➧ The Culling Ebook ➭ Author Steven dos Santos – Gsagency.co

Recruitment Day Is Hereif You Fail, A Loved One Will DieFor Lucian Lucky Spark, Recruitment Day Means The Establishment, A Totalitarian Government, Will Force Him To Become One Of Five Recruits Competing To Join The Ruthless Imposer Task Force Each Recruit Participates In Increasingly Difficult And Violent Military Training For A Chance To Advance To The Next Level Those Who Fail Must Choose An Incentive A Family Member To Be Brutally Killed If Lucky Fails, He Ll Have To Choose Death For His Only Living Relative Cole, His Four Year Old BrotherLucky Will Do Everything He Can To Keep His Brother Alive, Even If It Means Sacrificing The Lives Of Other Recruits Loved Ones What Lucky Isn T Prepared For Is His Undeniable Attraction To The Handsome, Rebellious Digory Tycho While Lucky And Digory Train Together, Their Relationship Grows But Daring To Care For Another Recruit In A World Where Love Is Used As The Ultimate Weapon Is Extremely Dangerous As Lucky Soon Learns, The Consequences Can Be Deadly

10 thoughts on “The Culling

  1. says:

    There s this word we use in Britain and, judging by the puzzled looks on the faces of my University s international students, it is quite possible it isn t used anywhere else The word is gutted Not gutted like gutting a fish though I m sure that s where it comes from but gutted as in extremely disappointed Gutted as in I m gutted at having my year long trip plans ruined by a bout of unexpected snow also a British thing as other places seem to know how to cope with bad weather Here it s like Oh god, it s snowing Didn t see that one coming Even though it happens every Sodding Year Now, let me tell you a little something about my reading journey during the past couple of years Dystopias have been effin huge You can blink and suddenly there were ten upcoming dystopian releases promising to be the next life changer you can t possibly live without I ve read good dystopias and bad dystopias Atmospheric dystopias and dystopias plagued by purple prose Dystopias with zombies, with robots, with vampires, with angels Dystopias that weren t really dystopias but romance stories Dystopias set in our world and dystopias set in fictional ones Dystopias set in the United States, in Britain, in Canada, in Japan and in Mexico You name it and I d read a dystopia to go with it Or so I thought But in all those books, I had yet to read one that featured a central LGBT romance I had yet to read one where the protagonist was gay So, when The Culling came along promising that which I thought was impossible something new from the dystopian genre I couldn t stop myself from experiencing the high hopes that followed So when I say gutted here, please understand it to be the only word that can express how disappointed I am in finding out that one of the books I really really wanted to be good just wasn t.The Culling is a novel that takes one deliciously unique factor into the dystopian genre and pads it out with material dangerously similar to dum, dum, dum, wait for it The Hunger Games Copying from HG is doubly unoriginal because so many people have already tried that one on for size Everything but the gay romance is completely derivative and even that makes use of the old love triangle thing Of course But The Trials, the randomly chosen young participants in The Trials, the training and Lucky s motivations for everything he does protecting his younger brother is so similar to The Hunger Games that I m surprised this idea made it to print.Now let s not get into the wholeor theWhether or not Collins drew inspiration from Battle Royale or not doesn t matter because her trilogy was unique enough to stand on its own The differences far outnumber the similarities and the world set up of the plot and characters bear no resemblance to each other The same cannot be said for The Culling which uses a similar world, similar characters and relationships but without the same depth of character , similar motivations and a similar love triangle All this is on top of the use of The Trials which strongly resemble The Hunger Games, the only difference being that instead of there being one winner, there is one loser instead And for this latter reason, I couldn t help but feel that there was far less at stake too.As well as the noted similarities, Lucky fails to be the kind of protagonist you can care about, he certainly looks shabby when we inevitably compare him to Katniss Everdeen, as does the romantic angst chemistry here I also think some of his actions are quite ridiculous, like the risk he pulls near the beginning of deliberately getting caught so he can talk to Cassius, his supposed reasoning behind it is faulty and I can t believe anyone would risk getting tortured and killed for the sake of having a chat with their boyfriend.Very, very unimpressed Gutted Is this book for anyone Well fans of deja vu should love it.

