Tankborn (Tankborn Series #1)

Tankborn (Tankborn Series #1)

by Karen Sandler

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940013255890
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date: 09/21/2011
Series: Tankborn Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,122,432
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

KAREN SANDLER is the author of the Tankborn trilogy as well as seventeen novels for adults and several short stories and screenplays. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software engineer, including work on the Space Shuttle program and communications satellites. She lives in northern California with her husband, Gary, and their three cats, and can often be found riding her Andalusian/Morgan mare, Belle.

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Tankborn 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
d7e40 More than 1 year ago
I got sucked into this story pretty quickly. It was easy to read and the characters were likable. I was a little uncomfortable with how quickly one romance happened, but I got over it pretty quickly. I probably forget how fast I "fell in love" when I was fifteen. The characters were likeable and I found myself really rooting for one of them (Mishalla). My perspective on books has changed a lot since I became a mother and I could feel the torment that Mishalla went through when the children were being stolen in the night. One interesting thing about the world that the story takes place in, is the different races of the humans that inhabit this future world...and who is "better" than another. The story is told from different perspectives but instead of finding that annoying, I really enjoyed being in multiple characters "stories". I would highly recommend this book for middle school kids (or anyone really).
MamaMouse More than 1 year ago
This story mostly follows two different girls. The first is Mishalla who is assigned to be a caretaker of young children. Mishalla quickly realizes that things are not good at her facility as her supervisor will come in the middle of the night and forcefully remove selected children. If she complains or gets in the way of the enforcers, she faces being realigned. When you are realigned, it is like being reprogrammed, everything you were is gone and replaced with new programming. You don’t remember your friends, your family, or even your old self. The other is girl Kayla and she has been assigned as a caretaker for an elderly disabled man, Zul Manel. Kayla tries to do everything right for fear of being realigned, but someone passes her a secret package and asks her to carry it into the high society position she is going to. The family of Zul doesn’t want her there and Kayla quickly realizes the old man treats her differently from everyone else. She soon realizes that Zul might know about her secret and that he might be willing to help her achieve her secret goal. When I first started reading this story, there were a lot of unfamiliar terms in the first few chapters and it was difficult to decipher their meanings from the text. After a couple of chapters it did get a bit easier. As with any new world, there was a lot of world building that had to be done. Once I was past the first few chapters the terminology got easier and the story got much more interesting. I did feel that this story was going to continue into a second book, but I haven’t seen any series listings or information on a next book. I just think that the story can go on and I am not ready to quit with the story of Kayla and the other TankBorns.
psteinke1122 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
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 are best friends. They grew up together in the same GEN sector, and are the same age. Mishalla has already received her assignment as a ¿nurturer¿ to young children in what is an emergency foster home until family can be found to care for the child. Kayla received her assignment as the caregiver of an high status elderly man, Zul, living with his grandson and family. While caring for Zul, Kayla¿s eyes are opened to the reality of tankborns and the knowledge shakes her to the very core of her existence.Tankborn was an incredibly thought provoking read. It took me a little while to get into it because the story starts out using terminology created for the world of the book, and that didn¿t necessarily provide a definition for me. One of my all-time favorite authors does this all the time and it just something I, personally, have to fight through.While it is quite clear that the author wanted to explore the chaste system, this story could really be a metaphor for any ¿us vs. them¿ mentality¿be it religion, gay rights, politics, you name it, and there are direct correlations within ¿Tankborn¿. It also carried a message of hope. ¿Even without the white diamond glitter from the bali in his right ear, Kayla would have known this one was high-status. His dark hair was straight and glossy, not wild and kinked like Kayla¿s or tight curls like Jal¿s. His skin was the perfect color, a right medium bown. Not near black like Jal¿s, nor the pale mud color of her own skin, but a warm shade in between. The color of status.¿Another thing I appreciated about this book was that the higher chaste, ¿true born¿, people were people of color. Actually the whole book is people of color¿but found it interesting that those with the mid-range color were more desirable, or higher status, rather than those at the end of spectrum. Leaving lots of room for interpretation. Also, the model on the book cover is also a beautiful girl of color.I really enjoyed ¿Tankborn¿. The author did a beautiful job weaving together a story, then did a spectacular job of destroying everything Kayla believed in. It¿s one of those books readers will still be thinking about days after they have finished it. I know I am!
