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The Continent (The Continent #1)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  2,274 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peacef ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Harlequin TEEN
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Cait Califa
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2016 marked it as blacklist
[EDIT 2/20/2018]

Since a new version of this book is coming out this year, I cleared my one star rating. I hope the revisions fix a lot of the issues, but I still won't be reading it. The entire premise of the book seems incredibly flawed.

Pro Tip: Read books by WoC and you probably won't run into a lot of problems

[EDIT 3/21/17]
Since lots of people are still liking this review, I wanted to note that the publisher did push back publication to work out some of these issues. As the author wasn't very
Nov 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
3/19 update: Oh no. We're still talking about this book?

I've read the updated version. My review has not changed.


11/25/16: ETA: Review here:


Yes, I did read it.

I read it - after putting it down a month ago, when the first chapter failed to capture my interest - simply so I can provide information for anyone who seems to think that this book shows us how to be ~better~ as humans and isn't a white savior book.

(Yes, I saw that comment elsewhere.)

enqi ✨🍒 (high lady of the night court)
I'm not going to read this book and I don't think I ever will.

I'm sick of the white saviour narrative. And the book portrays Native Americans/Asians as savages and perpetuates all the stereotypes surrounding Asians. As an Asian myself, this just makes me unbelievably angry. I genuinely hate the "almond-shaped eyes" description - this is arguably the biggest pitfall for white authors. (I've never seen any Asian or non-white writers use this description. Just a thought.) Rule of thumb: never u
Kathleen (QueenKatieMae)
My first hint should have been the fact this is a Harlequin Teen novel. Romance novels make me roll my eyes too much but a YA romance makes me roll them so hard they get stuck to the back of my head. The Continent is a perfect example of an eye-rolling, face-in-palm planting, groaning out loud “why am I still reading this?” YA romance.

Vaela Sun of the Spire is celebrating her sixteenth birthday. The Spire is a technologically advanced country with heli-planes and magnetic trains but is still ol
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
edit 2/19/18: (so apparently all those rewrites keira drake was supposed to be doing didn't fix a Damn Thing. yall..... if this book was a person id fight it in a Wal-Mart parking lot.)

It's racist trash, and I'm getting really sick and tired of my genre being fucking corrupted by bullshit like this-- A black groundskeeper, a pack of "savage" men obviously based on First Nations people, and a wise, calm ninja "with almond eyes".

And, of course, the lily-white MC.

Look, as a white writer and critic
Nov 03, 2016 marked it as nope
Describes indigenous people with red skin as savages who are prone to raping and drinking, as well as other egregious stereotypes.

See these Twitter threads for more info:

Edited to add: a link to a thread featuring a review of the book.
Anna Priemaza
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Note: This book is being revised based on feedback from marginalized voices, which is great. I have not yet read the revised version. If you're interested in these issues, please take some time to listen to and consider the varied opinions and experiences of marginalized voices before coming to any conclusions.
Previous Review:
The best word I can think of to describe this book is POWERFUL. Because it's powerful on every level.

It's powerful on a sentence level. There are so many lines that
Nov 03, 2016 marked it as nah
y'all know how I feel about colonizers' fantasies of White Saviorism so I will be passing HARD on this book.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope
Apparently this book is Super Fucking Racist. Calling natives "red skinned", calling them "savages". From what I've heard, the main character is a white girl who's going to save these native people. How did this book get published? *side eyes this book so hard*
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
After what several trusted authors/reviewers/book people have said on Twitter today, there is no way I'll be reading this book.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Update: 15/5:
Read my review:
Here's an excerpt:

"The Continent was released as an ARC in 2017 for willing participants who would give a fair and valued response to the book. I feel both of those words no longer apply to the reviews I see on GoodReads most of the time now. When the ARC was released, reviews hit her GoodReads page, and not all of them were fair.
Assumptions were made, accusations were thrown, and an author was listed as ‘racist’ because of her deb
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
How did such racist fuckery get so many 5 star reviews?
Erin Dunn
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing a free ebook copy of The Continent By: Keira Drake in exchange for an honest review.

One thing I pride myself on when reviewing a book is honesty. I think that is the MOST important part of reviewing ANYTHING. So in the spirit of honesty I will tell you that I had NetGalley request regret with The Continent.

That has never happened to me before. I really wanted to read this one so I requ
Chelsea Sedoti
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review removed until I read the updated version of the book (expected release in early 2018).
Christaaay - Christy Luis Reviews
*Updates on Controversy at End of Review*


"Snow and ice, miles and miles of treacherous wilderness…Let’s be honest—it’s not the scenery that has every citizen in the Spire clamoring to see the Continent. It’s the war.”

