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Reviewed by Charity Tober for Readers' Favorite
Savage Run by E.J. Squires (Book One in the series) introduces a new strong female protagonist to the YA dystopian genre. Seventeen-year-old Heidi Cruise lives in a restrictive hierarchical society consisting of laborers, advisers and masters. As you might guess, she belongs to the lowest laborer class, destined to become a slave to a sadistic master on her eighteenth birthday. Desperate to escape her fate, Heidi decides to join the Savage Run. A brutal males-only obstacle course challenge where participants can earn their freedom and achieve master status – that is, if they can survive the race. In order to participate, Heidi must disguise herself as a boy and endure the horrific challenges of the race, all while trying to conceal her true identity.
Fans of The Hunger Games, the Divergent Trilogy and other popular dystopian series are sure to like the Savage Run series by E.J. Squires. I found Heidi to be a strong female lead. Her thoughts and reactions to the challenges thrown at her seemed realistic. She had numerous doubts along the way about her decision to enter the Savage Run but knew that facing the deadly challenges in the race was no worse than staying where she was in life. In simplistic terms, she was desperate and desperate people take extreme measures. This book takes readers through part one of the Savage Run - the landmine race, eel infested waters and dangerous mountain climb – and I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see how Heidi fares and how long she keeps her secret.