Book Review: True Born by L.E. Sterling

by - 2:11:00 AM

Title: True Born
Author: L.E. Sterling
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: 03 May 2016

From Goodreads: "Welcome to Dominion City. After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair. The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared. And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are. When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters? As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood."

Thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book to review! 

Evolve or die

Wow wow wow this book wow.

I don't know if enough words exist for me to write this review. I was immediately drawn in by the cover and the name, as well as the word trilogy. Let's be honest, I love a good book series, and this one is going to be incredible. Once I got started, it was really hard to get me to stop for things like food and sleep. This was such a lovely book to read, and that is probably a very odd word to use due to the setting of this book.

Dominion is the most populous and influential city left in the continent-state of Nor-Am. After the Plague descended, most of the world's population was destroyed and their genetics seriously damaged. Now, there are three "divisions" of residents: the Lasters, who are basically ticking time bombs that are too poor to get any treatment; Splicers, who are the Upper Class that pay to have their DNA replaced to rid themselves of the Plague; and True Borns, those that are resistant to the plague who no one speaks of and are considered abominations.

Lucy and Margot are identical twin sisters who are just shy of 18 years old. Their Splicer parents have put them through an abnormal amount of Protocols, which are DNA tests to see if you are a Laster, Splicer, or True Born, and their fate is to be revealed at their Reveal party. When Margot is kidnapped, Lucy discovers that there is something more to their endless Protocols, and has to put her trust in a group of True Borns hired by her father. Between creepy street preachers and a sketchy Russian guy, the truth in the twins blood is far more interesting than they could have imagined.

It's in the blood

I really enjoyed the premise of True Born. It was a very unique and refreshing concept, and it was written out very well. I loved the idea of the True Borns having animal characteristics, and it was written to where these people could be either normal people (usually True Borns are in security/mercenary jobs) or they could be absolutely lethal animals when they changed. I really enjoyed reading about Jared and his animal characteristics and his transitions! There was never a dull moment or one where I found myself just trying to push through to the next chapter. The pacing was perfect, and the transition from non-action scene to action scene (and vice versa) never felt awkward or as if it just jumped to a different scene with no smooth transition in between.

The characters, even minor ones, were so much fun to read about. I liked that Lucy was the main character, with Margot being more of a side character but still being a huge factor in the story. While Margot was the more outgoing and "wild" twin, Lucy was more of the reserved and "well-behaved" twin. But by the end, it seemed like they had switched places, and I really enjoyed reading Lucy's growth into a very strong character by the end of the book. Storm is probably my second favourite character, and I am really looking forward to reading more about him in the sequel! 

Father Wes was probably the creepiest character I've read about in a very long time. He is a very mysterious character who doesn't really make too big of an appearance until the end of the book, but is still referenced to several times and is known to be a fairly large influence in the Laster population. He's basically a cult leader, and has a huge number of Laster followers, and also wants to get Lucy and Margot's blood because of some prophecy that a witch told him. Also, the symbol that the Laster followers draw all over the city end up being so much creepier and darker than I originally thought and I really loved that it was explained and expanded upon. Little things like that really made the book just that much better.

From start to finish, True Born is a very exciting read. The setting, characters, and story line all come together to make this amazingly dark and creepy world that will have you hooked from the very first page. I highly recommend this title to anyone looking for a refreshing take on the dystopian/science fiction YA genre. This is really unlike any book I've read before and I am counting down the days until the release of True North!

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