like Tris): Clementine is one of ten teens that get chosen per year. Yet, she has a mental fortitude (like Tris's divergence). Clementine has a clear mind after a certain intelligence simulation, whereas everyone else... doesn't. I say Clementine is divergent, yeah?

7. Ariadne telling Clementine that it's okay to be afraid: and I quote,

"It's not a bad thing to be afraid." (45%)

You have to understand the context of the situation, but this reminded me of everyone saying that Tris was fearless, of Four saying that fear wakes Tris up. This quote by Ariadne is basically saying that Clementine hasn't been afraid of anything (or shown her fear). Ariadne is telling Clementine to be vulnerable. Definitely a parallel.

8. Sam almost raping Clementine: this is the possible spoiler I was thinking of. It was kind of a drop in the bucket, in this book, and after it happens, we never hear of it again (like it doesn't affect Clementine AT ALL, though she fears Sam - for other reasons). Definitely something Peter would do.

9. Clementine beating everyone in the obstacle course and almost setting a new record: Clementine blows everyone out of the water at the obstacle course. Let me break this down for you: she isn't used to physical activity, but after her strenuous workout (several miles, pushups, etc.), she does this obstacle course in like four minutes. The record (held by Sam, after years of training) is around three minutes, and everyone else got like seven minutes. TELL ME THAT ISN'T RIGHT. An unfit, non-athletic, tired girl beats everyone on her first try, and almost beats Sam? Yeah right.

But the parallel with Divergent - it's like Tris with the simulations. Tris has record-breaking times (though her times actually make sense). Tris is marked when she starts putting up good scores - just like Clementine. Once Clementine starts achieving exemplary things (like the UNBELIEVABLE time at the obstacle course), she is marked.

10. Clementine setting a record in the Phantom simulation game: basically, see #1 or #9. The Phantom simulation is different - it's a game simulation (not a fear landscape), but OF COURSE Clementine puts up record-breaking kills, even more than the legendary Beechy's (um, wut. Is his name supposed to be a pun? What a horrible name). Just like Tris and her divergent ability in the fear landscape.

11. Clementine living in a poor world with little food choice: basically, Clementine is an Abnegation. Except she's an orphan. But she lives in a poor, poor world on the Surface, and she hasn't seen most foods. So when she gets to the Core, and sees all of the food choices, she's like whatttt?? Just like Tris and the burger.

12. "Training" to be soldiers (though no one knows what/who they'll be fighting): they take the top ten most "Promising" teenagers of this year, and train them to be soldiers. Yup, you heard me. All of these nerds get some serious physical training, especially in guns. And what are they fighting? Who knows! At least in Divergent, it makes sense that the Dauntless would learn to fight and use weapons. In Divergent, no one knows who they are fighting (until it is revealed about Erudite and Abnegation). The parallel is very, very similar (I won't say more though, in case someone hear wants to read this book).

I could actually go on, honestly. I stopped listing similarities. This book is entirely too much like Divergent - you can't TELL ME that these are all coincidences. You can't tell me that the space/moon craziness aspect makes this book totally different. Yeah, okay. It's just another dystopian novel in which the poor, everyday people revolt against the elite, and try to destroy the intricate and larger-than-life system that the elite has created. *rolls eyes*

Talk about originality. But anyway, the similarities between this book and Divergent weren't the only things I didn't like about this book. Similarities aside, this book wasn't that great. It was kind of boring, totally predictable, and not that interesting. I didn't care for Clementine (good God, she is dumb. For such a "smart" girl, she is stupid. That stunt in the crowd, looking for Logan? WTF). I have no feelings toward Beechy, Ariadne, or Oliver. Or anyone. I guess I just didn't care. Unforgettable characters? HA! Give me two days, I'll forget all about them. And this book. Cross your fingers.

The romance is pretty horrible, too. Nonexistent, but it's kind of there. We know Clementine loves Logan, but in the end, they both realize they're in love with each other? Or it's adrenaline when they kiss? Honestly, it feels like bulls***. Everything Clementine did, she did for Logan. Which is noble and all... but she loses so much of herself. Like, I don't want to spoil it, but was losing SOME CERTAIN THINGS worth it? Nahhh. Not in my opinion. Maybe that's selfish, but also? Saving the world (in a general sense) is more important than one person's life. No matter how important that person is. In my opinion.

Okay I'm finished. No more.

Would I Recommend It:

No. Not at all. And not just because it's Divergent. Don't misunderstand me - I LOVED Divergent. I hate copycats, carbon copies, etc. Don't bother with this one. It's honestly not that original, not that captivating, and not worth my time.


1.5 stars -> rounded down to 1 star, because what the heck. I want to say the space aspect might have saved this one... but not for me. In general, this book wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Stephanie Diaz.
Author 3 books267 followers
September 21, 2015
My book baby is out in the world at last!! I hope some of you readers enjoy it, and maybe even love it. Can't wait to share the rest of Clementine's story in the next installments. :-)

Extraction is on sale for only $2.99 on all e-book platforms for a limited time! Spread the word to enter to win awesome prizes! More info at steph-diaz.blogspot.com.
Profile Image for Michael Waters.
12 reviews146 followers
December 23, 2013
Wow. WOW. This book is totally addicting. Also, Stephanie is an evil genius. (You now officially have permission to picture her cackling like a mad scientist.)

UPDATE: Here is what Stephanie looks like:

511 reviews209 followers
July 10, 2014
Let's get on with already. I've been staring at the blank screen for almost an hourrrr now for something snazz-tastic to come up and beg me, but na-nana-na-nah! I won't just give in, because the more it pleads, the sweeter the taking. Yeah, noooooo... I don't what I am smoking. I think it's the air; recently, it's been begetting these things in me: sneezes, struggles to breathe, dizziness, lapses in my remembrance of all the math and Mesopotamian crap I read few months ago, lapses in my recreational reading. There must be something amiss here. THERE IS EVILNESS AFOOT!!!