  2. says:

    This review is also available over at my blog.______________________Okay, I think I ve recovered I think.The first time I d heard about this book, I was excited because it was a YA dystopian with a GLBT romance, which I ve been waiting aaaages for So I was ecstatic when I saw this on NetGalley and when the publisher approved me for it.Little did I know what a wild, insane ride this book was going to be.My emotions were splattered all over the walls and floors non stop as I read this Because let me tell you, this book takes place in the most cruelest dystopian world I ve ever seen There s a government called The Establishment that recruits five people to go through the Trials, facing numerous dangers along the way, and the last recruit standing will be victorious and earn a spot on the city s Imposer Task Force But if a recruit fails any level of the Trials, they will be forced to participate in The Culling, where a family member of theirs held as an Incentive will be brutally killed, and the recruit having to choose which one.Lucian Spark lives in the city with his four year old brother Cole, who he takes care of with the help of their neighbor, Mrs Bledsoe Then Lucian reunites with his long time friend, Cassius, who is now the city prefect His life takes a turn for the better, until a shocking betrayal lands him as one of the recruits for the Trials, with Cole and Mrs Bledsoe as his Incentives And then there s Digory, the protective boy who Lucian can t help but feel a deep attraction to But if he wants to save his family s lives, especially Cole s, he d have to do anything to keep himself alive and win the Trials.The amount of action in this book was unbelievable It made me unable to stop reading All of the scenes were gripping and heart wrenching, and sometimes I was worried to turn the page because I was afraid what would come next Never have I seen a dystopian world so cruel and unfair Because if you fail any level of the Trials, instead of being killed yourself, you have to choose one of your family members to be killed, even if they re just little kids We get to see a lot of that from some of the other recruits who didn t make it, and all those scenes had me in tears And the fact that the methods of the killing were so brutal didn t help either Steven dos Santos, you are a heartless, heartless man_.Another thing I really loved about this book was that the GLBT romance wasn t a big deal in it It was just a normal thing One of the male characters even has a husband and the authorities treat it like a normal marriage I wasn t expecting this of course, since it s a dystopian society, and I d thought that it was going to be the subject of ridicule and all that, but no I loved that the author didn t make it a big deal.I connected with all of the characters My heart broke many times for Lucian, because of all the unfairness that he was put through in the whole book Digory, the love interest, was a very sweet guy, but he was sometimes a little bit too overprotective of Lucian, in that he seems to treat Lucian like he s weak and powerless, which is the case sometimes, when he s tired or injured, but not all the time I liked that their romance didn t move too fast, and I can t say anything else about it without spoiling _I loved the other recruits, too There s Cypress, who at first appears to be cold and distant and angry all the time, but we eventually get to see her walls come down There s Gideon, the quiet boy who wears glasses that, well.is a lot stronger than I thought he was gonna be, I m just gonna leave it at that And then there s Ophelia, who first appears to be the annoying, giddy and excited all the time, ditzy kind of girl, but she gets hella scary as the book goes on, and she pretty much just loses her marbles I think I would too, if I were in her position.The ending wassurprisingly merciful But finishing the book still left me numb, because I just couldn t believe a book could be that action packed and cruel and violent in the most crushing way I m pretty sure I m scarred for life, now I d recommend it to you guys if you re looking for a book that just makes you feel all these feelings and then crush them repeatedly in the most violent way possible And also if you re looking for a wild, explosive and action packed ride with likable characters and a touching GLBT romance.An ARC of this book was sent to me by NetGalley and Flux Billions of thank you s

  3. says:

    So I was looking at my favourite books and realized I didn t write a review for The Culling which is weird to me.The Culling is a dystopian novel that follows a boy named Lucian Lucky Spark He gets chosen to participate in these trials that the government has to pick one new military government army person a year This book is one of my favourite books in the world It is a LGBT novel but it is done so without actually making it about that In this world, no one bats an eyelash when you date someone of the same sex No one questions it, no one makes it out to be a weird thing, it s just a thing that happens and no one cares It s actually amazing to see a world like this and I would like to see the world like this.Lucky is such a good and caring character who just wants to save his brother Cole and do his best to make it out of the trial And lets not forget Digory, the love of my life Digory Tycho It s been a while so I don t really remember specific moments, but Digory broke my heart from the moment I met him I knew he would be so important to me and I love him and Lucky together Really though everyone needs to read this book Truly This book, and the second book, are both so amazing They are well written and a great story The author is a really great author and he is so passionate about his books and this story and I think everyone should read these books and support him But for real read the books Just don t question Do It.

