Book Review – Subject A36 – Teri Polen

Subject A36 (The Colony Series Book 1) by [Teri Polen]I’m not usually a big reader of young adult fiction, but I’d read extracts of ‘Subject A36’, and could tell in the first few pages it was going to be a book I’d enjoy. And I was right.

‘Subject A36’ by author Teri Polen, is an extremely well-written story, set in a dystopian future/alternate timeline. Slightly reminiscent of the bleak unjust future in the Hunger Games series, Polen pits the Insurgents – a morally good group of people trying to survive – against the Colony, the overlords of this region, with superior tech, and a penchant for the finer things. Unfortunately, those finer things involve the very genes of the less fortunate being literally stripped from their living bodies. This so the Colony populace can have access to talents and traits they find desirable (such as blue eyes, intelligence, blonde hair). It’s a shudderingly gruesome concept that instantly gives the reader a reason to hate the Colony and get onboard with the Insurgents.

‘Subject A36’ follows Asher Solomon and his group of Insurgents as they battle to stay alive and save innocent people who’ve been taken by the Colony. But that’s only the start of this story. What follows is a writhing twisting journey into Asher’s past, and a tense explosion into his present that sets the stakes high, then higher, and higher still as the story builds to its conclusion.

Polen succeeded where few authors do, in making me jolt in surprise, not once, but twice throughout this story. I’m usually pretty good at seeing twists and turns, but Polen’s fresh narrative elevates what could have been a ‘good’ V ‘evil’ story in a unique and engaging way. There were two distinct points where I had to put the book down and say, ‘Wow. Didn’t see that coming.”

The characters are fleshed out, with even the supporting cast having interesting traits and unique voices. Backstory is elegantly dribbled out through the story, and the mystery of what subject A36 is, is handled very well – I love that the phrase subject A36 wasn’t even mentioned until at least a quarter way into the book.

I was very impressed with this story and this author. This was one of those books I had trouble putting down, and it made me late to work a couple of times! If you don’t read young adult, I’d still recommend grabbing ‘Subject A36’ – this is just an all-round good book, and one you’ll find something in that resonates with you. Among my top reads of 2020.

Purchase HERE


If you’re looking for some more good books by great authors, check out some of my Book Reviews here!

26 thoughts on “Book Review – Subject A36 – Teri Polen

  1. Okay – I’m blushing. I’m also doing a happy dance that you enjoyed Asher and friends so much. Heaps of thanks for reading and reviewing, Jess! I’m slowly but surely working on book two and I’m pretty sure I’ll surprise you with another twist. Stay tuned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to make your day!! You deserve all the accolades – this was a gripping read, Teri. Your writing is like silk – it flows beautifully – and as I said, you ‘got me’ with two surprises I didn’t see coming (without spoiling for anyone, OZ, and Ash’s mom). Really looking forward to that second book!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked this book too, Jess. I think sometimes young adult books get bogged down in teen romance and relationship drama. Teri does a great job of covering that aspect of the teenage years without dwelling, and then moving on to the excitement of the plot. You’d probably enjoy her read The Gemini Connection too. It was fabulous. Great review!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Books and Such and commented:
    Happy Friday! Jessica Bakkers posted a wonderful review of Subject A36 on her blog that absolutely made my month! While you’re visiting her, check out her new debut novel, Guns of Perdition. It’s a delightfully sinister mix of western, dark fantasy, and horror. Grace is at the top of my list for favorite heroines.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t agree more, Jess! I loved this book SO much! And OH, the ending! I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.

    Teri writes YA the way it should be written, which is to say, the same as Regular Ol’ Adult, except with less violence, graphic sex, or language. She’s one of my favorites! (I have a couple of other YA authors whose work I also wouldn’t miss for anything.)

    Great review, and congrats to Teri! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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