Book Review: Tankborn

Author: Karen Sandler
Genre: YA; Science Fiction; Dystopian
Release: September, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

DescriptionBest friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds secrets and surprises; not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul's great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. 

After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan to save the disappearing children. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, revealing secrets no one is ready to face.

Review: I must admit, this book surprised me, in a good way. I wasn't really expecting much, but boy am I glad I requested it!


  • I would've liked a little more description about the world around them. Loka is the name of the planet humans inhabited after Earth was destroyed. I would've like more description as to what Loka looked like. She had a few descriptions, but not enough, in my humble opinion.


  • The descriptions Ms. Sandler do have are awesome. I can picture the characters & I can see what's happening.
  • The complexity of the novel...she created an interesting world beyond our normal world. She addresses prejudices in a unique way. GENs (Genetically Engineered Non-Humans), who were not born the natural way, but through test-tubes, are on the lowest level and treated as such. Lowborns are born from mothers, but they are not high status. Still they have more rights than GENs. High Status Trueborns are at the top.
  • I loved the characters from Kayla and Mishalla, to their love interests, Devak and Eoghan. Kayla and Mishalla are such strong female main characters. They are GENs, sometimes treated like lower than dirt, but it doesn't break them or cause them to become whiny. I found myself rooting for them throughout the whole novel.
  • I loved the romance between Kayla/Devak & Mishalla/Eoghan. Devak is a trueborn while Eoghan is a lowborn. Both boys are higher than Kayla and Mishalla, but they fall for them anyway. I liked that the romance didn't start right away. Both Kayla and Mishalla had feelings for their prospective love interests, but they didn't act on it cos of the statuses. They were hesitant, even when the guys showed interest.
  • There were points in the novel that had edge-of-your-seat action.
  • The ending left it open for a sequel.

I sure hope Ms. Sandler writes a sequel to Tankborn! I want to know what has happened to Kayla, Devak, Mishalla, and Eoghan.