Grip by David Estes


Author: David Estes

Published on: 1 December 2014

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Pages: 400

Format: E-book

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In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain death at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson’s twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that’s required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control’s attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all. Faith, family, and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

The sequel to Slip is indeed GRIPping. It is so gripping that I was unable to stop reading the novel once I started. If Slip is the introduction to the world and characters, Grip is going to be the novel where everything escalated. Character development is prominent in Grip. Benson was placed in a position where he had to make important choices to protect those he hold dear.

In this sequel, there is a higher emphasis on family and relationship. Benson’s twin, Harrison, was desperately trying to find a loophole in the death authorisation system in order to turn his brother into a legal citizen. Even after finding the loophole, he was willing to be branded as a criminal so that Benson would get the normal life he had always wanted.

I enjoyed reading the tiny snippets of news, advertisements and the comment section below it at the end of every chapter. It is interesting to read about the type of lies that the government will say to make the masses believe and support their ‘righteous’ actions. It is very disturbing to read about the huge impact propaganda has on the citizens. The extent of brainwashing is so great that the citizens can’t even see that UnBees are human beings. What makes it scarier is how the citizens actually believe the information they read in the news. They didn’t have any doubt or hesitation that perhaps the information given in the news might be fake or are just snippets of the issue.

The numerous plot twists blow me away and I totally didn’t see it coming. In addition, Grip ended with a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers as I will be dying to get my hands on the next novel and start flipping its pages to find out what is going to happen afterward.


Harrison, gosh, he ticks me off. I feel that he is too rash at times. Instead of weighing the pros and cons of certain decisions, he just rushes right in. I know that he felt guilty about ‘robbing’ his brother’s life away from him because he just happened to ‘pop’ out of his mother’s womb 2 minutes earlier than Benson. As such, he wanted to repay that ‘debt’. But, he should respect Benson’s decisions as well. Benson never wanted Harrison to kill his death match and get branded as a criminal as a result. However, Harrison stubbornly didn’t listen and went after his brother’s death match.

Harrison trusts people too easily that I can’t figure out whether he is just too naive or he just so happens to get caught up in that moment of panic. The last person I will go to when I’m on the run would be someone that is heavily involved with the government. Alarms went off in my head when Harrison was going to seek help from his best friend, whose father was one of the most important personals in population control. With the amount of brainwashing the government did, there is no doubt that Harrison’s friend would side with the government. I don’t know if I’m being too harsh on Harrison but those are my initial thoughts.

Finally, I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc of Grip in exchange for an honest review.