ARE THEY TRYING TO *GASP* MAKE ME INTO IGNORANT CATTLE FOR THE TERRIBLE, INEVITABLE, TRITE, GRATUITOUSLY EVIL, RIGHTEOUS FUTURE TO COME? *GASPING* *SNEEZING* *what is the formula for cosine(A+B)??? i can no remember(I do, actually, but why ruin the mood)*

Bleh. Isn't this how it goes every. forsaken. time? I come up eagerly every. forsaken. time to these dystopian/futuristic novels but the only books they hold up candles to are the ones that well, couldn't even manage to hold my interest long enough for me to finish. But this book, finish I did!

There is a pattern here that I have grown weary of, when I remember once saying that I will never, ever sigh/groan at the influx of nonsensically evil regimes and people overthrowing them. If you've already a considerable, or even average, collection of similar novels you've read, I assure you you'll be able to track the story's progress without even needing to read much beyond chapter three. LOOK! I made you psychic! This is going to be awesome, innit?- but wait, you must go hide because the aforementioned terrible regime making me forget all the intricacies of the Binomial Theorem don't like mystics. You can resist. You can overthrowwwww themmmm!!!! Runnnnnn, baby!

Again, bleh. For those of you who don't fall in with the resistance, here's the banal formula they follow: girl carves a way into the utopia, utopia is an absolute dystopia, there is a resistance(I am starting one, you're welcome to join so long you ain't a Wormtail), girl is tortured, learns of resistance, fight ensues, turns out there's reason behind the dystopian aspect but it actually doesn't make a fucking sense and the evil people are just deluding themselves, girl saves the day blah! blah! blah!

Here we have the story of Clementine, a name that has never agreed with me(much like my own), and that is pretttty much what follows.

Clementine works, rots, suffers on the surface of planet with a moon covered in pink clouds*(which was new, so I liked). People are either make it through a test, which beams them down unlike the guy calling to Scotty into place where the elites liver, or just go on until they die, having filled their breeding quota, of course. The rest, you can read in the blurb which gives away too fucking much, I daresay, since a few specific beginnings and tribulations mentioned start about more than halfway into the story. Recheck yoself, buddy.

One of the major problems with these stories is lack of consideration of the actual workings of human population. Evil regimes are gratuitously so. Gratuitousness doesn't agree with the efficiency they seek to impose upon their views of the future. Evil regimes can't be evil for the sake of being evil. There needs be purpose; a proper fucking explanation, not one to be torn apart in the clumsy, red hands of a sixteen-year-old resisting snottiness and privilege. Hell, in much of history, the gratuitousness we talk of has generally come of soldiers, stagnant overlords; not of men, sometimes women, bent upon an agenda. (I could be wrong. Eh.)

And the populace. All I comprehend is brain stuff! brain stuff! brain stuff! because that's all there is. And also some pew! brain stuff! pew pewpew! brain stuff!

To begin with, I had tumultuous relationship with Clementine and her plight. I wasn't interested, nor was she interesting- one of the blandest, most predictable creatures. However, her hints were like a bloody elixir to my dwindling, theoretical passion for her story. The story still followed the road taken too many times for its good, but there were character dynamic I was interested in. Unfortunately, most of it didn't pan out.

Clementine herself. I could see the author trying to create a character carve a special place of her own, not as a ramification of her conditions or speshulness, but because she worked for it with determination. Yet because of hastiness, it all came tumbling down and our dear protagonist, a beaten down and tired girl, almost defeats a veteran's time on her first try, finds the cheat in a simulation game she's just discovered the existence of and by the by, also happens to have memorized the solution to Yates' equation. Just like that. Man, I wish I had the caliber of these characters. Unless the void of personality is a prerequisite. Then I don't want in. No, thank youse!

Clementine and Logan. He's the boy she left behind. Albeit their relationship mostly developed in her reminiscence and yearning and comparing, it engaged me. Not because Logan was a particularly vibrant or expressive character; it's the way she described him. Beautiful, hardworking, caring, intelligent, obedient yada yada some version already bored... but then my attention snagged on the obedient part. Obedience is a way of survival in their world. So it follows that obedience would be a desirable character in a partner. I wanted exploration, development more!moremore! I demand it! I was disappointed.

Clementine and Ariadne. Nope, she ain't loving with her. Don't visit here for girl-on-girl time. I liked the tentative, abashedly hostile, understanding friendship they develop. However, it isn't spotlighted or even plays a major part in either of the girls' progress as individuals.

Clementine and Beechy. He's a character introduced muchhho latero. The knight in black velcro. Or that is how I picture him. There are slight, trembling sparks that jump from one to another that were nonsensical! fillers! badly written fillers that drove me insane! pointless because there seems to be no love triangle! then what the fuck?!?! Perplexing, needless and exasperating. Her friendship with this other guy proves you don't need sparks for a close, platonic relationship with a specimen of the sex(es) you have a preference for.

Basically, characters and their dynamics? Floppity flop, baby. I don't know what's left for me to objectively review in order to help Stephanie Diaz's debut find its audience. The writing is average, and sometimes thespian- and seriously, if the plot and characters aren't worth your time, the writing won't change shit. I had lots of notes to dissect the whole frame and actions and decisions of this world, but I'm not writing a, or in the mood for(like I sometimes get), a dissertation.

But I will say that to get invested in this story will require a great deal of suspension of belief and common sense. Also, not fulfilling in the most basic sense. I just have so many questions about this world.

This world. Right. A tiny positive for The Extraction is the development and introduction of a twist(was it rrrealy a twist???) much later on in the story that YA novels of this trend don't ususally follow. And if there's going to be a war, it might actually get interesting. This world, not the characters.

In any case, on an even more subjective level, I had various peeves, including but not limited to: instant know-how of swimming, a sexual assault that is not given its due diligence-almost brushed over and holy fuck! is that guy trying to make an excuse or what saying that the perpetrator is unkind to everyone! gee, she should be so thankful that it wasn't personal. This is one of the nicer guys. *sigh* Blah blah blah lack of test tube babies, which would be the logical course for a government that wants workers, not families but loggiiiiic! dear logic!

Logic has been more of an impediment, as opposed to a precondition, for this bandwagon.

416 pages of not worth it, unless you like the formula and it gets you off(I remember when I was in that fleeting phase).

And on this note, I shall depart while you decide.

*Coincidentally, the epic(in its immensity) story I started telling my brother at night back in May or something also has deadly pink clouds covering a moon.