nbmars on LibraryThing 7 months ago
In 2010 Lee and Low acquired Tu Publishing, dedicated to diversity in fantasy, science fiction, and mystery. Out of this division comes Tankborn, a scifi story of a future dystopia on the planet Loka in which status is almost solely a function of skin color. In this world, the highest members of society are a rich medium brown. Pale skin indicates demi-status, not high, and moreover is considered unattractive. The author based her complicated stratification on the Indian caste system, and in fact, the linguistic inspiration for most of the ¿foreign¿ language terms came from Sanskrit. [These words are introduced by ¿incluing,¿ a term attributed to author Jo Walton, who defines it as ¿scattering information seamlessly through the text, as opposed to stopping the story to impart the information.¿ The reader gradually learns the terms by context, rather than by ¿infodumping.¿] Kayla, a GEN, or genetically engineered non-human, is at the bottom of society¿s rungs. GENs were created to be slaves to the "Trueborn" (as opposed to "tankborn"). Slavery assignments are made when a GEN turns fifteen. GENs are indentifiable by facial tattoos, inter alia. Through these tattoos, which can be interfaced with datapods, GENs can be monitored or even ¿reset¿ ¿ i.e., their entire personalities wiped out - if they are found to be unsatisfactory to the ruling class in any way. GENs feel only a mild dissatisfaction with their lot, however; their religion teaches them that their enslavement is ¿ordained, even glorious.¿ Kayla¿s best friend Mishalla, who was formed to be a nurturer, is assigned to a ¿crèche¿ to help raise Trueborn babies. Kayla was engineered to have upper body strength, and so gets assigned to be a caretaker for a wealthy older man, Zul, who has nerve damage. Before either girl leaves for her assignment, however, each receives a mysterious message hinting that something sinister is happening, and both of them are needed to help fight it. Eventually, the girls will need to convince the Trueborns around them that something about the slavery system is rotten, but first, they need to convince themselves.Discussion: I enjoyed the complex world-building in this story, in which clothes, food, jewelry, leisure-time activities and more all are different, depending on social status. I would have liked to see as much attention paid in this book to the development of the mindsets that facilitate the continuation of the stratification and enslavement systems. So many stories assume readers' minds will round up the usual suspects: religion, socialization, education, the fostering of internecine conflicts, etc. But it would be nice to see these factors played out a bit in a story if it could be done without undue didacticism. With slavery, the author posits that the religious system induces docility and convinces slaves to wait until the next life for happiness, but what about the Trueborn's attitudes toward the slaves? How is this society getting the upper classes to deny what their eyes are telling them? These are subjects I hope get more treatment in future installments of the series.Evaluation: Much of the plot was predictable (including the inevitable forbidden attraction between a Trueborn and each of the girls), except, ironically, for the big reveal at the end, which disappointed me by not being radical enough. That is, the thought-system of the Trueborns isn¿t challenged by the reveal, because it doesn¿t need to be. Although there are two more Tankborn books planned, this one actually does end, so you can read it for its own merits without having to make a commitment to continue with the series. But I do plan to continue; I'm hoping the story (and I am thrilled to read a book of this sort with main protagonists of color) addresses more systemic change as it progresses.In terms of genre, this book is labeled as ¿scifi¿ but I really don¿t see it as different from any o
JRlibrary on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Tankborn is a dystopian novel which will appeal to mature science fiction readers.Kayla, and her best friend are GEN, which means they were genetically engineered and created in a tank rather than in utero. Tankborn is set on a planet that seems like Earth, especially India with its caste system. Kayla ends up assigned to the care of an elderly man and becomes friends with his grandson. I thought that the exploration of different social status levels was overdone, and I got tired of it pretty quickly. As well, I think the new words would be a bit intimidating to most middle school readers, and they might not be willing to persevere long enough to get into the story.
