Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Review: Deviation

fantasy book reviewDeviation
By Christine Manzari
The Sophisticates Series #1
Paperback: 427 pages
August 9, 2013
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ |5/5|
Categories: Dystopian, YA, Superhero
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Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

I fell in love with this wonderful adventure. The world is a dystopian style, post 911, terror-ravaged Baltimore, MD. Terrorists have attacked America and killed millions by poisoning water supplies in major cities across the country. The government has responded by genetically altering an army of teenagers to save the world from these enemies, called Sophisticates. There are universities and military academies catering specifically to this elite group whose lives are not their own. There are no choices when you are a Sophisticate. You are property of a government experiment, and the idea of that life is terrifying!

"You have no friends. You have no family. You have no choices. The sooner you accept that, the easier things will be for you. You exist because the Program says it is so."

Our main character, Cleo quickly realizes what happens when you have no control over your own fate. Once a University student studying languages and computer programming, she is extracted from the only life she has ever known and thrown into a military academy. Her strange powers are growing but is she really meant to be a killer? I fell in love with our protagonist throughout the story. Her strength in the face of the horrors she faces is inspiring, not to mention snark is my favorite character trait. Ever.

“The girl may have been tiny, but everything about her said, I'm not scared of you, so piss off.”

The secondary characters are all well-written and lovable in their own ways. Ozzy, our male protagonist is frustrating, arrogant and of course, sexy as hell. Arabella is fun, funky, and full of snark. Sterling is super nerdy and sarcastic.

“SQUATS, Clementine! And don't stop until class is over. Your legs look like they'd snap under the weight of a sack of flour. How do you walk around on those things?" "I don't know, Professor. One foot in front of the other, I guess.”

I enjoyed adventuring with this rag-tag group of super-powered teenagers! The 80's influence was an added bonus as well! This story is full of roller derby and bad 80's music-- and I couldn't be happier. I have already purchased the final two books in the trilogy, and I can't recommend checking this series out more! Give Christine Manzari a follow on Instagram and be sure to show her some love for this wonderfully written YA dystopian series!

<3 Morrighan

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