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The Culling (The Torch Keeper)

The Culling (The Torch Keeper) [Kindle Edition]

Steven dos Santos
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Recruitment Day is here...if you fail, a loved one will die

For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother.

Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even if it means sacrificing the lives of other Recruits’ loved ones. What Lucky isn’t prepared for is his undeniable attraction to the handsome, rebellious Digory Tycho. While Lucky and Digory train together, their relationship grows. But daring to care for another Recruit in a world where love is used as the ultimate weapon is extremely dangerous. As Lucky soon learns, the consequences can be deadly...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 073873537X
  • Publisher: Flux (1 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BBE7Q42
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #287,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Steven dos Santos is author of THE TORCH KEEPER novels, a Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic series. Book One, THE CULLING, to be released by FLUX Books in early 2013!

Born in New York City, Steven moved to Florida at the tender age of five. (His parents' decision-- not like he took off on his own and said "See ya!") He wrote his first book, "The Enchanted Prince," when he was a second grader. It was a critical success-- at least his teacher, the 'rents, and fellow classmates thought so.
Steven has a B.S. in Communications, but spent most of his career in law, even going to law school before realizing if he's going to tell "creative truths," he much prefers writing fiction.

Here's the blurb that appeared on November 28, 2011 in the "Deal" Section of Publisher's Marketplace:
"Steven dos Santos's THE TORCH KEEPER, about a young man's harrowing struggle to save his younger brother by surviving a sadistic military recruitment -- and facing the horrifying fate that awaits not only each recruit, but their loved ones, to Brian Farrey at Flux, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2013, by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown."

To learn more about Steven, visit his website:
You can also add Steven's book to your Goodreads reading list here:
And check out an interview with Steven here:

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read 17 Oct 2013
By Travis
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was outstanding from start to finish! There was never a dull moment! Highly recommended to those who enjoy a good action, adventure story!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grisly, Enchanting & Unputdownable 15 Oct 2013
By Edward
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Where do I begin? I have to say that I read this book in a day, it was just that exciting to read. It's a book that drew me in from the start, and I can't wait to see what the author has next in store. A great debut novel.

The characters all have their complexities, their own - I have to say it - incentives for what they do. Never disappointing me in their humanity, and in some cases, inhumanity. A clear favourite character of mine has to be Digory, an utter hero for Lucky - the compelling protagonist. The two seem to be familiar and intimate upon first meeting, which is both convenient and endearing. Another character I just loves is Cole, a bundle of innocence and joy, protected fiercely by his older brother Lucky.

The YA dystopian market is just so crowded these days, but this book stood out. One, the protagonist is gay, something rarely heard of in this genre, apart from 'The Fall' by David L. Dawson. Two, the whole Incentives idea was very fun to read, it really tested the relationships of the characters, as well as keep the reader at their seat.

This book was quite graphic with its violence, and this may put some readers off. There are some pretty gruesome scenes. But I believe this made the book more realistic, as well as showing the raw emotional and physical pain the characters endure.

If there was one thing I would hold against this book, it would be the slow romance dynamic. Before, I mentioned that Digory and Lucky form an instant bond. But throughout most of the book, that bond remains unclear - to reader and character. At times it got on my nerves, pecks of romance here and there. But when they did occur, they were bewitching and subtle - I couldn't suppress a sigh when they were dancing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! 28 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am so sick of fluff romances, muted description and general fear to get gritty. The Culling is a gory, gristly horrific gem, which raises some interesting questions on human nature along the well thought out story line with its engaging and very real characters.
In my humble opinion, it surpasses the hunger games. Please, give it a shot!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing! 23 July 2013
By Jo
Lucian "Lucky" Spark lives in a dystopian police state, where, once teenagers reach the age of 16, they are entered into the ballot to become one of five recruits to take part in the trials to become an elite military Imposer. Only one makes it through. Those who fail at any of the trials have to choose which of their two Incentives - their loved ones - will die for their failure. On the day of Recruitment, Lucky's name is picked. Thrust into training he wants no part of, Lucky must do all he can to keep his four-year-old brother Cole and his surrogate mother Mrs. Bledsoe alive - knowing that means the other Recruits will have to have to die, along with their loved ones. Being a recruit becomes increasingly harder as he strikes up tentative friendships with his fellow Recruits, and finds he has feelings for one of them, Digory.

Oh my god, this book is incredible! I can't even begin to tell you how much! At times The Culling reminded me of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth, but it's a very different story altogether. The Culling is probably the harshest on the characters of the three (if we're considering only the first book in the series) both physically and psychologically.

At first I worried that I wasn't going to be the biggest fan, as the weeks of training went by so quickly. I wanted to see more of what actually went into the training, rather than just be told about various parts of it in summary. The three missions they had while in training were the main focus, and were fascinating, but while I was reading, I wished there was more covering the training generally. I worried the Trials would be similarly glossed over, but fortunately I was wrong.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic plot! 17 Mar 2013
I had no idea I would love this book so much. Another reviewer compared it to the Hunger Games. I say, it's sort of like the Hunger Games only with the heat turned up! Dos Santos is a master plotter with characters that you just have to cheer for. I also love that, while this is a three-part series, the first book ends by completing the main conflict. Of course, I can't wait for the next installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb dystopian YA 15 Mar 2013
By Sharif
Reading Dos Santos' writing, it's hard to believe he's a debut author. The pacing and tension are superb, and chapter by chapter I yearned to know what happened next. The writing is dark and the author knows how to torture his characters--Lucky and the other recruits--but it all makes for a fantastic story rich in both action and emotion. Dos Santos rocks the dystopian genre. I can't wait for book two.
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