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The Continent

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  3,168 ratings  ·  333 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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Liberty India Rose Some people (including myself) find the perpetuation of the stereotype of "dark skinned savages" extremely offensive, especially at this moment in tim…moreSome people (including myself) find the perpetuation of the stereotype of "dark skinned savages" extremely offensive, especially at this moment in time when racism against minorities in western society is increasing. I disagree with Bitchin' Reads and I do not think that this is political correctness- I think encouraging the idea (even in literature) that light skinned people are more empathic or "human" than dark skinned people is extremely damaging to people's perceptions in real life however subconscious. This accusation has also been laid against carve the mark by Veronica Roth. I am reading that book at the moment (although already my fears are being confirmed) but I probably won't be reading this one. I'm more than happy to be proved wrong but at the moment this book is not for me. (less)
Keira Drake The new, revised version of the book will release March 2018. :)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,168 ratings  ·  333 reviews

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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 absolutely-not
[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.)

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
Kathleen Minde
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 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. ...more
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* ...more
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. ...more
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?
*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: war
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? ...more
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
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).
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
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.

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!!!!! ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
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 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
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
The perfect underdog story for teens / young adults with a strong female heroine.

Vaela Sun lives oblivious to the world outside in the Spire, her home. She has a talent for mapmaking and has earned herself a place in an apprenticeship with a renowned mapmaker. Any of her daily conveniences she takes for granted without ever thinking of them, like so many. She works hard, is very smart and her aspirations are about to come true.

On her sixteenth birthday, Vaela’s parents gift her a trip to The C
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. :-/
Stay 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
Bitchin' Reads
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I obviously read this after all the edits that people are discussing that the author did, but I did not read the pre-edited version, so I can only say that the edited version is actually a very interested premise and world. It is difficult to imagine such a place but there are unfortunately plenty of places ravaged by wars. I know this was a controversial book, but I did not read the version that caused such a stir so I can only speak of this edited version. I was glad to see how the battle was ...more
Sierra Abrams
look at that cover JUST LOOK AT IT'S GLORY ...more
Gwen Cole
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
This book was such a joy to read. I read it in two days and would've finished sooner if I wasn't so busy. But never busy enough to stop reading this book. From beginning to end, the plot and pacing will have you yearning for more, and the characters! Oh man, I just want to put them all in a padded room and make sure they're all safe and happy for the rest of time. This is another book I'll be screaming about to everyone on its release day. Thank you Keira Drake for a wonderful wonderful book! ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
The Continent is an interesting sort of fantasy novel - no magic, but set in a new and strange world that is half old-world traditions and some of today's technology where peace reigns and half a land torn apart by war, where the inhabitants fight the elements and each other to survive.

Vaela lives a safe and privileged life in the Spire, where there has been no wars for many years. She is a cartographer and thrilled when her parents gift her with a trip to the Continent, where the landscape is r
Nov 07, 2016 marked it as unhauled
Edit: Harlequin Teen has decided to push back the release date of this book to deal with the issues that have been brought forward by many. You can find a link to that here on their Tumblr page.

It makes me happy to see how everyday people can be such a huge influence on large companies such as Harlequin Teen. If you feel something is wrong, speak up. Your voice will be heard and you could change things for the better.


I usually
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