Review copy provided by St Martin's Press.
Profile Image for Debby.
583 reviews539 followers
April 16, 2021
1 star

You know, I'm one of those people who has a love-hate affair with the dystopian genre. I love the possibilities, and the nostalgia about all the good series there have been in the past. So even when I'm disappointed, I keep coming back and giving it more chances. However, the more I read, the harder and harder it is to impress me. And sadly, Extraction failed to impress me on any front.

Let's break down the premise of Extraction and look at its influences.

- Extraction takes place in a world where the moon is poisonous. It's dripping acid onto the planet, which makes it unsafe to live on the Surface. In fact, there is only one settlement left on the Surface, which is protected by an acid shield. (Under the Never Sky)

- In this society, people are divided into communities based on their class (or "Promise"). The lower class live in different layers of the planet - Surface, Crust, Mantle, and Lower - and the elite live in the Core. They live privileged lives with plenty of food, resources, and opportunities while the lower classes are basically starving. (The Hunger Games)

- The people on the Surface are generally the lowest of the low. They work in work camps, like slaves, and population control is being enforced to prevent rebellions, as there have been in the past. Indeed, if people do not show enough Promise they are resolutely executed by max age 20. (The Hunger Games / Dualed)

- So what is Promise, you ask? Basically a measure of intelligence, strength, and obedience. People take an aptitude test for it when they turn 16. If they score well enough, and thus are "Promising", they are "Extracted", and get to live in the elite Core and survive past age 20. (Divergent / The Testing / Pawn)

- If they do not show enough Promise, they will be forced to work to the death in the work camps and have children to sustain the population (while they are age 16-20). Indeed no one in this society actually knows who their parents are (except for privileged families in the Core). (The Chemical Garden)

- The MC, Clementine, has a significant other on the Surface (although they've never really established their relationship out of fear), but he did not test as Promising in his year. When she passes the test, she has to leave him behind, which is awful. They have a dramatic goodbye. (The Hunger Games / Pawn)

- When she gets to the Core, (Dualed)

- And after this first test as new citizens of the Core, the Extractions are cleansed of physical imperfections and surgically altered to improve muscle mass, after which they are put into a rigid training program, featuring obstacle courses, simulated battles, and intelligence tests. (The Hunger Games / Divergent)

Now that might all be a bit overwhelming, but let me be clear on one thing: the story does deviate and gain some sense of originality AFTER all of this. You just have to sit through the first half of the book, being smacked upside the head with all these parallels, but then you're good! Sadly, the "original" plot also failed to impress me. I will say that this is more of a sci-fi dystopia than I was expecting, so in some sense that did surprise me in a positive way. However, I felt many of the plot twists were still extremely predictable. The world building seemed pretty implausible to me (which is sad, considering dystopias are most effective when you can in fact imagine them happening in real life), and the plot resolutions were oftentimes way too simplistic (i.e. the MC has to cut a wire to disable a system - conveniently this one wire, amongst thousands, is the only silver one). Action sequences were bizarre and confusing (i.e. MC is being attacked, in the middle of a battle with guns and lasers, but her ally pulls the guy off her - doesn't shoot him but says she'll distract him??), and the MC was just magically gifted whenever necessary to the plot (i.e. she climbed a building exactly ONE time, and later claims that climbing - that's the thing she excels at).

But more than anything, because of the slow build up to an actual plot, I just couldn't bring myself to care about any aspect of this book. I didn't care about the main character, whose nondescript personality is... exactly that. I really didn't care about her romance with Logan, because having a relationship already established before the book begins just never works for me. I had exactly zero feels reading kissing scenes between them. ZERO. And I like to feel things. And the other characters are practically cardboard placeholders fulfilling necessary roles in the story. I just... I don't know. It didn't work for me.

Summing Up:

I keep thinking the next dystopia I pick up will prove me wrong but... it's not Extraction, that's for sure. The story lacked in originality, interesting characters, and an engaging storyline. It pretty much put me to sleep. Three times. And made me put off reading it for almost a week. And that's just sad. I'd recommend you pass on this one.

GIF it to me straight!


*eARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z..
189 reviews1,418 followers
July 13, 2015
Buy this book on AMAZON
or buy this book on BookDepository with FREE WORLDWIDE SHIIPPING

I received a free finished copy of this book from the publisher (St. Martin's Press) in exchange for an honest review and read along with BookBusters. All opinions are my own.

2.5 of 5 stars (Please read my rating system further below). WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW ON YOUTUBE HERE

My rating system: (I do use half stars.)
5 - I do not use the 5 star. Not because a book might not be worthy, but because a book is never perfect.
4 - I loved it! There weren't too many flaws, and I had no trouble getting through it. (A 4 star rating is the highest rating I've ever given a book.)
3 - I enjoyed the book, but there we're flaws that made me enjoy it less.
2 - I finished the book, but there were too many flaws for me to enjoy it.
1 - I could not finish the book, and I probably did not finish it....
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,385 reviews975 followers
June 18, 2014
Publication Date: 22nd July 2014 from St Martins Griffin.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.

Welcome to Extraction testing.”
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

And here we are again with yet more awesome Young Adult fiction, another terrific start to what is going to be a series, and this was a fast and furiously addictive read with a heck of a lot of edge of the seat action alongside some quieter and more contemplative moments where the characters shine through. Brilliant.

Ok its true that I’m a bit of a sucker for this type of novel – my No 1 read of last year was “Red Rising” and I’m a huge Hunger Games fan, so this hit the spot very nicely for me and will definitely draw in its target audience and give them something to love. The author manages to walk the line between the “greatest hits” if you like of young adult dystopia and some new and improved idea’s then pulls it all together in a wonderful way. Well constructed and well written it was a pretty perfect start.

I was rather fond of Clem. She muddles through but always has one focus – Save Logan – and I liked that the author avoided the terrible cliche of a love triangle. There are some well known plot lines here – the test at a certain age to see where you fit if, the eden that is not as it first appears and the evil dictator who seems benevolent at first glance – but its all wrapped up in a tremendously clever premise, and I enjoyed it all thoroughly. Without giving too much away, I thought the set up was excellent to prepare us for what is to come, the ending leaves you wanting more but also completes the current tale and wraps up enough that you are satisfied. The heart of the story is intelligent and well drawn and it is a definite page turner.

