This book started out a little slow for me, but as the mystery starts to unfold, it definitely picks up the pace. Because there is such mystery surrounding the school, you find yourself constantly trying to guess what could really be happening. The characters were strong and had enough depth to get you invested in their well being as they try to navigate the minefield of rules and social structure of Maxfield Academy. I also liked the emotional development of Benson, who is more of a “looking out for number one” type, but starts to really care about what happens to his classmates. The tag-line “trust no one” is certainly apt, because as you read the book, you really can’t trust that you know what any of the characters will do or who they will be. One of the best elements is that even after you know what the big secret is, the questions don’t stop there. The cryptic warnings from the students and the action, both physical and psychological, keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of the book. The ending is a good old fashioned cliff hanger and I’m a little perturbed that I have to wait for the next book to find out what happens! I gave Variant 4 stars.
I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.