CindyFesemyer on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Tankborn is one of the first efforts put out by the new imprint of Lee & Low Publishers, Tu Books. Tu Books is an imprint to watch. Here's a snippet from their website:"Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery: these genres draw in young readers like no other. Yet it is in these genres that readers of color might feel most like an outsider, given that such a large percentage features white characters (when they feature human characters). It is the goal of Tu Books to publish genre books for children and young adults that fills this gap in the market¿and more importantly, this gap in serving our readers. By focusing on diverse settings and characters in fantastic stories, we also open up worlds to all readers."Based in Tu's mission alone I will do my darnedest to read every book they put out. I started with Tankborn, by Karen Sandler. The book starts in very typical sci fi fashion by plunging us into a strange, unfamiliar world with its own vocabulary. The vocab issue could be a little offputting to people who aren't avid readers of sci fi, but I urge you to stick with it. You'll get over the difficulty quickly and can then jump with both feet into Sandler's world.Patterned after the Indian caste system of Earth (and not altogether different from the system of haves and have-nots of Western society--hello Occupy), some people are born into great privilege, some into slavery. Add a good dose of genetic engineering to the mix and you get a YA novel that takes you into a dystopian society painted in rich details that tap all five senses.Recommended for ages 12 and up. Adults, don't fear Young Adult fiction. This one is for you, too.
readingthruthenight on LibraryThing 7 months ago
FIRST AND FOREMOST - didja check out that cover? Yay to POC. I adore that this is a dysfic and it's all about caste systems and allusions of discrimination and race WITHOUT being about race itself, but more about "who and what" defines humanity.And yes, I'm all *fingers crossed* that this book is a hit because folks I'm not a huge dysfic kinda reader and I have to admit that in the beginning I almost stopped reading. Which would have been devastating because there is just SO MUCH to discuss.S'okay, my gripes. And it's really my biggest gripe. There are way too many new words for words that already exist. I think that this is a science fiction thing? I've heard of people refer to two different types of science fiction - high and low. Is there truth to that? (1) And if I'm remembering it correctly, "high scifi" is where worlds/universes/allofexistences are created (think Lord of the Rings) whereas "low scifi" is maybe more like how True Blood is urban fantasy? I don't know I could be talking about of my arse...but the thing is, the GRIPE is the unnecessary jargon. It's what causes me to shy away from any type of "high scifi" I am awful at learning languages and my mind just can't keep up with these new verbal symbols. Tankborn had its share of new verbal symbols. I found them to be like little speed bumps in my reading, and it absolutely put me off.But I persevered and here's the DL.Kayla and Mishella are best buds living in a slummed district known as Chadi. They're GENS, which means their lives aren't their own. They were created by humans with human DNA but are considered non-human. Each GEN is gifted with a specialty: for Kayla it's her strength and for Mishella it's her nurturing spirit. Upon their fifteenth year, the GENS are sent away from their nurturers and home life to work for a trueborn. There's a caste system going on here where trueborns rank the highest and GENS are the lowest, and a couple of other "middle class" borns in between. Tankborn, like I think most dysfic's are suppose to do, brings forth an interesting commentary about racism, humanity, economic status. THESE are all of the right reasons to read dysfic. There were many occasions where the similarities of GEN-ism and segregation were unnerving. For example, I recently saw The Help (2) and there was a specific collection of scenes where the whites were appalled at using the same toilets as the blacks because gawd only knows what diseases they might catch. And really, it's for the best of BOTH races ..blah blah blah. Well, dude, in the case of Tankborn, GENS can't touch trueborns (and if you haven't figured it out yet, trueborns are those born from the womb) because of one reason or the next. Obvs there are those moments and you're like I-see-the-similarity-thanks. That's not what makes this book great...it's much deeper than that.What makes this book great is the intricate creation of the GENS and the questions of their existence and what that means to humanity. It's how GENS have their own religion and how that's used to define them and even manipulate them. It's how close we are to creating GENS ourselves. Oh and don't forget that little nagging voice that wants to ask when is the use of science a disservice, a ticking bomb, a near explosion to what makes LIFE so miraculous.This is the type of book that would be a godsend to teach in upper level high school.And yes, I have to admit, part of me was a bit jealous of the capability of datapods. I can't help it...even though in this book they are Evil..or at least Not Good...I partly still kinda want an exterior brain pod with a circuit board where I could just upload information to whenever it benefitted me. By gawd, I do want to be a walking encyclopedia. There. I said it.Now. Do yourself a favor and run out and purchase this book.(1) I realize that I could just google it, but I'm lazy.(2) For those of you who just read the novel, I'm sure that this scene is in it as we