Overall a great read and yep I’m on board for the whole of this series wherever it may go. There is much to discover…

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Jess.
225 reviews24 followers
July 10, 2016
DNF. Stopped around page 90.

Oh, Extraction. I wanted so badly to like you. I really did. Unfortunately, I made it only about 90 pages in before I just had to put you down. I might eventually try to continue you, but to be honest, there's nothing drawing me back.

When I started Extraction I was expecting an exciting sci-fi with high stakes and a strong, passionate romance that makes it impossible for Clementine to leave Logan behind. I got... none of these things. Sure it was sci-fi, and it has some interesting elements to it. I like the idea that people took to different levels of the Earth in order to try and protect themselves - although I'm pretty sure it'd be impossible to live near the core, so... how are they doing that? I like the idea of the shield protecting them from the moon's acid smoke - although, since when does the moon give off acid smoke? How did that start? Starting to see why this isn't working for me? Even the aspects I like are marred with questions that are essential to understanding why these things are the way they are. I wish they had been explained at the same time as the so-called solutions they came up with were.

Now what about those high stakes I thought I was promised? Meh. There were some moments I was supposed to feel tense or scared for Clementine and Logan. I know I was supposed to; that's how it read. But did it actually raise any stakes for me? Nope. Did it create tension? Nope. Did it manipulate my emotions like scenes of that nature are supposed to? Sadly, no. I know that things were bad and that life was dangerous, I could read that. But the writing gave me no feelings about the fact that things were bad and dangerous. It was a lot of telling and not a lot of making me care.

As for the romance, well, I just wasn't feeling it. There was nothing there that made me ship them, let alone anything that would make me feel like Clementine should risk her only chance at safety ever for this guy. There was some sweet backstory but it didn't feel powerful. It wasn't convincing, nor did it even really establish them as an actual couple. They almost had a couple of moments but they kept getting interrupted. There was no passion, just a dull "I like this guy. I want him to kiss me." I'm sorry, but that does not a ship make. I wanted to like them and I wanted to want Clementine to do something about having to leave him to die. But I just didn't care.

I know this sounds a little harsh, but I honestly just wasn't being drawn into this book at all. I promise to be honest when I'm writing reviews, so this is me being honest. I was disappointed. To be fair, I really didn't get that far into the book. It's entirely possible that everything picks up one or two chapters after the point at which I put it down. If you've read it and it does, let me know and I'll give it another shot. And I am still curious about life in the Core. (No, unfortunately I didn't even make it that far). I just wasn't connecting with the story I got. I wasn't feeling anything - not the stakes, not the connection between Clementine and Logan, not the fear that she's supposed to be feeling, nothing. There was nothing there to get me invested in anything. I just... didn't care. Sorry, Extraction. You just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
July 22, 2014
In the world of Kiel, people from the Surface are tested on their sixteenth birthdays to see whether they are worthy of living in the Core. Maybe five people are picked per year. Clementine is determined to make it, and to do well enough to convince the Core people to change their mind about Logan, her brilliant and strong boyfriend who happens to be disabled. When she does make it to the Core, it is a struggle to fit in and excel. Especially because the Core sees the Surface as an enemy, still.

I have to give it to Stephanie Diaz. She does a good job of making the division between the Core, Surface, and other layers seem plausible. The Surface people did revolt, and lost hard. They're all killed off before they turn twenty, and a population of mostly children doesn't have much potential military force. There's an acid rain that plagues the surface and also keeps them from becoming upwardly mobile.

EXTRACTION definitely has some narrative influence from the dystopian trend. However, it does slot more into the rising science fiction trend as the story goes on. There is much more to Clementine's world than there initially appears to be. EXTRACTION also avoids the dreaded love triangle. Any gestures towards it are mere feints, and the boy who would usually be the other leg of the triangle is not a mysterious bad boy but a petty, cruel villain with the merest shade of sympathetic backstory.

I thoroughly enjoyed EXTRACTION, even with the brutality of life on the Surface and the boot camp in the Core. The romance between Logan and Clementine is both sweet and strong, two people who love each other deeply and have each other's backs. I like that their love story was allowed to stand on its own.

And for those who aren't sold, I have one word: aliens.
Profile Image for CJ.
629 reviews34 followers
July 21, 2014
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz came to me as an Advance Reading Copy from Goodread's Giveaways. It is a story similar to The Hunger Games but with a grittier reality base story. I find the premise of testing children when they reach the age of 16 to find and train the brightest and fittest to increase the odds of survival on a hostile planet a much more believable scenario than a government who steals your children to fight in a battle to the death as revenge for an ancient uprising. Now I really liked The Hunger Games, but Extraction is much more believable and equally enjoyable. The bared to the bones existence of the surface dwellers is disturbing and the fervent desires to achieve and be chosen as one of the few to be picked to dwell at the Core just to survive is remarkably stark. Then to find that life at the Core is no bed of roses is heartbreaking. Sometimes its hard to tell between the good and the bad, the trustworthy and untrustworthy. The extremes of the Hunger Games made it easy. In Extraction, nothing is easy, most of all ... living.

This is such a good read. I can't wait for the next installment.
Profile Image for Anthony.
58 reviews5 followers
August 1, 2014
I did see some similarities between this book and Divergent, but I liked how Extraction did it better than Divergent. So, it actually had a few steps up.

And to say this book was like Divergent would be a gross over statement, anyway. The plot lines were very different--a few plot development similarities aren't near enough to equate one book with another.

I'm not a huge fan of hardcore sci-fi, and I think this could be classified as such, but it was tastefully done. There was some weird sci-fi stuff, but the main plot was close enough to what I know for me not to mind at all.

The writing was excellent and I found myself trapped in the story from the very beginning.The author did a great job of convincing me of Clementine's and Logan's love, even though Logan wasn't in it that much--which is quite a feat. So the character development was very good. The plot itself was also excellent, and well paced and well developed.

And the end of the book...well...that was quite a ride. I thought the climax was superbly done...