  4. says:

    Review originally written for SnarkSquad.comhttp www.snarksquad.com 2013 01 the culling by steven dos santos disappointing.htmlIn a nutshell The Hunger Games with a gay romance and a million times contrivance Main Character Lucky can apparently read all of your emotions in your eyes Like, he can tell you entire paragraphs worth of your back story, because he saw you look at something You were clearly looking longingly at that cupcake, but can never have it because of some deep traumatic past relationship, in which someone probably assaulted you with cupcakes and so your cupcake love can never be.Yeah, this is going to be a snarktastic review, because I ve got feelings.I tried so hard to like this book This book is basically a sloppy THG rip off, which I would forgive because of my respect for the male male romance, but it s so poorly written that I can t But let s start with my complaints about Lucky The other recruits the other players in The Hunger Games are all interesting than Lucky They are soap opera ridiculous, but at least interesting.Lucky is supposedly super interested in protecting his little brother much like Katniss Prim but Cole the brother really just gets lip service from Lucky He never seems to have any real, thoughtful reflections on Cole while he s off in The Hunger Games training, and most of his choices are motivated by his love interests than by his supposed wish to protect Cole on this later I just found it really hard to care about him, because he wasn t actually that interesting or well developed.Love Interest Can I just say again how excited I was that this was a dystopian YA with a gay romance I was so pumped This review is going to be incredibly redundant because each category is going to begin with a reiteration about how fully disappointing this book was.Digory is oh so perfect He s a charming golden boy who is also part of a resistance movement to overthrow the evil government AND he s totally self sacrificing in every conceivable way The trouble with all this perfection is that while it may be dreamy, it s also boring as shit Although, still interesting than Lucky.Digory is contrasted by the only slightly complex foil that is Cassius, Lucian s cray cray ex boyfriend Cassius is like the dystopian YA version of Christian Grey He s mega powerful and mega controlling and basically condemns Lucky and his brother to certain death because Lucky lied to him Negligent Parents Lucky s parents are dead, as are several of the other main characters parents, due to the early mortality brought on by Reaper s disease The few recruits whose parents are alive seem to have abusive parents, though Lucky has a Substitute Parent who could be halfway decent, except she s too insufficiently developed for me to issue a verdict.Ho Suspension Lucky s a ho fo sho, in the thinking with your genitals sense of the great ho suspension tradition Specifically, in spite of all the lip service that Lucky pays to his concern for his brother, his actions are almost always dictated by his feelings for his two love interests Quite frankly, the incident that starts this story never made sense to me for Lucky s stated purpose It was completely illogical and while it was fantastically blown out of proportion by the series of contrivance that followed that initial decision, the only reason to justify his choice to get himself in trouble and appeal to Cassius for help was that he wanted to see his ex boyfriend again, not some bullshit about protecting Cole Because that made negative sense.A Nothing I kid Maybe I did enjoy the fellow recruits, even if they were absurd Cypress is awesome and was probably my favorite character, even though her story suffered, like the whole book, from outlandish plot twists I did appreciate that homosexuality was a non issue in this world It was probably one of the few trite easy choices that Steven Dos Santos didn t make, by letting the government s cruelty be a separate issue I liked that the fact that several main characters were gay was never made into an issue.Fail The plot The world building I never believed this world It didn t make any sense The government seemed to exist solely to create plot twists for Lucky Everything that happened in this book happened so that Steven Dos Santos could have some new ludicrous plot device with his paper thin characters and universe Nothing was fleshed out because if he had tried to do that, he would have seen how bullshit it all was The very premise is ridiculous The Hunger Games the recruitment and culling is how they create their military leadership This is just a recipe for disaster for an evil government you give the guns and power to the people with the most reason to hate you Nobody saw this plan as a problem Aside from the overarching plot world, the whole bit with the fleshers in the middle of the book was also exceptionally nonsensical, and pointless The balance between instilling absolute government loyalty and the underlying wish to escape is always weird and inconsistent.The End By the time you get to the end, you ve been conditioned to accept bullshit Within the larger framework of this bullshit, the very end wasn t so bad The scene shortly before the end is the biggest hosuspension of all for Lucky, because for the milliontieth time, he pays lip service to caring about his brother without actually making choices which reflect that priority The final scene tries to be this beautiful moment for one of the other recruits but, as with the rest of this story, ends up being trite and ridiculous.And so The Goodreads folk who have already read this all seem to love it, and I don t understand So maybe there s something I m missing, but I did not enjoy this book Just to make sure you absolutely get the point this book was thoroughly disappointing.For Traumateers who love I don t know If you just REALLY love dystopian novels and don t mind them being formulaic and ill conceived, and are super stoked about the idea of a gay romance in a dystopian YA, then you might enjoy this Or maybe for Traumateers who love to rant about shit There are actually a lot of you in that category Final Grade D

