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(Tankborn #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,443 ratings  ·  233 reviews
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn famil
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 373 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Tu Books (first published September 15th 2011)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,443 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Wendy Darling
"When is the DNA surely human? When is it not?"

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

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

There are three levels of society in Tankborn
Stacey (prettybooks)
Let’s just get straight to it: I loved Tankborn. If I’m being really, really honest, I wasn’t looking too forward to reading it. It’s the second to last book in my Dystopian August schedule and I had yet to come across a book that was mostly dystopian. I’ve had post-apocalyptic and science fiction, often with dystopian-type aspects (and some with none) but nothing like Matched, Divergent, The Giver or The Hunger Games – ‘traditional’ dystopian societies. The reason I was apprehensive about Tankb ...more
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Generations ago, a select few fled Earth to colonize a new world. The rich who funded the project became known as "high-born," the scientists and engineers into "demi-status" and the laborers as "lowborn." The low born were only supposed to stay in indentured servitude for 50 years, but by that time, the caste system was too entrenched to break out of. Just when lowborn riots started becoming a serious problem, the GENs appeared. Gifted with the strength or senses of animals, with brains that co ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Tankborn surprised me. What I initially assumed was simply a run-of-the-mill, churn-'em-out-quick young-adult dystopia, Tankborn emerges as a strong novel with compelling adult-ish themes about defining what humanity and beauty mean to every individual. Clocking in at a nice length of almost 400 pages, Karen Sandler creates a distinctive, dark and utterly readable world with her science fiction gem. I would put her indie-published Tankborn up there with
Original review posted at Nose in a Book

Oh, my goodness, is that a person of color on the cover of a YA novel? It is! And she’s beautiful, and Sandler is awesome for writing about women of color in a genre that is inundated with stories about white teenagers, their special powers and their absent parents. And that cover is beautiful by itself with all that green and blue. I would apologize for starting this review with a little politics, but seriously. This book is about two women of color (who
Kimberly Pauley
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's kind of reading through the other reviews of this book, everyone is all "O dystopia!" and the reason I was excited to read it was because it's a science fiction book and I cut my teeth, so to speak, on science fiction. And, in the interest of disclosure, it's also published by the publisher of my new book (Cat Girl's Day Off), which is how I came by my copy.

On a planet settled by people who had fled Earth some years before, society is rigidly divided into castes (based on the ca
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

On the distant world of Loka, lightyears away from Earth, humanity has changed. Separated into distinct, non-transmutable castes, Lokans run the spectrum from trueborn humans of untainted DNA and significant wealth to lowborn humans living in shanties and working menial jobs. At the very bottom of the hierarchy of power are the GENs – tankborns with human and animal DNA, as well as some machine integration, noted
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Kayla is a GEN, a Genetically Engineered Non-Human, born into a life of servitude and a member of the lowest rung of society. Despite her life's hardships, she loves the people she has come to know as her family and is not looking forward to her official assignment at the age of 15. When she receives a mysterious package that she must deliver and is then assigned to serve a high ranking family, her ideas about h
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tankborn is a reference to how GENs (Genetically Engineered Non-natals) are created, rather than nurtured in a womb, they are in a tank. Because of this they are considered non-Human…even though they are mostly created with human DNA and maybe a bit of animal DNA to enhance physical attributes they would need on the future job assignment they are being created for. Because of their non-human status they are the “untouchables” of this society, both literally and figuratively.

Kayla and Mishalla ar
Johaleesi (formerly JJiReads)
It's been a while since I've picked up a book that is mainly science fiction and enjoyed it so much. Karen Sandler introduces us to Loka, a planet that the people of Earth colonize in the future due to Earth's climate crumbling down, and in the process introduces us to a whole new vocabulary. Names of plants, animals, inanimate objects, all strange names for strange things. It is truly a fascinating new world. Fans of dystopia and a little known movie called "Avatar" will enjoy this.

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

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

However, I will say that it was not as an easy read as Delirium and XVI and a few others I have read. The beginning started really slow for me, and I almost lost interest. I understand the author was trying to describe the setting, but I found it really unnecessary (especially in
When earth became uninhabitable, the rich decided to pack up and head into space. Realizing they needed laborers to build the ships and their new homes, they brought along indentured servants creating instant hierarchy and discord. To placate the lowborn, the rich created another race to serve, these were the the Tankborn (rather than natural born). These new people were enhanced with animal dna and programmed with special skills that could help them in their labors. Kayla is a tankborn and at t ...more
Rachel Hartman
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, but I'm giving it a half-star bonus on principle (like I did with For The Win). I would rather see more 3.5-star books with a diverse cast and well-thought-out SF worldbuilding than 3.5-star books filled with the same old stuff.

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

The world really carried this. I want
Kimberly Francisco
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Initial thoughts: slow moving in the first part, but that's a good thing for this book. A lot of the book involves very important (and interesting and creative) world-building, so it needs a patient reader. It picks up quite a bit later on and throws in a lot of things I didn't see coming. I would say this is not a book for a casual SF reader, mostly because the world takes a lot of dedication to understand. You've got to really enjoy that aspect of SF to enjoy the book.