jwitt33 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.From Goodreads: "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."I really, really enjoyed this dystopian book! Set in a new world, there is a caste system set up so that the highborns can enjoy their lives fully, being the richest and most powerful of all of the trueborns. The lowest of the low are the tankborns. They GENs, and as they are a combination of human DNA spliced with animal DNA, they are considered nonhuman, and are the slaves to all of the other classes. Kayla and Mishalla are best friends, but something is different about them. Even though they are only tankborn, they question things that other tankborns wouldn't even think of questioning. They are both approached separately to transport illegal data, for reasons that will become clear in the book.I really loved the world building in this book! It always amazes me how a writer can take an idea of a world and then describe it in a way that you feel you are there, walking around with the characters, seeing all of the different things that they are seeing! Karen Sandler has a real gift for this, let me tell you! The character growth also impressed me a great deal. Kayla begins as a naive, sheltered girl, nervous about getting her Assignment. Through the book she learns that things are not always as they seem and this changes and matures her. The same is true of Mishalla. They both fall for trueborns and this also impacts their growth.I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next :D
EKAnderson on LibraryThing 7 months ago
If you¿re looking for a hard sci fi with a true literary bent, TANKBORN is for you. Karen Sandler`s brand new novel is so elegantly developed, with characters that you hold onto even after you¿ve turned the last page, is an exciting space adventure as much as it is a commentary on social and cultural issues in the world in which we currently live.Taking place on a distant planet where humans have colonized, transplanting some of their native plants and animals and genetically engineering others, TANKBORN follows best friends Kayla and Mishalla, two GEN girls who are at the age when all GENs find out their assignments in a trueborn sector. Mishalla has just been taken to her new role as a nurturer in an orphanage, and Mishalla is about to begin work as a caretaker for a elderly ¿ and very wealthy ¿ man. Kayla has always felt odd. Her GEN tattoo is on the wrong cheek, she has such strange splotchy skin on her arms, and the strength she was given in the tank ¿ engineered using animal DNA ¿ makes her feel awkward and off-balance.But the trueborn boy she¿s seen around her sector ¿ the one who has told other kids to leave her and her brother alone ¿ turns out to be her new charge¿s great grandson. And together they realize that the society that they¿ve grown up accepting as the only way of living might not be the best way, and that, in fact, there are people in the government actually trying to suppress information that holds the key to a mystery unraveling at Mishalla¿s orphanage, where children have been going missing in the middle of the night.With sparks of romance, plenty of intrigue, and a lyrical narrative, TANKBORN is a not-to-be missed sci fi story that teens and adults will surely be passing around amongst friends, both this fall and in years to come.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Okay, so I have a confession to make: I love dystopian novels. I mean, it's so bad that if I see a book that's labeled dystopian, I have to look at it. Now, that doesn't always mean that I end up reading or buying it, but it certainly ups the odds and if the book sounds interesting enough, I will read it. Tankborn was one of those books. I hadn't heard about it until I found it on NetGalley, and since it sounded interesting, I thought it was worth checking out.In Tankborn, best friend Kayla and Mishalla know that they can't stay together forever. As GENs (genetically engineered non-humans) they are completely at the mercy of their strict caste society, where GENs are the bottom rung. Born in a tank and living a life of poverty, Kayla and Mishalla have little to look forward to in life after the age of 15, when they will be assigned to their lifetime career. After being assigned to care for children of trueborn families, both girls find themselves thrown into a strange web of secrets of lies surrounding the disappearance of trueborn children.Tankborn offers an interesting look into a strict futuristic caste system with strict adherence to class, and some very serious class issues. Though Tankborn also has an interesting and unique take on the genre, I thought its biggest impact was the exploration of classism in such an explicit and unexpected way that makes Tankborn stand out from others in the genre.Well-written and thought-provoking, not many people may know about Tankborn, but it's a gem in the cascade of modern YA dystopian literature that anyone who enjoys the genre should read.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I have to admit to being a little intimidated when it comes to writing this review ¿ because I feel like I cannot do this book justice. I haven¿t felt that way since I read The Hunger Games, y¿all. Tankborn is just that damn good, but it¿s good in a totally different way.First, let me just say that I¿m loving the emergence of ethnicity into the dystopian genre. Kayla is different from other characters I¿ve read, but not noticeably different ¿ just its there and you can bask in its total awesomeness. Then there¿s the concept ¿ children being created for.. what again? Strange computers resetting minds? Foster families? What is going on?! It was just so much amazing fun that my mind couldn¿t grasp it fully and I kept going back to re-read and put the book down in amazement as the story progressed.Yes, the story is that good.If you, like me, are picky about which dystopia genre books you want to rave about to other people, if you are tired of the genre being saturated by lackluster books following a clear-cut formula, then pick up Tankborn. This is not one that will disappoint you.
