Author: J. L. Spelbring
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Published: July 16, 2013
From the Publisher: The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa’s spent her whole life under her creator’s strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic. Only Ellyssa isn’t perfect. Ellyssa feels emotions–a fact she’s spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities. But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she’s never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher,
but that did not influence the review**
First Thoughts: 4 stars Oooh, scary, evil, seriously messed up = just the way I love dystopians. It also had a touch of the supernatural too, so buckle up! The whole idea was scary good, but I felt like I was left wanting just a little bit more.
Plot, Setting, Pacing and Style: This is one messed up world. It’s as if the Nazis won the world war and the mission to rid the world of everyone less than their version of perfect is still being carried out. I was like “holy crap, this is sensitive”. However, it has gone beyond just the physical, some of these perfect people had supernatural powers as well, and the genetic breeding is set to get even more out of control. I know right? I was like YIKES!!! Ellyssa knew there was more to life than an existence at The Center so she escaped. This is the story of
The setting was also great. The Center is a civilized government run place for perfect citizens and its workers. However, once Ellyssa escaped and met up with the Renegades, she was forced into hiding…in caves. Loved it. This was written so well, I truly felt like I was there.
The pacing was spot on, it was slow enough for me to enjoy the details, yet fast enough where I never felt bored.
The style wasn’t my favorite as it was in 3 person. It would sometimes be about Ellyssa, sometimes about others from The Center. I wish it had been in 1st person so I could have felt like I was in all their heads. At least if it was done for Ellyssa’s chapters I think it would have pushed the book just a little higher in the ratings for me.
The MCs: I really loved both Ellyssa and Rein. Loved. They are both such strong, confident characters, yet not complete. They even seem shy around each other, which I adored.
Romance /Chemistry: So. Much. Potential. The start was amazing, but totally got lowered a notch with the declarations of love. I cringed when I read that. Cringed. If the “I love yous” had been taken out of the book, the romance would have been perfect. It was a slow burn between two people who never had the opportunity to love before. I loved experiencing everything through their eyes as they realized they had feelings for each other. I still think there’s so much potential to their romance and I would love a deleted scene please.
Title/Cover: The title is interesting, and yes, it fits, but maybe it’s too simple. Something like “Perfection by Design” or even “Renegades” would have appealed to me more. The cover, well, I have issues with eyeballs on covers (they are creepy) so I don’t care for it. It could have been so many other things. Also, Ellyssa’s eyebrow should be white blonde if it was true to how she looked since she was so fair.
Bad guys: There were tons!!! And I loved it. This dystopian was chock full of horrendous, evil people that made my blood boil. There wasn’t just one “bad guy” but several that I wanted to take out.
Ending: It ended in a good place, after a massive battle, but the story still has a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up. It was a great place to end book 1 and I am assuming there is a book 2??
Gripes/suggestions: The declarations of love = cringe. They don’t know what love is. I would have rather them just made profound statements to each other. I would also have preferred the book in first person since it was confusing at times. I know there were other chapters that included Detective Peterson, but they could have been told from her POV as well.
Final Thoughts/Rec It? Yes, it ended in a good place, but somehow I wasn’t totally satisfied. I think I liked the start of the book, loved, loved, loved the middle but was meh about the ending. If you love dystopians, this is a great story to add to your collection!
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