  5. says:

    Join The Culling Official fan Forumhttp chaosreads.com forum 69 the toOHMYGODThis book was amazing and I am so annoyed that it is over with already I have to read this again because my mind and my heart couldn t take it.Here s my review 1 Plot The Writing Pacing A plusLet s get this out the wayYes, the book is very hunger games like The Whole Recruits Tributes thing is very similar Except unlike in HG even a book like divergent, the stakes are higher In HG, you have to make it to end of the games for yourself With The Culling, you not only have to make it to the end FIRST.but if you come in last place, you have to choose between two people you love How could you choose whether to kill your mother or father.between your children.best friendshusbandwife That alone gives the book a greater edge over The Hunger Games and you can already tell the book is going to be intense when Loving someone could very well be that person death Steven s way of writing grips you because he writes action scenes so well but there are so many touching and heartfelt moments in this book where he can pause the action and bring the emotionthe drama Not melodramareal drama The book isn t slow at allit s fast paced from the get go and you don t ever get bored and there is so little time to catch your breath because you just know something is about to happen and your ready for it 2 Characters A Plus This is one of the few books where I liked all of the characters from the main characters to minor characters Lucky is the 1st person narrator and he is strong.compassionate but initially he is very naive and choose to ignore logic in favor of believing his heart which is what puts him and his loved ones in danger Lucky is very well written He is someone you sympathize with but you never feel sorry for him He s not pathetic nor is he whiny He is strong but not OP strong He conveys his thoughts and makes decisions for himself and most of all he is devoted to those he cares about and even those who have caused him harm DigoryOh my godFANBOY MOMENT.Digory is the type of character that Four from Divergent should have been He is not brooding, He isn t rude and an ass for the sake of being an ass He has a good heart and he is a rebel but not one of those rebels who just do reckless and stupid shit He is smartHe s strong and most of all, he is someone who by the end of the book you ll fanboy fangirl over Even though the book was told through Lucky s POV, I actually preferred Digory simply because he is simply one of the best male POV i ve ever read The Secondary characters consisted of Gideon, Ophelia and Cypress who were recruits with Lucky Digory Gideon is an easygoing character who is hiding a dark and deadly secret..that comes out in a shocking way during the trials You sort of are able to put clues together throughout the book based on his actions but by the end of the book, you ll really be as shocked as I was.Cypress is the type of female protag books need of You think she is this bitchy, don t give a fuck type of girl but then as you read on you ll discover why she is the way she is and the anger she harbors It makes you relate to her and it makes you sympathize with her and her plight.Ophelia is one of the main VillainsThink Cato only a giggling girl She on the surface appeared to be this airhead girl but she is literally the most vicious in this book and when I say viciousshe is able to turn it off and on She snaps and then she she comes back whole as if nothing happened.BTW, Cassius is a total dick and asshole but he is by far one of the most compelling villains and he didn t even have a HUGE part in the story It s just his manipulations and the way he basically controlled everything that makes me love Cassius 3 The Gay Aspect A Plus PlusGoing into this book I was worriedOh God, it s either going to be some extremely effeminate gay lead character who spends his time whining OR they ll face homophobia Apparently, in this world homophobia doesn t exist as being gay didn t seem to be that big a deal The fact of the matter isLucky is male and he is gay and Digory is also gay or bi.But after awhile, you really can t tell you re reading anything out of the norm for a book The gay aspect was handled very well because while it is rare to find a lead character not only be MASCULINE GAY.Steven handled the aspect of their relationship as if it was nothing out of the ordinary Straight people can read this without feeling uncomfortable This is a relationship that will pull at your heart by the end of the book because this very relationship puts both Lucky Digory in grave dangerI don t want to give it away what happens but with Cassius manipulations, something indeed does happen that very well changes the course of the book mid way through and raises the stakes EVEN HIGHER I This is what Katniss Peeta or Four Tris should be like.the relationship should NEVER outweigh the story And this relationship never once brought the story downin fact it had you rooting for it 4 Overall Overall, this book was nearly perfection for me I read it in about 12 hours i kept getting distracted It is something that is familiar but also new fresh at the same time It makes your heart race It makes your mind race It makes you scream OH MY GOD DO NOT DO THAT NO I CANT BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED This book easily has joined Gone series, Quarantine Charlie Higson s The Enemy series as being my new favorite I am so pissed though that since the book just came out, I likely will have to wait till 2014 for the sequel The only thing I d likely have changed is1 I d like to know a little about the world they lived in2 This book was excellent as a 1st person novel but there are times when I wish I could ve been in Digory s head or Cassius3 More cassiushe is so awesome at being an ass.Arguably the best book of the year that I hope will be challenged by Light by Michael Grant Quarantine The Saints by Lex Thomas