alcarinqa on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a well executed science fiction novel with a riveting plot and many underlying themes that provoke thought long after the last page is turned. The world building is amazing - from the descriptions of the landscapes and arachnid based fauna (eep!), to the holograms which render the environment `Earth-like¿, Sandler brings her world to life brilliantly. The reader is forced to learn the foreign terminology as they read - there are no overly contrived information dumps to slow down the action of the story. The caste system employed on Loka is the most unique element of the book - based on the status of ones ancestors when they first arrived on colony ships. Skin colour, in general, separates the statuses, and this allows the book to subtly explore racism. The romance in Tankborn is refreshing to read as the female leads do not become incapacitated by their strong feelings towards the men they are interested in. Both Kayla and Mishalla are strong, like-able characters who fall in love with humans. Kayla¿s romance is more riveting than Mishalla¿s due to the element of danger introduced by her feelings for a trueborn, Devak. Their courtship is slow and sweet, and due to its forbidden nature, thrilling all at once. The difficulties Kayla and Devak face in understanding what separates a GEN from a human fascinated me. A wonderful novel which immediately became one of my favourite YA novels published this year. I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys young adult fiction or science fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book but the romance was a little flat. It had good points but they were few and far betwen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JeanBookNerd More than 1 year ago
The energy behind Tankborn’s intriguing story had me glued to the pages from the beginning. We are introduced to a world where Genetically Engineered Non-humans, or GENs, are produced to perform designated jobs. In reality, they are slaves that are obligatory into subjection and at the mercy of a brutal caste system putting them at the very bottom. Karen Sandler’s very detailed and well thought-out society and the two different religions to which humans and GENs follow were very fascinating. The development of the characters was solid and there were moments I felt compassion and grief for them. The story follows two GEN friends, Kayla and Mishalla. They are reaching the age when they will find out their assignments. During this transition, they ultimately discover who they really are and they really stand for. Meanwhile, there is an unhurried romance build up for the two GENs. This is a very pleasant dystopian novel with memorable characters living in a complex story. The words within the pages paced nicely. Sandler’s description of the struggle of the lower class, the present status of the human race, and the explanation of the GENs were genius. I certainly hope that a sequel will come forth because I was saddened when I turned the last page. I would like to just even get a glimpse of where the story takes Kayla and Mishalla beyond the last page.
jwitt33 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. From Goodreads: "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." I really, really enjoyed this dystopian book! Set in a new world, there is a caste system set up so that the highborns can enjoy their lives fully, being the richest and most powerful of all of the trueborns. The lowest of the low are the tankborns. They GENs, and as they are a combination of human DNA spliced with animal DNA, they are considered nonhuman, and are the slaves to all of the other classes. Kayla and Mishalla are best friends, but something is different about them. Even though they are only tankborn, they question things that other tankborns wouldn't even think of questioning. They are both approached separately to transport illegal data, for reasons that will become clear in the book. I really loved the world building in this book! It always amazes me how a writer can take an idea of a world and then describe it in a way that you feel you are there, walking around with the characters, seeing all of the different things that they are seeing! Karen Sandler has a real gift for this, let me tell you! The character growth also impressed me a great deal. Kayla begins as a naive, sheltered girl, nervous about getting her Assignment. Through the book she learns that things are not always as they seem and this changes and matures her. The same is true of Mishalla. They both fall for trueborns and this also impacts their growth. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToReadPerchancetoDream More than 1 year ago
Tankborn is a dystopian novel that is set on a different planet, although it seems much like Earth. It's also science-fiction-ey with the genetic engineering as a predominant part of the society. There are a lot of interesting elements to this book. There's genetic splicing of animal DNA to human DNA to make new GENs with special strengths, tattoos used to hook up datapods to the GENs, a strict caste system, and hover cars! I've always been a fan of hover cars! There's an obvious social message in this book, told through the caste system. The highborns and lowborns are differentiated by their eye and skin color, as well as the clothing and jewelry they wear. The GENs have no status at all as they are not even considered human. These ranks and issues mirror the problems our society has/has had with different races, religions, and economic levels. While I embraced the idea of exploring these issues in the book, I felt like I was being hit over the head with it. There was so much exposition on it from each character, over and over, saying the same things, it got old very quickly for me. Overall, it's an interesting book and worth a read if you enjoy dystopian and/or science fiction novels. *Disclaimer: I received this book for review from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review.
