Synopsis- It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.
When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.
As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will.
* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review from net galley
Overall- I enjoyed this book generally and think its a good read for anyone who likes a strong female lead and little love and a lot of dystopian. Much like other trilogies, the first book in this series is a set up for the other two (likely) and the characters. The book was somewhat slow getting into the plot. I was confused about the mark and the idea of being deviant throughout the book, and I think it was decently explained. However, I think the book would have sufficed from a better explanation, providing more bits and pieces throughout the novel instead of just at the end. Additionally, didnt like the ending. Specifically, I didnt like the explanation, or that it was so over the top. I knew there would be religious undertones given the synopsis, but this ending felt cult like. Nonetheless, I am interested in seeing where the story goes. It doesnt deter me from wanting to read the rest of the series, just annoys me a little. There were a few other minor issues I had with the book, but obviously nothing to impactful.
Cover --Interesting, but not great
Rating: PG 13
Characters: Matt, Jay, Jess
Page Turner: Sometimes
Series Cont.? Yes
Book Boyfriend: Matt
Genre: Young Adult dystopian
Sex Scenes: No
Setting Army of the "new america" dystopian world
Plot- The plot was a little slow for my liking. I kept wondering, where do we go from here. But I expect this in the first book. So I dont deduct too much for this. I was intrigued by Jess and her mark, as well asher relationship with Matt. I couldnt figure out whether he was using her or he liked her which is different from the usual. (the I like you but shouldnt be with you...) I liked the sub plot with Matt and the team and really appreciated this aspect of the plot, this is where I truly started falling for the book and becoming most intrigued. The task at hand seemed so different and intriguing! The action and suspense kept coming from there. Jess' role in the group and what she does for those she loves was fun to read and interesting to see though I hope she grows more as a character in the next book. Where I start to get annoyed, (and part of why I gave the book a 3) is the ending. The explanation for the rebellion group and their purpose while different, seemed VERY out there considering the rest of the book that led up to this. As I stated above I also felt that there were not any clues leading up to this explanation throughout the book. I would have liked a few hints, and the detailed "religious" explanation seemed out of place and awkward. Regardless, I will be reading the others because I want to know what happens to Jess and Matt.
|Steven R. McQueen|
Matt- The whole time Im trying to figure out Matt. Even in the end Im not sure what he believes. I at least get to know him by them though and that I appreciate. I like Matt. I got the impression that he is a good guy, and I like the way he looks out for people, the ones he cares about. I like his entanglement with Jess and the way they interact. I look forward to his role in the next book(s).
Jay/Sheree- I like the dynamic duo of friends that Jess has. They are very fun and interesting and truly bring another level to the book. I like that both of these people in particular are not so typical. Jess is involved with these two characters freqeuntly going to them for advice, but also their friendship. They always show their loyalty and support regardless of the issues and the mission which is something that I think lacks in some other books. (the loyalty of friendship).