Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Caragh Reviews - Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

Published - 2nd February 2013
Publisher - Valknut Press
Format - Kindle
Synopsis - Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was. Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.

First of all can we talk about how amazingly beautiful this cover is? SO GOOD! It gives me everything I want. It hints at the nature of the book, it's intriguing and offers a dark insight but in a light and clear cut way. So beautiful!

The story actually started pretty much straight away. Kaitlyn is half human, half robot and there is no attempt at disguising it and building suspension which I totally love. I'd never read a cyborg-esque novel before so for a long time I was on the fence about it but I enjoyed it immensely! It was fun in the right places, emotional in the right places - it was honestly just sort of spot on!

Throughout the whole book I only had 1 issue which isn't a huge thing, just more of a little 'ugh, I know already' every so often. Kaitlyn's mind has been wiped clean. She's supposed to be an unemotional weapon. I know all of this because it's pointed out very quickly. However, until at least 2 thirds of the way through I was constantly being reminded that she 'shouldn't' have emotions or feel anything. Every time Lucas has a wondering thought it's immediately followed by 'But she doesn't feel'. It's not something I had forgotten about so i'm not really sure why it was mentioned so often. After a while I stopped noticing though as I got more involved with the story and the emotions of the characters.

I adore Kaitlyn both as her current self and the person that she was prior to her enclosure as a lab rat. She's strong minded, heroic, badass and willing to do whatever it takes to do the right thing! Everyone loves a good female lead and Kaitlyn takes that role well. There was the potential in Freak of Nature to be a lot more 'sciency'; more detail on how they managed to create her and what goes into the programming and upgrades she receives. I liked the angle it took though. Rather than focusing on *what* was happening to her, Crane made us look at how it was affecting her as a person - not as an indestructable weapon.

I think (?) this is just the first book in a series and I certainly hope it is. There is so much potential for this to blow up that I can hardly stand the anticipation. If you like easy, fun stories that are a little bit out there then I would recommend this one!

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