The_Paperback_Pursuer More than 1 year ago
Description: Tankborn by Karen Sandler begins with friends Kayla and Mishalla, two Genetically Engineered Non-humans, (GENs), and the futuristic caste society in which they live. Both girls live in the slumlands and are treated as vagrants because all GENs are created, modified, and born in tanks, not in a human mother's womb. Non-GENs get a choice in their upbringing and future, but for Kayla and Mishalla the future is bleak. The only assignment is that of slavery. Kayla manages to be assigned to the service of an trueborn elderly man named Zul Manel as a caregiver to his family and children, and it is here that she discovers the terrible reality of what it really means to be a tankborn GEN. Especially when the children of the Manel household begin disappearing and Kayla must find out who she can trust in order to find the children before it is too late. Review: I received Tankborn from publisher Lee and Low Books on NetGalley and immediately loaded it into my Kindle because I had been hearing good things about it; and guess what, the rumors were true! I like a book with a strong plot, developed characters, fast-paced dialogue, and a sci-fi twist, all of which I found in this beautifully covered ebook. I recently discovered the Dystopian genre and this was a welcome addition to my collection. I loved the terminology as well as the use of the caste system. The rich descriptions of color, race, and class added to the beautiful language usage, especially when describing characters like Kayla, Jal, and Zul. I am a really visual person, so the more details the better. The pace of the book was well appreciated, it took me a few hours to finish, and it was engrossing enough that I was sad when I turned the last digital page and realized it was over. Overall, Tankborn was thoroughly enjoyable Dystopian read that was put together Velcro-tight and had me wishing there was more to be read. Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)
Humbee More than 1 year ago
Here's a new one on "1984" and "Animal Farm," combined! Pay attention to Karen Sandler when she writes! "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 be reprogrammed and reset to perform tasks. They can also be killed and abused at a whim. These tankborns are the most vulnerable and disposable of all "people" in society. In addition, they've been created to set the lowest rung of the societal scale, creating a hierarchy for marking the "trueborns." They are cloaked in superstition, have mottled and a plethra of different skin colors and hair texture, and can also resemble some of the animals spliced into their genes. Into this tankborn mix we're introduced to our main characters Kayla and her "tanksister," Mishalla. They, of course, have no idea if they are sisters, but their close friendship keeps them connected. At the age of puberty Gen's are separated from their Nurtur and given an Assignment. Kayla's Assignment to an elderly highborn allows her path to cross with her friend who is operating as a Nurtur for baby orphans. In a nutshell, the babies begin to be "taken" or to disappear. Disturbed by this, Kayla and Mishalla work together to find out why and where they're taken. Kayla suspects she may have been one of these disappeared babies since she has a different face pattern and personality than the other tankborns. She's always felt different from her fellow GENs. I've given you as much of the background story as I can without spoiling it for you! Now, it's up to you to discover the secrets of this captivating book, and to make your own conclusions about the gene-splicing. I found "Tankborn" a book I didn't want to stop reading. Its difference lies in the realism Ms Sandler creates around her characters. This is not a too sweet and too romantic story, but one with a contemplative warning. She presents her story as if it takes place in this timeframe, and as if it reflects our own society or one that could be closely related to ours in the 21st century. The concept of a hierarchy in society isn't a new one. The idea of enslaving a group of people to assure the "haves" remain in control, in power and at the top of the financial structure is familiar throughout history. Revolt and rising up against tyranny is inate, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed "Tankborn," and can recommend it to you. It's one I would get for your Kindle or Nook. 4 unspliced stars Deborah/TheBookishDame
Jenny_Geek More than 1 year ago
Pretty much from the second I started this book, I was hooked. This was a big world to create, and Karen Sandler did a phenomenal job introducing the reader to characters, the lifestyle, the religion, and just the world itself. The big thing for me as a reader is going along for the emotional ride with the characters, which I definitely felt like I did with Kayla and Mishalla. I felt their anxiety, their hope, their anger and all the other emotions they went through in the course of this book. As this story unwrapped itself, it became apparent that there was so much more going on in their world than either girl knew was possible. I'll definitely say that I found myself surprised at a lot of the outcomes in this story. There were definitely a lot of anxiety ridden moments in this book. I found myself nervously chewing my fingernails while reading because I was worried for the characters. Although the ending was good, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I'm not disappointed with it; I just wanted the story to go on forever.