A great read. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for Paula M.
546 reviews643 followers
August 4, 2014
You can also read my review here and ENTER THE GIVEAWAY.

I don't like book comparing. Loathed it, actually. It brings false expectations and angry readers with raging  disappointments. I must admit, I did compare Extraction from Divergent, from a lot of dystopia books that I've ever read even. How can I not? The blurb already did it for us. And as I finished it, I was completely torn. It's not what I'm hoping for, but I wasn't disappointed either. Am I the only one who ever had this feeling?

Extracted started pretty slow for me but I just realized that this is a first book in a series therefore all information might be necessary. To be completely honest, Extraction is pretty hard for me to review. There's just a lot of conflicting issues for me. It's a case of "ugh-i hate-this but i-also-love-that." I know, it doesn't make sense. But to be fair, Dystopia isn't really my cup of tea. I tend to DNF them a lot. So because I'm still a little confuse, I'll just break it down to my Cons and Pros.


1. Similarities  - I can't help it. It's there. I am not saying that the story is carbon copy, NO. But where the book got it's influence is soooo obvious. Like you can really know who and what did the author used for inspiration.

2. Love Triangle threatening - (lol, yes this is a thing) There are some scenes like I feel like it's going there.. That somehow even though the romance is wonderdul already, there will be a love triangle in the sequel. So I'm really pleading that it doesn't happen. The romance isn't perfect and I think it needs a lot of emotional development, but as I said above, it's already wonderful.


1. Original and fascinating setting. I don't even know what my face looks like when Clementine is describing her world.



It's so cool. I've never encountered this kind of world before. It's mesmerizing and terrifying and I LOVE IT.

2. Likeable heroine. I've seen reviews and there's a lot of Clementine hate going on. And I honestly understand their points but we have to consider that Clem is just 16. And personally, her response to the things that she's been going through is pretty normal and convincing.

3. Slow building romance. Okay, it needs a lot of emotional development. A lot. And Logan is pretty much not in the picture most of the time so I am really hoping that we see so much of him in the next bookssss. He's an interesting and swoon worthy love interest.

I dont want to spoil anyone so I'll wrap up this review. I'm keeping it short because I think this book needs to be read without anyone affecting their opinion of the book. Do I recommend this? YES. And I want to know what you think. Will I read the sequel? YES. The last few chapters are intense and Logan is on the picture again... so.... All in all, Extraction is a pleasant read for me. It's not like that book, it can definitely stand on its own. Stephanie Diaz gained a new fan right here. *waves*
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,100 reviews458 followers
July 2, 2018
*Source* Library
*Genre* Young Adult / Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5


Extraction is the first installment in the Extraction trilogy by author Stephanie Diaz. This is a story that takes place on a planet known as Kiel, not to be mistaken for the German port city of Kiel. Kiel is a planet that has a shield surrounding the planet to keep acid from a nearby moon from leaking through and killing everyone in its path. It is why the upper class fled underground where they are safe. In this world, ten sixteen-year-olds with the highest Promise will be Extracted away from the brutal camps that most of the surface kids find themselves living in.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Ally.
1,346 reviews81 followers
March 18, 2015
I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

So... Hunger Games and Ender's Game?

Well, to be accurate, Extraction is perhaps a mixture of The Hunger Games, Divergent... Mostly Divergent. There are some parts where I can't but help see Divergent (yes! I'm not over Allegiant!). I see Tris everywhere. I see old characters everywhere. So... Originality? Not so much. Honestly, it feels like some parts were grabbed from certain books. Cut and paste.

Let me elaborate...

I felt like I stepped into a book that is the crazy love child of Across the Universe (written by Beth... something), Divergent (Veronica Roth), The Hunger Games (Collins), and The Testing (Joelle... Crazy last name). Many of parts of the book feels very familiar yet... added together, there is this something different. So... It isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is just familiar... very familiar and closely related to many books of Extraction's genre.

Let's talk about Clementine. I'm going to call her Tris' double. Clementine is intelligent, sometimes rash, and definitely, motivated. Extremely motivated. Her goal throughout the entire book is to save Logan. Logan, in the beginning. Logan, to the end. He is the boy she loves... And he has a limp (so I can see Peeta Mellark in that). Yeah.

(I'm so sorry, but I can't help but see a lot of similarities here and there).

The plot is very similar... Crap. You know what? I'm not going to describe the plot. But yes, Extraction is highly entertaining, and I manage to be entertained by the book (despite how similar it is to a few other YA Dystopian books). Let's just say that there aren't many loose ends, and that the ending has a very clean feeling to it (even though it isn't the last book of the series. It is actually the first).

Overall, Extraction is a good book. No points for originality. Good plot. Strong. Lots of twists and turns. No plot holes. Good characters, and Logan has a profound presence on the book despite his lack of appearances. Some crazy people. As always. But very entertaining, and I do recommend it, if you are looking for escapism. If you are looking for originality, you won't find it.

So... to summon my feelings up in a few phrases, I will say that Extraction has potential to become more (step outside of its origins) and I hope that the sequel will be much better.

Rating: Four out of Five

Profile Image for Kristie.
338 reviews62 followers
July 30, 2014
Let me start off by saying that realizing if I was a character in this story, I'd already be dead, kind of has me scared. Stephanie, what evil is this?

I first learned about this book on twitter. I've followed Stephanie for some time and have been happy to watch the process of this book come to light. Yay books becoming real!

Yes, this book has similarities to current young adult dystopian book. But you know what? That's okay. Why, you may ask. Because look at the author! She is a young adult herself, therefore she knows what she likes and what the audience likes. I sure as hell did!

The beginning is a tad on the slow side. Clementine is still living on the surface and we're getting a look at how Kiel works. But then once she's in the Core, she becomes determined and daring. The speed of the story picks up quite a bit too. Also there's some romance, but luckily it's only just 1 guy. Phew!

