Always a Booklover

The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?

Banded by Logan Byrne

First Published: 8 April 2014
Pages: 342
Format: Ebook
Finished Date: 28 May 2014


In dystopian Manhattan, society is divided into six zones, with each one representing a citizen’s benefit to society: Stalwart (strength), Astute (intelligence), Collusive (greed), Radiant (beauty), Quixotic (no life direction), and the Altruistic (willingness to help others). On a citizen’s sixteenth birthday, a computer suggests a new zone for them based on their inherent benefit to society. When Kalenna Slater is sorted out of her home zone Quixotic and into Altruistic, she thinks things can’t get worse. Life looks dismal until she meets Gavin, a boy also just sorted into Altruistic who becomes the light needed on her cloudy days.

During sorting she receives a device known as ‘The Band’. It’s a large watch-like device that never comes off, and it measures a citizen’s karma on a scale from one to one hundred. If a citizen does good, they gain points. If a citizen does bad, including breaking laws, they lose points. When your number reaches zero, the band acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and you are injected with toxins that kill you within minutes.

After sorting, recruits are taken to a three month long mandatory school named HQ. It’s at HQ she meets new friends from different zones, and finally begins to feel at ease. Everything goes well until a rare trip home makes her discover that her father, who has been missing for a decade, may have taken part in a terrible program that stands to shake the fabric of society.

My Rating


My Review

Banded was an alright read. From the blurb, its pretty obvious that it has clear similarities to Divergent. Still, there was an additional twist to this. In Banded society, teens weren’t given the option to choose which zone they wanted to be in. Its kinda like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter, except with a lot more serious consequences. I can’t say I loved reading Banded, but I definitely do not dislike it.

Firstly, I like dystopians, so naturally, this appealed to me. Even though there may be similarities to other books, the main plot line is still different. I really like the whole band idea, and how it serves as a continual reminder that you could die at any time, if you did something bad enough.

But the thing that stopped me from really getting into the book was the main character, Kalenna. Okay, so there’s nothing exactly wrong with her. She is perhaps a little immature for her age, a little na├»ve, but other than that she’s alright, I guess. But the thing that really irked me was how cocky she was getting. Example. She has never touched a staff before but assumes that she can win the whole competition somehow. After going  through like a day or so of training, she somehow thinks she’s really strong and all. It wasn’t even self-confidence, but it is pure pride. I guess I did find her a bit immature sometimes, given that she is already 16. She isn’t a bad character, just very predictable. And yes, I don’t like her, but that’s my personal opinion!

In terms of pacing, it was rather good. The story wasn’t draggy, even though there were phrases here and there which I felt were unnecessary. Like how she looked at her hands before sleeping. I don’t know, a little bit is fine, but sometimes I felt it was overdone.

The characters were a little flat here. Not to say they weren’t interesting, because they were. They aren’t difficult to connect with, they’re just forgettable because they haven’t been properly developed. Yet, I hope. I think I like Ivan the most. He is a little bit more than just another smart kid I feel.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing, but there seemed to be a lot happening in this book. Right now, they don’t seem very connected, like every event is separate. Oh sure, there is a connection in terms of I guess, rebellion. But nothing concrete yet. I do hope that the plot points in this book would be talked about more in the series. Like, her roommate, that annoying Trace guy (I honestly can’t decide who I would rather see win in a duel, Trace or Kalenna), the romance side.

All in all, while I can’t say I loved this book, I do think I’m intrigued enough to keep reading on. I am interested as to what they will find, and I felt the book ended just as it got good. This is a 3 stars book for me.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed here are mine alone.


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