thelittlebookworm More than 1 year ago
Kayla and Mishalla are GENS (Genetically Engineered Non-humans), people made from human and animal DNA to be slaves for the high class trueborns. When each receives their Assignments on their 15th year, they find themselves involved with something more involving the children Mishalla is assigned to care for and the trueborn family Kayla works for. I can honestly compare this favorably with the few Octavia Butler books I've read. And that is high praise indeed. While Tankborn seemed a bit heavy-handed sometimes with the genetically engineered slave concept, it was still a really enjoyable read and pretty thought-provoking. Kayla and Mishalla are ready made sympathetic characters and it is easy to care for them and their plight. The castes system in the book was a little confusing to me with the trueborns, lowborns and GENS and all the classifications in the middle. But really it was important to establish who everyone was and how they all fit together. Like I said, I really liked Kayla and Mishalla and their romantic interests were pretty likeable too. I liked seeing the growth of Devak, the grandson of Kayla's Assignment. The conspiracy of the plot was fairly surprising and actually a little horrifying as I become invested in all the characters. There were a few subplots that were not addressed and so I wonder if they are planning a sequel.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
This is a great science fiction book for readers that normally don't read science fiction to ease into the genre. This book is not confusing in the slightest, the author explains quite well while still incorporating the facts into the novel. Kayla is the first character the reader meets. She is a Tankborn, the part of society created to satisfy the desires of the lowborn-who did not want to be the lowest rung of society. The Tankborn also contain animal genes that are meant to enhance their skills at their jobs for the other members of society. Kayla is sent, at the tender age of sixteen, to care for an older man's basic needs. She finds herself caught up in a world of secrets and intrigue. Mishalla is Kayla's best friend and also a Tankborn. She is sent to care for lowborn orphans...but they keep disappearing randomly. She knows she has to find out what is going on and why. The characters in this book are daring, brave, kind, and caring. The reader will really form a connection with Kayla and Mishalla. They are extremely likable. Their thoughts and actions keep the reader updated and make it that much easier to understand the story. The plot is interesting and fits the dystopian and science fiction genres perfectly. The events flow well together and are fast-paced. This book was surprisingly fun to read and recommended to those who enjoy science fiction, dystopian novels, and intrigue.
KSowa More than 1 year ago
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 her place in life and who she is start to unravel. Her best friend Mishalla sees children disappearing and doesn't know why. With the help of her master's great-grandson, Kayla races to discover the truth behind who she is and what might be happening to the children. This story was very involved and quite gripping. It takes place in the far future on a planet that was inhabited after earth's resources were depleted. Society is highly structured and who you are and how you were born mean everything. People's skin color, clothing and even technology all tell you where they belong and how they rank. My first observation was that it sounded very much like the caste system in India. In fact, after reading the afterward, it turns out that the author was inspired in part by the stories that an Indian friend told her. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, as Kayla races, hides and dodges certain destruction to try to discover why children are disappearing and what that has to do with her own origins. This was a book that kept me up late because I couldn't put it down. As a tool in the classroom, I think that it works well in bringing forward discussions about our own societal hierarchy and how this kind of prejudice, regarding where you come from or your skin tone, has existed and still does. The fact that it is set on a different planet removes it from the context of our own history and brings it somewhere neutral so that it is free to be discussed without the burden of our own history and prejudices. The conversation can then be brought back and compared to similar situations in our own time, like slavery or the feudal system. My own big issue with this book, and the reason I cannot give it 4 stars, is the way it introduces new language. The story moves very well, but it almost tries too hard to be sci-fi, and that holds it back. It is one thing to introduce a new planet and a few new words, but when you have 2 or 3 created words in a sentence and several on each page, it becomes distracting and confusing. All of my favorite sci-fi books have included words that belong only to that world, but they are presented in such a way that it gives context and makes it easy to assimilate into your own reading vocabulary. There were several instances where new words are thrown at you so often that it takes away from the story. This type of writing can be off-putting to people who don't think that they like reading sci-fi, which is a shame. (I believe that more people should be reading sci-fi, but that's just me.) I only mention it because I felt it took away from a very good story. Despite that small observation, this was a good, thought provoking book.