  6. says:

    Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex Actual Rating 2.5 StarsI tried my hardest to give this book a fair chance, considering there are a lot of critiques centered around how similar this was to hunger games Unfortunately the writing and ideas involved seemed better on their own, then working together to give a compelling narrative Lucky the protagonist who has to work to save his brother just did not connect with me in a meaningful way I did appreciate the non straight romance, but even that seemed underdeveloped.

  7. says:

    I marked this as to read but had the ultimate pleasure of reading the original, pre published draft already I know this book is amazing I absolutely recommend this book to EVERYONE An awesome dystopian YA featuring gay characters YAY

  8. says:

    The salt air stings my eyes Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn t mean it s not worth telling I turn away Concentrating on the brightest star I can find, I hope he won t notice I m doing everything possible not to give in to the ache I feel for my brother I wonder what it could be like, Lucian, to love someone so totally, so.you know, so powerfully, that even the stars can t contain themselves from proclaiming that love for everyone to see, he says softly It must be the grandest feeling in the world Digory The Culling by Steven dos SantosLucian Lucky Spark has lost almost everything and everyone he cares aboutexcept for his younger brother, Cole His parents tragically passed away at a young age, just like many others, and the only motherly figure he has is a middle aged neighbor who s beginning to fall ill, and Lucky will do anything to protect the two people he cherishes most in his life, no matter what.In this dystopian world, Recruitment Day is an annual event that looms like a heavy cloud over the heads of sixteen year olds across the board On this day, five Recruits are chosen to compete for the chance to join the Imposer task force, a special and ruthless military branch These poor souls are forced to participate in gruesome training procedures and final trials to produce one reigning champion When a Recruit is chosen, they must pick two Incentives Incentives are people whom each of the five extremely cherish or love, usually family members, who are to be killed After training, the assessment tests are dealt with in a terrible way If you come in last, you must choose an Incentive to die When both of them have been compromised, you are killed as well This continues on until one final Recruit is left standing.Lucky cannot afford to be named a Recruit, especially when it means the final end for Cole However, with the confidence that he won t be chosen, his name just happens to be calledand the horrors begin The unexpected shock, shakes Lucky to his very core One wrong step and Cole is done for He has no friends to use as Incentives and he knows that the odds of him becoming an Imposer are practically slim to nothing, but he s not willing to give up He won t stop until he knows for sure that Cole is safe, even if it means letting his fellow competitors lose their Incentives in the process.He has no attachment to the other four Recruits so damage should be minimal to his emotions when he is forced to sacrifice others for his own That all changes, however, when he meets Digory Digory is a Recruit whom Lucky spends time with over and over again, and the they interact, the deeper their relationship grows Lucky can t afford this right now, but he can t help himself from feeling attraction towards his peer Any type of affection, endearment, or love is dangerous and can have deadly consequencesand Lucky is just on the verge of finding out how horrible they really are My review I loved this book to death for sooooooooooo many reasons One month later, the story is still so vivid in my mind that I feel like I m avidly rereading it over again just by writing my review on it To begin with, I suppose that I should address the fact of how it does have similarities to the Hunger Games No, I have not read the books up to this current point yet , but from the movies, I would say that they do have come central elements in common Mainly, they both involve teenagers fighting for their lives The government forces them to do this and only one of the contestants is