The Continent (The Continent #1) By Keira Drake [Review]

The ContinentRELEASE DATE: March 19th, 2018
 Keira Drake
Young-Adult,  Fantasy, Adventure, Dystopia. 
Harlequin Teen

Part allegory, part romance and part against-the-odds survival story, Keira Drake’s sparkling debut novel engages readers with questions of social responsibility, the nature of peace and violence, and the value-and danger-of nationalism. Thought-provoking, fast-paced and surprising, The Continent will haunt readers long after its covers have been closed.

From a land without war to a continent of two warring nations… one girl’s crash landing becomes a fight to survive.

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire – a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two ‘uncivilised’ nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of war, a thing long banished in the Spire. For Vaela – a talented apprentice cartographer – the journey is a dream come true: a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to a nightmare as the journey brings her face–to–face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heliplane, Vaela is forever changed by the bloody battle waging far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, she finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined. Starving, alone and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home – but first, she must survive.



MY REV (Copy)

I didn’t know reviewing a controversial book is this hard. The reason I picked this up because the concept intrigued me and all the negative reviews has done nothing but pique my interest even more. I didn’t expect to like it, but surprisingly I found myself enjoying it. I’ve read the rectified version but I haven’t read the first version of this book which I heard had a lot of problematic racial issues. After reading this book, I can pretty much understand why some readers are irked about it and I don’t blame them either. This book has great potential and I think it wouldn’t have faced such issues if it was fully fictional not based from other cultures and people from the real world. Adding to that it has a white savior complex which made things even worse. Despite all these issues, I quite enjoyed the story but it doesn’t mean that I love it.

Sixteen Year old Vaela Sun from Spire is a talented  apprentice cartographer who dreams of travelling the world and drawing maps. On her sixteen birthday,  her parents presents her a unique gift, a ticket to the continent. For vaela,  It’s a dream come true but unlike peaceful Spire, the Continent is a constant battleground between two warring nations for years. The continent is off limits to them so they watch everything from the heliplane. Vaela isn’t interested in watching the brutal fights, she’s all about exploring the continent and studying it’s geographical structure. Having been come from a peaceful and luxurious world, Vaela doesn’t have any idea about the brutality of the war and its consequences but it all changes when their heliplane crash lands in the middle of a warzone. Her dream tour turns into a nightmare and survival is the only option left for her. Surrounded by dangers everywhere, Vaela needs to find her way back to the Spire which is pretty much impossible.

I’ve mixed feelings about Vaela! She’s smart, brave, and compassionate character. I didn’t liked her at the beginning when she seemed a bit judgmental towards the people of continent, but as the story progressed I grew to like her and her stubbornness. She never gives up hope, and wouldn’t hesitate to stand up for what she believes is the right thing to do. To avoid spoilers, I’m not going to say anything about the secondary characters but I really liked them especially the love interest who’s totally swoon worthy.  He’s my favorite character in this book and I want more of him. The romance was cute and I quite enjoyed every interaction between them. Although it seemed a bit insta-lovey, I liked it.

The plot was engaging and interesting from the start but it was also predictable. Nonetheless, I was hooked to the story till the end. I would’ve given this a four star if it wasn’t predictable. Coming to the issues part, the two warring nation’s people Xoe and Aven’ei are actually based on Native Americans, and Japanese. They’re depicted as  uncivilized, dark skinned, and savages which made readers flare up with anger and that’s why there was so much hate on this book. To make matters worse, the civilized white people are the saviors. I think you finally got the gist. Honestly, I found this book problematic too, but I enjoyed the story and the characters. The violence in this book is brutal so be warned. The writing was pretty good. The whole story was told from Vaela’s first person POV, but I think this book should’ve been written in dual POV so we could understand both sides of the world. The world building was intriguing. It’s a unique mix of Edwardian times and a futuristic world, the author described everything in detail.

