Quest For Survival

Young Adult - Coming of Age
380 Pages
Reviewed on 04/29/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Quest For Survival is a work of fiction in the coming-of-age, post-apocalyptic, and interpersonal drama genres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and contains some serious themes, but no graphic content. Penned by author Dan Uselton, this dystopian tale follows Sven and her siblings 700 years after a catastrophic comet strike reshapes humanity. Their journey beyond the safety of their home becomes a quest for identity and understanding amidst a world fraught with danger, where survival hinges on the strength of familial bonds and the resilience of the human spirit.

Author Dan Uselton has a knack for crafting narrative detail in an emotionally intense read that leaves a profound impact. The novel has you in its grip right away, throwing a young cast of survivors into struggles with resilience, loss, and the enduring power of family bonds in a world ravaged by disaster. The depiction of this violent world is balanced with the target audience in mind so that it is never too upsetting, even when facing kidnapping and other harrowing events. These moments are told with a close narrative focus on how it makes the characters feel rather than glorifying what happens, evoking strong emotional responses as we root for our heroes no matter what. With intricately penned dialogue that allows its young cast to be relatable, honest, and raw, the story ultimately serves as a testament to the human capacity for survival and the importance of hope in the face of adversity. I found myself deeply moved and thoroughly engaged throughout in a well-paced plot that never lacks adventure and intrigue. Overall, Quest For Survival is a compelling read that I would highly recommend for fans of YA coming-of-age stories and survival adventures everywhere.

Gaius Konstantine

If one of your fondest memories in life is the time your grandpa added sautéed mushrooms to your rat-meat burger, you may be living in a dystopian hell. Quest For Survival by Dan Uselton is a nightmarish story where eating a rat is better than eating your friends. In the novel, Svenlana (Sven), the teenage female protagonist, lives in a reality where Earth as we know it is gone, wiped out by a comet strike. The strike poisons the air and water, resulting in the extinction of most life, including humans. Sven is the future leader of a small group of people who have held out for hundreds of years in a hidden and isolated valley. She discovers that something else has also survived the apocalypse. She sets out to find out what and who it is, leading to a struggle not only for her survival but also for the rest of humanity.

Quest For Survival by Dan Uselton is a captivating, fast-paced, and harsh tale. Cannibalism, violence, and sudden death are just some of the perils of this apocalyptic dystopia. However, there is more to the story than the ghoulish elements as imperfect people growing and maturing at tremendous personal cost is an underlying theme. The novel introduces fascinating characters, each with strengths and flaws, offering an excellent insight into what can happen to society when everything we take for granted is gone. Despite the harsh conditions, the best in humanity is presented through these characters as they prioritize each other above themselves. Quest for Survival is an excellent introduction to the genre for young adults and is a poignant reminder that “even in the coldest and darkest times the love of family provides a warmth that transcends death.”

Pikasho Deka

Quest for Survival is a post-apocalyptic dystopian novel by Dan Uselton. Seven hundred years after a comet destroyed human civilization, nineteen-year-old Sven and her clan live in a small human encampment in a canyon near Old San Diego. Living is trying to survive one day at a time as food is scarce and danger looms around every corner. Raised to be the clan leader by her grandmother, Sven and her siblings, Yana and Sport, set off to explore the world beyond the canyon, following a trail of footsteps. However, Kalmar, the ruthless leader of a group of Ka-Sharks -- a race of blue humanoids living on human blood -- captures Yana, leading Florence, Sven's grandmother, to launch an attack at the Ka-Shark base camp. But the Ka-Sharks possess the secrets of forgotten human technology. Can Sven and her clan ensure humanity's survival?

Raw, gritty, and filled with mystery, action, and lore, Quest for Survival is a gripping start to a promising dystopian saga. Dan Uselton drops the reader into a fascinating post-apocalyptic world where survival triumphs over everything, creating an immersive setting for readers. Using an absorbing narrative that switches between two timelines, Uselton offers bits and pieces of information to keep readers hooked while giving hints about the world's lore. Every character has their own agency. As a reader, you root for Sven and her clan, but even the Ka-Sharks are compelling antagonists with their own divided factions. The stakes always felt high during the battle scenes and you're never sure if your favorite characters will make it out alive. All in all, this is a must-read for fans of action-packed dystopian thrillers.