supposed to be left standing by the end of it all Otherwise, I believe that this is where the connections end Steven dos Santos puts his own twist to his own story I feel that by no means should it be judged by the Hunger Games, but if you enjoyed that trilogy, this could be a perfect read for you Next, the writing style was absolutely phenomenal in The Culling When I began this story, I wasn t sure how I would take to this dystopian world or any of the characters in it for that matter, but I absolutely fell in love with it The relationship between Lucky and Cole was so tangible While Cole was only four years old, I could easily see the relationship that was going on between them and how much they truly loved each other The only way to describe it was that it was portrayed with expertise and the best of perfection there could be I felt like they were real people, actual brothers that I was jealous of for their endearment towards one another There was no doubt in my mind that they were just words on a page I couldn t help but cheer for them, it was impossible not to Lucky showed so much emotion towards Cole and it was so totally believable.Each of the characters were so distinct when reading about them When they were first introduced, I absolutely did not think that I would ever get attached, I could only cheer for one winner after all, but this was not how it turned out in the least In the beginning, I thought I had them all figured out, but Steven added and depth to them and this was something that I never expected I had no idea that I could care for any of the four the way that I did Even when I hated them one moment, I was completely saddened for them the next and wanted them each to have their own happy endings Alas, in this dystopian world, those are hard to come by Each Recruit had a backstory worth reading and their history was rich and compelling, every last one of them.To be clear, I m not the type of girl who gets emotionally distraught when reading a book and cries over it I just haven tuntil I met this book No, I didn t cry, but I felt close to doing so time and time again All that happened to Lucky and what he was forced to go through, whether it was betrayal, loss, or injury both physically and emotionally I felt the pain of it all, too I just can t praise this book enough.And now we get down to the best aspect of The Culling, the fact that the male protagonist was gay Maybe I ve just been living under a rock which I m pretty sure I haven t , but I ve yet to see a dystopian book with this type of individual as the main character I loved it so much, and the best part of it was that it was not a big deal It simply was just another part of Lucky He was who he was, no questions asked or ridicule dumped on him He and Digory were a great match, and their relationship was dealt with well In fact, at one point in the book, someone mentioned that a man s husband was waiting for him It was so casual and a slight detail in the conversation, like you would talk about the weather Being gay was not ostracized or condemned It was wonderfully ordinary Thank you Steven dos Santos Lucky s former boyfriend and current love interest were both extremely interesting to read and learn about The character Cassius was so good at being bad that it was ridiculously awesome Did that even make sense Lastly, I believe that I should address the violence that is a prominent part of this novel When reading other reviews from various other places, I have seen this brought up several times I will say that there are some disturbing scenes and acts of horror bestowed upon individuals, and this is probably not for the weak at heart Yet, this is still a young adult novel and is treated as such So, it is still okay to read and I recommend it to everyone You might just want to wait to read it if you are not an older teen, but everyone is at different reading levels and have varying preferences as to what they enjoy, so it is really at your discretion.I ll leave by saying that I m so proud of this novel and its author for all that it stands for I couldn t have been happier with it It just blew my mind, and I have made it my life s mission to obtain the next book in record time Now, if you ll excuse me, I have to go reread this book now I m slightly obsessed You can see reviews like this one and at

