Title: Freak of Nature
Author: Julia Crane
Genre: YA, science fiction, romance
Series? Yes, #1 in the IFICS series
Publisher: Indie Inked
Synopsis from cover: 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 world.
My sole experience with cyborg books is with Cinder, so I was really excited to get into it again. And Freak of Nature didn’t disappoint! There was a bit too much insta-love for me, but I shipped the characters anyway so it didn’t really matter to me. Oh, and apologies in advance, because in order to get my point across this review will have spoilers in it, but only in the “Writing Style” section of my review. Skip over that to avoid spoilers!
Kaitlyn: Kate was so well balanced, and I was so incredibly surprised by that. Normally, this kind of character would whine because “my life is forever ruined and I can’t go back and my old boyfriend blah blah blah.” The whole woe-is-me schtick. But Kate didn’t adhere to that: she had her moment of sadness, and feelings of loss, but then she moved on, and accepted her new reality. Instead of wallowing in it, she focused on the future. She was really confident, and it was a refreshing change from the common YA protagonist!
Lucas: He was really cute, in that sort of awkward way. He wasn’t sure of himself most of the time, but he still tried to do what was best for Kate, even if it meant his job or freedom. There wasn’t too much of Lucas, just because it’s mostly from Kate’s POV and her own growth. I can’t wait to see his character develop in the next book!
The concept was great – and a bit disturbing as I stare at the pink dot on my drivers license that says the government can have my body whenever I happen to snuff it. That’s my favorite part about science fiction – there’s always enough reality to make it seem like it could possibly happen in the future. And then the idea that a cyborg will not only be part robot, but also have all emotions and thoughts stripped away? Creepy! It made me think of Cyborg from Teen Titans, and that episode where he drained all his human-ness away to upgrade himself even more.
As far as the plot, I was pleasantly surprised with it! Whenever I expected a cliche turn of events, Crane surprised me by not going the easy way out. Of course, there was that element of insta-love, but in this case it worked a lot better than having that long drawn out romancing. Plus, Lucas (in a slightly creeper fashion) knew Kate long before she knew him, as he watched her emerge from her coma and was part of turning her into a cyborg. So ultimately this is one instance of insta-love that I can forgive!
The best part about the writing style was that Crane actually gave her characters some logic! Your cyborg runs off and refuses to be an assassin in possession of the government? Let’s compromise instead and use Kate’s strength and abilities for good in a sort of vigilante way! Like, way to go Commander you’ve actually used your brain! It didn’t turn into this whole stubborn vs. freedom sort of battle that eventually becomes overblown and out of proportion. It was a satisfying end, and earns some major brownie points from me.
My Final Rating:
Find the book at:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/freak-of-nature-julia-crane/1114110338?ean=9781624110245
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Freak-Nature-Julia-Crane/9781624110245