Premise : Vaela Sun is going to the Continent. Citizens of the Spire, a peaceful federation of nations, rarely get a chance to visit the mysterious Continent, but it is the focus of much curiosity and speculation, for it is home to a curious anachronism of the past: warfa
Nov 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
how about we stop publishing racist books that present native Americans as 'savages' , use the white saviour narrative and oh, only have extremely stereotypical Asian characters?
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book was so beautiful! Such heartbreak and beauty in one amazing story! I loved Vaela she was such an awesome heroine and man Noro! Can I have a Noro for myself *swoons* I can't wait for book 2!!!!!
CW (Read Think Ponder)
Nov 05, 2016 marked it as tbh-i-d-rather-read-something-else
Short version: Life's too short to read a book I know I won't like.

Long version: Life's too short to read a book that contains and perpetuates racist stereotypes of Native Americans and indigenous peoples, Asian fetishism, colonialist/imperialist undertones and themes that are largely unchallenged and lack self-awareness, and a protagonist who is a white saviour (irrespective of Drake's intentions).

I have 250+++ books on my TBR. I think I'll read those instead.

2.5 stars, again, I want to round up, because FUCKING IDIOTS GAVE THIS 1 STAR WITHOUT READING IT--seriously, why are you people on a reading website when you don't fucking read?

The best description I can think for this book is linear. It's a very linear storyline--there's a beginning, a crash, a mode of survival, a romance, a conflict, a war, the end. One event flows into the other quite predictably and there are no surprises.

The romance is cute, but very insta-lovey. It was nice seeing a roman
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-awful
I'm not sure how this book even got published.

White savior complex, PoC willing to do anything to protect the precious white girl, and calling Native/Indigenous people 'savages' and 'red skins'.

Keira Drake, I'm not your savage and you can suck it.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
In fairness to Drake, I've updated my review to reflect my impressions of the full, revised version of the book.

And in fairness to everyone, the best I can say about this is that it's a misguided attempt at a narrative about oppression, written by an author who clearly doesn't understand the devices she’s using well enough to use them properly.
Having read many of the critiques of the advance copies, pre-revision, I’m startled by the apparent superficiality of the revisions evident in the final
Nov 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2018
While this book is racially controversial, and I think bad representation is not a smart thing to do in a book, esp now with these riled up millennials, I will NOT rate this book before I've read it. I will read it and form my own opinion.
Stacy Fetters
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"You must reserve your pain for quiet moments. You must not let it soften you, but rather you must become sharpened by its edges, made stronger by its grip. When it claws at your heart, you must roar back. This is not a place for softness."
If that quote doesn't reach inside of you and squeeze your soul then you are in deep trouble.
Borrowed an arc from JT!! He received it at ALA Orlando!! Thanks!!
I didn't know what I was getting myself into with this one. The hype for this is overwhelming and I
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-reading, racist
I don't normally do this type of thing, but the fact that this book was written and published is beyond me.

I don't want to read racist books that portrays Native Americans and Asians as "savages" and portrays the white protagonist as the white savior. The fact that the publishers saw nothing wrong with this book is absolutely ridiculous.

I've never heard of this book before all of this drama started. I am glad I've never heard of it before. Books like this don't deserve to be published. Native Am
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
You may recall that, back in 2016, there was a lot of pushback to Keira Drake's The Continent. I recommend you read Zoraida Córdova's critique on November 7, 2016, at YA Interrobang. It is excellent. In response to the intense conversations on social media, Drake and her publisher, Harlequin Teen (a division of HarperCollins), decided to postpone the release of The Continent to give Drake an opportunity to revise it. I wonder if their decision is based on a multi-book contract? mThe Continent is ...more
Nov 04, 2016 added it
Shelves: hell-no
Why waste your precious time reading a novel that does a terrible job at not being racist when there are 28353535272819 wonderful and truly diverse books out there? #IJS

*If you feel the need to defend this book, the only things I can advise you is to look at your life and look at your choices. :-/
Bitchin' Reads
8/22/2017 Update (Note that there are spoilers further down, so avoid if you care about being spoiled.)

There is something I have been thinking on from a few conversations I've had with several people on and off Goodreads. It is regarding racial inequalities in the United States and my place/role as a white person amidst it all, and I've come realize that it is a very precarious position to be. (I can only speak on behalf of the United States, since that is my home. I know racial inequalities th
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