  9. says:

    Thanks to the success of the Hunger Games young adult dystopian fiction is seeing an influx of similar storylines The Culling is one of these The plot and its evolution are remarkable similar A teenage boy has to fight against other kids in a government sponsored contest in a post apocalyptic world with his younger brother s life in the balance.Steven dos Santos does a credible job creating the world for the reader and providing some interesting characters and back stories The main problem is that much of it feels very familiar Granted, in this crowded genre it is hard to find something completely new to add, but this isn t even a truly fresh take on the ideas.The lead character, Lucian Lucky Sparks, is the typical teen quasi hero who also happens to be gay A large part of the plot deals with his former and current love interests Unfortunately neither seems really plausible or believable The first, who has already gone through this ritual and won, is now a part of the government And although he hasn t seen Lucky in 2 years supposedly is still so jealous and possessive that in a matter of a few hours he develops a plot to destroy his life Then there is the new guy Supposedly they never spoke at school, have never seen each other outside of school ever and basically have had no interaction at all ever But, we are supposed to believe that he is so in love with Lucky that he would give his own life for him.Interesting ideas but they are not realized As a reader I do not believe any of these feelings or scenarios are real In a real odd twist some of the supporting characters are much sympathetic and believable Gideon and Cypress are very complex characters that actually brought tears to my eyes in some scenes I wish I had felt as much for the main character.In this very dark world very bad things happen, sometimes without any real purpose I was left with the feeling that some of the explicit horror was there only for shock value In dystopian fiction it is quite natural to have brutal circumstances and extremes, however there has to be some logical through line and basis for us to buy into the way things are done It just isn t present in this book While the history of some of the individual characters is fascinating it does not come together to create a cohesive larger story More information on how society reached the state it is in might be helpful in creating the back drop for the tale.There is an amazing creativity shown in the actual descriptions and scenarios With a little guidance and work there is a lot of potential here I would be interested to see Steven dos Santos next effort.

  10. says:

    I love a lot of books, so when people ask me what my favorite is, it is incredibly difficult for me to come up with a title However, I think now I might finally be able to come up with an easy answer In The Culling by Steven dos Santos Lucian Lucky Spark has been recruited for training by the totalitarian government known as The Establishment According to Establishment rules, if a recruit fails any level of the violent training competitions, a family member is brutally killed and the recruit has to choose which one As the five recruits form uneasy alliances in the hellish wasteland that is the training ground, an undeniable attraction develops between Lucky and the rebellious Digory Tycho But the rules of the training ensure that only one will survive the strongest recruits receive accolades, wealth, and power while the weakest receive death With Cole Lucky s four year old brother being held as incentive, Lucky must marshal all his skills and use his wits to keep himself alive, no matter what the cost The Culling portrays a bleak future after an apocalypse that has covered what seems to remain of the world in an Ash that causes many to die at an early age from a terrible coughing disease It is clear that Lucian cares very deeply for his little brother, Cole After losing both parents, Cole is all he has left When Cassius returns from his training, Lucian is eager to reconnect with his old friend in the hopes the he will help them Digory and Lucian are amazing characters who are strongly motivated for their own reasons Their connection was deep and nearly instant, though it might not be clear to all readers what the connection might be until much later Though it is never stated implicitly, Lucian is indeed gay and has feelings for Digory Their attraction towards each other grows throughout the novel, and despite the horror around them and the bleak outlook for their lives, there are moments of such heart breaking tenderness that I stopped and reread the scenes over to myself many times before moving on Their shared moment under the stars, the dancing before their graduation ceremony my heart still aches at the beautiful way the author portrayed these scenes I am glad this is the first book in a series, because I am in love I want from this author, and my only regret is that I can t have right now The Culling will be available for purchase on March 8, 2013, but it can be preordered now from .