Overall, It was a good read! I enjoyed the concept, the world, and the characters but I  agree with the other readers that the representation was wrong. Do I continue with this series? Yes, I will read the next book when it comes out.

Recommend it?

I think it will be a hit or miss for some people, but if you want to read it give it a shot.

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Death, Attempted Rape.

MY RATING: 4-stars14-stars14-stars14-stars1[3.5/5 Stars]

So, What do you think of this book? Have you read it yet?  Do you want to read it?
Please Feel Free To Comment Below. ❤
See You In The Next Post and Have a Great Day! 🙂Signature

22 thoughts on “The Continent (The Continent #1) By Keira Drake [Review]

  1. Beware Of The Reader May 6, 2018 / 12:55 am

    Kudos to you Raven as you took the time and care to review this controversial book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bentley ★ May 6, 2018 / 2:09 am

    Great review Raven! I’ve not read this yet, but I took the time to read and review The Black Witch – another controversial YA book. I think it’s important that we challenge ourselves and make up our own minds rather than follow the hive mind mentality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions May 8, 2018 / 3:59 am

      Thank you Bentley! I haven’t read The Black Witch yet but it’s on my TBR. I don’t follow the hive mind and being a curious reader, I always love to check out Controversial books. Carve The Mark is next on my list.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read and reviewed the first version in December 2016 and had to give it a rare 1 star review. To be honest not only was I angered and offended by the blatant racism, but I also thought it was poorly written. As in many similar cases I blamed the publisher and editor even more than the author. I didn’t understand how any of them thought this book was presentable for the public.

    I’m glad that the newer version is better. I appreciate your fair and honest review Raven. I’m somewhat tempted to read this again, but my blood pressure starts going up just thinking of my first experience so I think I’ll just leave it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions May 8, 2018 / 4:09 am

      At first I didn’t know it was already released in 2016 and also one of the controversial books, but after reading all the reviews I got curious. The new version does have some changes but I heard not much has changed except for the names and the heroine’s race.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aila @ One Way Or An Author May 6, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    Hmm Raven, this book is a complicated one to comment on. Thank you for your honest review! I will probably skip this one because I’ve heard that the revisions don’t make it quite salvageable, and the whole problems behind the first version just made me want to lose my support of it. A shame!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions May 8, 2018 / 4:12 am

      Yeah, I agree with you. Despite the revisions, this book is still a problematic read. I don’t think it will work out for you.


  5. Ashley @ Book Tales May 8, 2018 / 3:05 am

    I’m glad that you discussed the controversial nature of the book! It’s definitely something to be aware of! Great review Raven!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Candid Cover May 8, 2018 / 4:02 am

    I haven’t seen any actual reviews for this one, so I really appreciate that you took the time to read it and give your thoughts. I know that it has some problematic content and I think that you are right in saying that it might have worked better in a fictional world. Not sure if I will pick it up myself, but I feel like I understand the book and its content a lot more than I did before. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions May 12, 2018 / 4:25 am

      This book is not for everyone. If you’re not sure that you would enjoy it then it’s better skipping it.


  7. theorangutanlibrarian May 10, 2018 / 4:55 am

    Okay yeah I get why people had a problem with this. But thank you for your really honest and fair minded review- I think it gives a really clear picture of the book. Fantastic job!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jen May 15, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    I’ve been curious if the revisions fixed the horrific issues or not, so I’m so glad to read your review. I’m definitely intrigued but the violence and cultural issues that are still there are probably going to be the reasons I don’t pick this up. Unless my library get it….I think? Hmmm time will tell. Fabulous review, Raven!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer May 19, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    I had wanted to read this book because of the premise. Sorry to hear about all the problems. I agree with you the dual POV would of helped a lot. Great review as usual Raven!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raven @ Dreamy Addictions May 20, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      The premise intrigued me but I didn’t know it was one of the contraversial books. It’s a good read but nothing amazing. Thank you, Dani! 😊


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