The elements of the science fiction is what made this one more unique to its dystopian siblings. I've always enjoyed space and the stars and moon. I just hope it doesn't become deadly like it is in the book. Definitely can't wait to read Rebellion next year. Great debut from Stephanie!
Profile Image for Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles).
225 reviews455 followers
February 25, 2015
I have had a hard time deciding how to review this book. I really wanted to like it but there were so many factors that prevented me from just that. There were a lot of details that were so similar to other YA books I have read such as Divergent and a bit of The Hunger Games. Aside from that, Clementine (our main character) is in this all-or-nothing world where you either get "Extracted" and you get to live the good life or you fail and are forced to work as a slave until the government decides you are worthless and kills you via gas chamber at the age of 20. That sounds extreme and like something that should make you feel terrible, right? Yet somehow I didn't feel anything. I felt like I was being told to feel things. In theory, I could understand how things were terrible or sad, or both, but the way it's written didn't evoke those feelings fro me naturally.

To see my full review go to my blog here. There are some spoilers though, so beware.
Profile Image for TheSaint.
963 reviews14 followers
December 20, 2014
Take a big scoop of The Hunger Games, a dollop of Divergent, a spoonful of The Testing, a soupçon of 1984, and a pinch of Under the Never Sky, and voila! Extraction!
Profile Image for Anastasia.
382 reviews55 followers
February 9, 2017
Actual rating: 3.75 stars.

The publishing industry flexes according to the current trends in literature, and the current inundation of the reading world with dystopian/post-apocalyptic/science fiction is definitely one of the prime examples.

But, trust me. If you are still looking to get your sci-fi/dystopian fix, you will want to read this one.

I say this primarily because, going into this book, I had my fingers crossed. I was hoping that this would be exceptionally good, that, in the flood of dystopian books in the current YA market, it would be memorable, and that it would be original.

Much to my pleasant surprise, Extraction was, for the most part, these things to me.

The planet of Kiel seems much like our own in that humans inhabit it, but Kiel is very different from Earth in other respects. Luxury and life past 20 years of age is a rare commodity that are given only to those with high Promise (the factor that is supposed to show how useful or valuable a certain citizen is supposed to be). Child labor and starvation are abundant in all the layers of the planet except for the Core, which is portrayed by Developers as the ultimate utopia. The only way for outsiders to be granted Core citizenship is to take the Extraction test, which is administered once every year to sixteen-year-olds as an evaluation of their Promises. A handful of those who show the most Promise are selected from each layer of the planet, and then sent to the Core to begin Extraction training. It is seen as the ultimate escape from a life of constant hunger and misery.

Our protagonist, sixteen-year-old Clementine, is lucky enough to escape the Surface by being picked for Extraction. But the price she must pay for freedom is leaving Logan, the boy she loves, and, the longer she stays in the Core, Clementine begins to wonder if she has even gained freedom at all.

What I liked:

-Extraction's pacing would probably be its biggest asset, if I had to choose one. The chapters are so masterfully laid out that it is almost impossible to put this book down. I am certain I stayed up until at least 2 A.M. reading to find out the fates of certain characters.

-One of my favorite aspects of the book is the way that the author portrayed Clementine's relationship with Logan. She is smart and strong enough to be able to survive on her own, but in a world as harsh as Kiel's, she needs someone to lean on. I know that I would if I were in her position. Their relationship adds an extra shade of vulnerability to Clementine, and it made her easier to relate to.

-I felt that the world-building in Extraction was cleverly done in that the similarities between Kiel and Earth were enough for me to be easily able to imagine myself as one of its citizens. Thus, I felt myself caring and feeling empathy for the starving children, the 20-year-olds being carried away to quarantine, and the kids that know how to do nothing but constant work. Life on Kiel is so bleak, and so incredibly messed up, that I felt pain for its inhabitants, and found myself wishing I could make it better. There were a few things that required my suspension of disbelief at certain points, but, as long as I went with it, I was able to appreciate the way life on Kiel was portrayed.

-The prose in this book has a tone that reminds me of Divergent's: blunt, but meaningful. At times it was even capable of also being beautiful--even poignant. While reading, I remember wishing that I could just take a highlighter and go over all the lines that I felt spoke to me but I would never do that, because I have an ARC of this, and it's still new and shiny, and I'm terrified I'll damage it or rip a page or get an oily finger print on the gorgeous cover. There were so many that I am still haunted by this book's chilling ambiance.

-I loved that Clementine had mathematical equations and theorems (like Yates's) memorized. It was a fun little quirk that I haven't seen in YA yet, and it helped make Clementine's character unique.

-I thought the ending was perfect. What a brilliant way to close the first book in this trilogy.

What I didn't like:

-There were a few typos in my copy, but most of them were minor things, and, because my copy of the book is an ARC, I will not hold the mistakes I found against my rating. I do hope, however, that they are not in the final copies. A few sentences were so mangled with errors that they were incoherent, and I would hate for the meaning of these sentences to be lost because of some undetected mistakes.

-I wish we could have seen more of Logan in the story. For a character so integral to Clementine's decisions and behavior throughout the story, I felt as though he needed to be a prominent character in this book. His physical absence throughout most of the plot made it a bit difficult for me to care about the fate of Clementine's quest. We don't get enough time with him to see why we should care about him as much as she does.

-Sam. I mean, it's all right if you want to include a cocky, antagonistic character in a novel, but still... After that, reading scenes with him in it made me want to take a shower. Plus, I know a few Sams, and they're all really wonderful guys, so that kind of tarnished my image of the name. :| It's a nit-pick, yes, but it bugged me enough for me to want to put it in the review.

-Clem's relationship with Beechy. At the beginning, everything was fine.

In the end, if you would like to read an enjoyable, addicting dystopian and don't mind some mature content , consider checking this one out. It stands as a pretty solid (though a slightly formulaic) dystopian novel with an intriguing premise, and its pretty cover only makes it more appealing.

Extraction is exactly like the moonshine it so terrifyingly describes in that the story settles onto you, haunts you with its urgency, and makes you feel considerably vulnerable for the few hours it takes to finish the book.

Except you're not dead by the time you finish it. You're very much alive, and you instantly want more.

Thank you so, so much to the author and St. Martin's Press for giving me an ARC. I'm beyond grateful, and I really enjoyed it!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel.
69 reviews5 followers
August 10, 2014
I received this book as an ARC GoodReads giveaway.

I adored this book! My son and daughter will both love this book in a few years. Think a mix of Logan's Run, The Hunger Games, and Soylent Green.

