The Muse Book Review Archives

Survival Op reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Interview with Marcus Damanda by Pamela Jenewein
Loss of Innocence reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos
Audio Classes by DDP reviewed by Lea Schizas
Interview with Michael Perronne
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill reviewed by Gene Berger
Diverting the Buddha reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Launch Out Into the Deep reviewed by Mary Schneider
The Life Organizer reviewed by Alice Berger
Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Swapping Paint reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Through the Ages and The Sun is Hot reviewed by Christine Speakman



Book One in the Survival Op Series by Scott Allen


Publisher: iUniverse


What does it take to survive on your own in the wilderness while being hunted and with no supplies? How would you feel if you were thirteen and placed in this situation?


Imagine you are a foster child who has had enough of being shuffled between homes and leave your last foster home only to be rounded up and used in an abusive experiment. In this violent environment Marcus at the beginning of the book escapes his hunters and finds a friend in Lynn. She is literally thrown into the walled off wilderness with Marcus and the two learn to survive on what they find in the forest.


Marcus and Lynn work together to build a kind of home to give them a safe and dry place to hide from the hunters, and they fortify their fortress with ingenious weapons made from trees, stones, and various other natural substances they find. Marcus, who trusts no one, gradually learns to believe in and trust Lynn, and the two forge a relationship based on their experiences with each other. Danger and fear are ever present as they alternately run from and then fight the hunters who shoot to kill. Over the wall is everything a twenty-first century teen would need, but it means surrendering to the authorities controlling the experiment.


What is this experiment and why is Marcus there? Who is Lynn and how is she involved with the deceitful hunters? These questions kept me reading until the end. Unfortunately, since this is the first book of a series, several questions are still left unanswered at the end of the book. However, this thin adventure novel is packed full of everything a young adult reader, especially boys, could want. Written in Marcus’ point of view the story moves at a fast pace, and it is so vivid you feel the harsh environment in which he is forced to live. Yet, it is also a story of hope and survival as Marcus uses his head to outwit the evil hunters and to overcome the obstacles that are constantly being placed in front of him.


One small problem is that this book needed further proofreading. In a few places there are typos, but one place left out significant parts of the text. This is not an Advance Reader Copy, so I didn’t expect it. Other than that, the story is excellent, and I would recommend it for anyone ages 11-14.


Rating: 3 roses 

                       *GREAT RERose, LargeADRose, Large
Rose, Large 

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