I thought the romances we
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent world created by Karen Sandler. Believable and interesting. The Eastern influences were very interesting and one of my favorite aspects of the book. Took a turn that I was NOT expecting and appreciated.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Very slow to get started, because there's a lot of world building to establish. And that world building is good, makes sense in context, and is fairly comprehensive. I just didn't really fall in love with the characters. ...more
May 28, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, sci-fi, kindle, ya
13 November 2015: $1.99 on Kindle ...more
Jesse Burgoyne
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Tankborn by Karen Sandler tells the story of fifteen year old Kayla and her best friend Mishalla. Kayla is waiting to be given an Assignment, something all GENs (Genetically Engineered Non-humans) receive when they turn fifteen. And then these GENs are sent away from their families, sometimes so far away they can never return, in order to complete these jobs. And, since GENs aren't allowed to use any form of communication except word of mouth, they usually never get the chance to speak to their ...more
Izzy Machacek
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tankborn is an amazing book about Mishalla and Kayla who are GEN's (Genetically Engineered Non-humans). The book changes between Kayla and Mishalla's point of view. Kayla is turning 16 in a few days and is about to get her assignment like all do GENs at the age of 16. Kayla learns that her assignment is to take care of a elderly trueborn by the name of Zul Manel, while taking care of Zul Kayla meets hist grandchild Devak. While Kayla is taking care of Zul her best friend Mishalla is taking care ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
So, firstly, a big thank you to NetGalley and Lee & Low Books for a copy of this book. This book was ah-mazing to read, I enjoyed it so much. It was right up my alley, with the sci-fi and the genetic engineering and people who are sort of like part-computer in a way … loved the story world, loved the story.

Tankborn takes place in the distant future. Earth is ruined, and humans have been living on a different planet for possibly hundreds of years now (I didn’t quite catch how far in the future th
Amy Acosta
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopias, space, sci-fi
I usually stay away from anything science fiction, but since this one was labeled as dystopian too (and I love those), I thought I should give it a try. I am very glad I did, because Tankborn has become a top favorite!

Humans left the Earth and settle on Loka, an arid planet with two suns and almost no green except in the genetically grown preserves. They survived by building a caste system, that kept everyone in its place. In an attempt to make lowborns more agreeable to high-born rule, they cr
At some point in the future, humans colonize the planet Loka. It is here on the continent of Svarga that different caste systems exist with True Humans at the top (gestated in the womb) while "Genetically Engineered Non-humans" exist to serve those above them. These GENS are born into tanks and fused with technology, a skill set (sket) and animal DNA.

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

Jessica Strider
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, sf, ya
Pros: fascinating caste system, excellent world building, interesting characters, quick paced

Cons: the romances seem to happen fast and are, given the environment, a little unrealistic

For Parents: no sex, no language, minimal violence

Kayla is a GEN, a Genetically Engineered Non-human. Her right cheek is tattooed with her DNA mark, where anyone can use a datapad to access her annexed brain and where the details of her job will be stored when she's given her work assignment. That assignment will b
Move over "1984" and "Animal Farm" Karen Sandler has something to say, and we should listen! She could be compared to Margaret Atwood.

"Tankborn," refers to the quasi-people and animal mixes (GENs)
Sandler's new world produces by way of gene-DNA-splicing to birth "lowborns." These "lowborns" are made to be the workers, indeed the slaves, of the new world--and to set the lowest chaste of the society.

While the GENs think and feel for the most part at different levels parceled out to them, they can
Lauren K
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, scifi
This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf

Tankborn is an enjoyable YA scifi novel. Set on the planet Loka, there is a hierarchical society in place, headed by the Trueborns, then lower in society are the Lowborns and at the bottom of the pyramid are the Genetically Engineered Non-humans (GENs). GENs are distinct in features due to the tattoo on their cheek where data can be downloaded and extracted from their brain. Their DNA is mixed with animal DNA and they are grown in a tank ins
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla were born GENs, or Genetically Engineered Non-humans, making them the lowest class in their society’s strict caste system. Because they don’t have entirely human DNA, they are viewed as essentially good for nothing except the jobs to which they are Assigned at age 15. Neither girl is ready to come of age and leave all they know behind, but they have no choice. They’ve both resigned themselves to dull if productive Assignments, but they’re both about to find themse ...more
Amy L. Campbell
Note: Review copy provided by Netgalley.

The strength in Sandler's new novel lies in the class division and the societal problems it causes. Kayla, the main character, is at the bottom rung of the hierarchy. During the course of her story, the effects of said hierarchy are humanized and made personal for the reader as Kayla is separated from her family, friends, and is also prevented from forming new relationships once she receives her work assignment. Sandler creates a distressing world in which
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Karen Sandler is the author of 24 books for adults and teens. Her adult romance novels include the Hart Valley series the Pen Pal Sisterhood series, and the Transcendent Love series. Her mystery series, Janelle Watkins Investigations, features a hard-edged heroine and gritty stories. Her young adult Tankborn Trilogy combines multicultural science fiction with current

Other books in the series

Tankborn (3 books)
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“I think one of the prophets stuttered when he dictated your specs,” Jal said, snickering. “Or the gene-splicer was daydreaming about his high-status trueborn love and he botched your programming.” 3 likes
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