Clementine is a young girl that is found to be of great "Promise." In a world that is structured with a severe code of worth she is picked to move out of an acid corroding camp and into the safety of the privileged. Leaving the only world she has ever known she is thrust into a subdued and seemingly easy life of those that can best contribute to the hierarchy. The best and most powerful citizens live at the center of the planet. Everyone else is left to slavery at various depths of the planets surface.

Then she begins to train for citizenship. But only if she can show enough promise and loyalty. "Maybe They're trying to turn us into soldiers." The training and subtle cues to the new "Extractions" begin to make Clementine question who she is and what her world is all about. Stephanie Diaz did an amazing job of creating an intriguing story about a girl that sticks to her own moral code regardless if she is beaten, starved, drugged, or threatened. Clementine dreams of making a better life for herself but finds herself fighting to make a better life for everyone on her planet.

I can not wait for the next book in the series!!
Profile Image for Melissa Landers.
Author 11 books3,260 followers
December 26, 2013
The term "unputdownable" is used so often in publishing that I hardly pay attention to it anymore. But here's a case where the phrase is well deserved. I finished Extraction in a day because...you guessed it...I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy dystopian fiction or sci-fi thrillers, you'll eat this up with a spoon!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,257 followers
July 22, 2014
Logan was such a great love interest. I was sad we didn't get to see a lot of his character. I was happy things with Beechy didn't turn into a love triangle because it kind of seemed like it for a minute but thank goodness it didn't go there. Some similarities to Divergent but still interesting. I liked all the reveals toward the end so hopefully the next book will be even better.
Profile Image for Kristen Lippert-Martin.
Author 2 books124 followers
June 4, 2014
Tense and frightening; a world of harsh realities and hard choices; an indomitable girl who fights the power. I'd pick Clementine for my kick ball team every time if she were in my gym class. Did I mention the writing is really good too? Yep.

Clementine. She's all that.
Profile Image for Ms. Lawler.
37 reviews8 followers
October 25, 2018
First of all, I really liked the book. I give it a solid 3 stars because I thought the story line was exciting, easy to get into, and kept me captivated throughout. My only gripes are about the writing. I found the language to be simplistic. Sentences that aren't sentences. Words sometimes. It made the novel flow in a very "stream of consciousness" manner, which I can appreciate and eventually embraced. However, I felt that the simple language was unfortunately coupled with equally simple characters. They didn't really evolve or change, and their behaviors were too predictable. The plot itself had an excellent twist near the end, and it set itself up for a trilogy I would be happy to read more of. Readers who love character development, who really need to LOVE a character to LOVE a book, would probably find this one dull. Readers who are more interested in the story line, who love sci-fi/dystopian future novels will want to check this one out.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
77 reviews3 followers
May 19, 2018
divergent in space, also if i have to hear about the mc "solving equations" one more time im gonna shoot her myself. sis that's not how equations work. world building was really unrealistic (virtually abandoned as children yet somehow she's a science prodigy?) and then the plot was really weird and unexplained (in a game of zombie laser tag she....shoots a gun at the sky and somehow that wins the game?). random sexual violence for shock value. just a very generic premise executed very generically, but this book got me through a three hour plane ride.
Profile Image for P.M..
1,208 reviews
July 28, 2019
This had an interesting premise - the moon of the planet Kiel spews acid onto the planet's surface. The elite live underground in the Core and the dispensables live on the Surface in work camps. Clementine is a dispensable but has a chance to become extracted if she can pass a test at 16 years old. Clem is extracted and bids her true love Logan goodbye with a promise to excel so she can save him before he is Replaced at age 20. I really wanted to like this book but Clementine was not believable. She acted much younger than 16. I had to keep reminding myself about her age. Despite being beaten, tortured, experimented upon, etc., she comes through to save the day. By the way, I didn't like that the author killed Oliver.
Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,173 reviews115 followers
July 22, 2014
3.5 Stars

'Extraction' is the thrilling first book in a new young adult science fiction/dystopian series. It follows main character Clementine as she prepares for the day she's always dreamed of - Extraction testing. If she shows she's Promising enough in the tests, they'll take her away from her horrible life of starvation and labor on the Surface to live in the luxurious Core. All she's ever wanted was to escape the Surface - and now it's her chance. Even though it means leaving Logan - the boy she loves - behind. Clementine is surprised when she's picked as one of the teens to be Extracted. She's excited to see the Core and what life will be like down there - but she also promises Logan that she'll find a way to get him to safety with her and away from the Surface. Things in the Core seem perfect - no hard labor, warm beds, plenty of food - everything Clem could have wanted. She still doesn't trust the Developers or the other high ranking citizens though, and her fears are confirmed when she learns of a plan to exterminate all the people living on the Surface - including Logan. Clem is now on a time limit to stop the government, save Logan and the other innocent people on the Surface, and to manage all of it while staying alive.

I found the concept of this book to be immediately fascinating. There's no shortage of science fiction and dystopian books out there, but this one had a promising story line that had an air of action and suspense as well. I'm happy to say that it didn't fall short of my hopes and proved to be a solid and well written first book in the series. The characters were well written, especially our main character Clementine. She's strong, brave, devoted, and will do whatever is right - no matter what. She's obviously not perfect and has flaws like everyone else, but one thing that irritated me to no end was her incessant inner dialogue about Logan. She was constantly repeating that she could handle everything because she had to save Logan - or that everything would be okay because she had to save Logan. It drove me nuts that she seemed to have a broken record in her mind about saving Logan and it made me dislike her character. Due to my issue connecting with Clementine, I wasn't able to fully immerse myself into the story like I usually can, and I found myself distracted and unable to fully appreciate the other aspects of the story. The setting and world building was fantastic - the author wrote with such detailed imagery and vivid descriptions that I could easily see everything mentioned in the story like I was there myself. I love that quality in this genre because it can make or break a book for me if it isn't written in a way that I can envision.

The writing was well done and had an intriguing and original story line. I loved the concept of the book and eagerly read all about this strange world the author created. I hope that the same attention to detail will continue in the following books - it really makes it stand apart from others. The plot was fast-paced and flowed effortlessly, so I found myself gliding through the book at a quick rate. The author mixes a lot of different genres into the story aside from the obvious science fiction and dystopian aspects - there's also action, adventure, suspense, and romance - something for fans of all genres to enjoy. Overall, this was a unique and very well written dystopian book that would have excelled in my opinion - if it weren't for the irritating qualities I found in the main character. The plot is full of potential and there's tons of ways the author can take the story, so I'm really hoping that any kinks in the book will work themselves out and the next installment will blow my mind. I'm definitely going to read the next book with high hopes that I'll be able to really lose myself in the fascinating world and heart-pounding plot the author has devised. Recommended for fans of science fiction and dystopian novels, as well as those who enjoy fantasy, action, and suspense.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Megan.
416 reviews56 followers
July 7, 2014
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in the Goodreads First Reads giveaway.]

Note: There are some relatively minor spoilers in this post, but as I discuss later in the review, they are completely predictable, so they aren't really spoilers.

I've been reading a lot of YA fiction and sci-fi lately. I think that may have been the reason I didn't LOVE this and only liked it. The market is saturated with Hunger-Games-esque books where kids are disposable, constantly in danger, and often forced to kill other kids. There is always a protagonist who is "better" than the rest in some way, special, able to withstand torture that would have broken another person in her (more often than not female) position. I caught a lot of reference to The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even Eve in here, which all of course hearken back to much earlier science fiction such as The Handmaid's Tale and Rollerball Murder and the like. It makes sense that readers like what they like, and want to read more of it. But I'm at the point where they all read the same to me.

Style-wise, this was no different than any other dystopian SF I've read lately. It's in first person present tense, with a female narrator, who doesn't know where she comes from but finds out she's special in some way and decides she doesn't want to conform (because conformity is *always* a bad thing, no matter what). So she becomes hell-bent on proving herself and eventually ends up a rebel. That's the entirety of this book, in a nutshell. It's well-written, intriguing, and I enjoyed the read, but there's nothing truly different about it other than the fact it's on a planet with a toxic moon.

It was also completely, absolutely predictable. Of course Clementine would be picked as an Extraction at the last second. Of course there's a truly horrible character who attempts to rape her twice (because that's the "in" thing in YA dystopians, isn't it? And how gross is that sentence for being true?). Of course she becomes a rebel, because that's what these protagonists do. And that's not a bad thing, because questioning authority and thinking for yourself is always a good idea. But the fact is, it's predictable. And that doesn't necessarily make for a good read.

And of course there are my usual gripes about word choice, there were an awful lot of people who slipped hands around Clementine's wrists. Apparently that is the best and only way to describe the act of taking someone by the wrist and leading them in another direction. There were also numerous typos, especially towards the end of the book when one sentence made absolutely no sense. This I will chalk up to the fact that I read an advanced copy, and I hope that these errors have not made it into final publication.

The love story was rather meh. The introduction of a potential second love interest was clumsy, since I can't see Clementine as someone who is so easily swayed in her feelings, but she seems to take a liking to Beechy before she finds out he's married, at which point that entire angle is dropped (as it should be, but shouldn't really have been introduced to begin with). Her body language and his are all quite awkward, and their friendship is fast, forced, and very strange.

If you haven't immersed yourself into the world of YA dystopian SF lately, go ahead and read this book. It wasn't "unrecommendable," to use a made-up word. I liked it enough to finish it, and to actually put a good amount of effort and thought into what I wanted to say. It was fun, entertaining, and well-written for the most part. Most of the people I follow would probably enjoy it as well. But it's not really ground-breaking or unforgettable (as the blurb on the giveaway brands it), certainly not something I would call "great literature." For what it was, it's worth the three stars.
Profile Image for Erin Arkin.
1,640 reviews358 followers
December 26, 2014
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz is a book I have had my eye on for a little while. Not only is the cover interesting, the story intrigued me.

Clementine is the main character and she has been preparing for Extraction testing her whole life. As someone who lives on the surface of the planet Kiel, she knows that her only chance to survive is to be one of the kids chosen for extraction. Unfortunately, only ten kids are chosen each year so the odds are tough. As you can probably guess, Clementine is chosen and immediately taken to the Core.

One of the drawbacks to Clementine being chosen is that she is forced to leave Logan, the boy she loves. I really liked his character. They met by chance but they developed this close relationship and it was clear he only wanted what was best for Clementine. Although he was sad to see her go, he knew she would have a better (and longer) life if she were chosen.

I thought Diaz did a great job of creating the world these characters lived in. The descriptions of the different layers (Surface, Crust, Mantle, Lower, and Core) as well as the way things were for the people living on the different layers pulled me right into the story and had me wondering what was really going on. The idea that the moon has a toxic acid that, if Kiel did not have a shield to protect it, would destroy the Surface and the people living there is very interesting.

The children living on the Surface, have grown up with a fear not only of the moon and what could happen to them if they didn’t have the shield, but also of not being chosen for extraction. Not being chosen means they are stuck working the fields and barely surviving. It also means that they may also be forced to procreate to replace themselves. Otherwise, they are only kept around until the age of 20 and then taken away.

As Clem is taken to the Core, she finds out that it isn’t everything she hoped it would be. First, Sam is one of those characters that I hated pretty much as soon as he was introduced. I’m not going to give anything away but he has a black, black soul. As Clementine continues to show him up and prove that brute force isn’t everything (it does pay to use your brain) he sees her as a target and looks for ways to make her life hell.

As the story continues, Clem also finds out that the Developers (really Commander Charlie) are planning to exterminate the people living on the surface….which means Logan is in danger. Commander Charlie is also planning war and hasn’t really told anyone outside of the Army and the Developers.

Along the way, Clem also meets Beechy, who happens to be married to Commander Charlie’s daughter. He also has a pretty big secret. I can’t say what it is as I don’t want to give anything away here but he plays a pretty critical role in this story and I thought he added an interesting layer as I wasn’t really sure where he stood based on who he is.

This was a great introduction to the world that Stephanie Diaz has created. It is filled with action and Diaz has created a fascinating world for these characters. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series and if you like Science Fiction/Dystopian stories, I recommend you check this one out when you can.

Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin's Press for the review copy.
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