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Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 438 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Deviation by Christine Manzari follows Cleo’s adventures as she adapts to new, and in some cases, deadly, circumstances. Technology that’s out of this world, but set in a world that is very familiar to all of us, it paints a picture that, though fanciful, is not far from the realm of possibility. Suspense, romance, betrayal, loyalty, discrimination, government over reach—the author covers a lot of ground in an entertaining and un-intrusive way. You won’t even be aware of the profound truths you’ve been exposed to until after you finish reading.
This one goes near top of my must-read list.
First, some context: YA fiction isn’t really my thing. I read "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent" because I thought they were books my daughter might read, and I wanted to get an idea of what they were about. But otherwise, I have avoided the genre. (I refuse to read "Twilight." Thankfully, so has she.)
That being said, I enjoyed "Deviation" very much. Other reviewers have made comments about what this book shares with other, more well-known members of the genre, and they’re more or less right. However, what I’d like to add is that the key thing that many of these books share is that they are tales of discovery. Like Tris from "Divergent," Christine Manzari’s Cleo is forced by her circumstances to learn what she is really capable of, the extent of her limits, and what her desires are (though she may sometimes refuse to acknowledge them). And it’s in this journey that the author finds her groove.
In my opinion, what makes this book fun are the characters the author has created and fleshed out. It’s not hard to see yourself spending time with Cleo and Arabella. Or to relate to their dislike of Quinnie. Or to understand why the mysterious Ozzy entices Cleo. For a first time novelist, Manzari gets this right, and from there you’re just enjoying the ride from one crisis to another.
Some of you may ask “Why only 4 stars?” I’m just a tough grader, that’s all. On goodreads.com I’ve only rated 2 out of over 200 books 5 stars. "Deviation" is worth your time. I can’t put it any plainer than that.
I really enjoyed this novel. I felt it was well written with an interesting protagonist, intriguing setting and good character development.
What I liked
Good concept well executed. The basic concept of the genetic engineering was very well done and interesting. There was the added interest of Cleo’s special abilities and what that means for her. I look forward to seeing where Manzari goes with this in future books.
Nerds vs jocks. It was an interesting take that our protagonist who was raised as a Vanguard suddenly finds herself in a school for Mandates. There is some fun exploration of a fish out of water nerd in a jock environment.
Twist at the end. I really didn’t see this coming and, with the amount of YA novels I read and my familiarity with the tropes, that’s not easy to do. Yet it was well within the scope and concept of the world that Manzari has developed - no deus ex machinae here. Nicely done.
Pacing. We learn more about the Program and its secrets as Cleo does. The narrative kept me turning the pages, and I look forward to reading more.
What I didn’t like
Interesting themes not fully explored. There were a couple of themes that would have loved so have seen developed further. Some of these include the reaction of non-Sophisticate people who find themselves pushed out of leadership and other prime positions in favour of the Sophisticates. I would also like to have read more of Cleo’s attempt to deal with the fact that she has never known her parents and her attempts to find out more about them.
However, as this is the first in a trilogy, I’m prepared to give Manzari a pass on this in the expectation that these will be explored further in subsequent books.
As soon as I finished Deviation I immediately went ahead and downloaded book two, Conviction, to my Kindle, which is a good indication of how much I enjoyed this book.
I gave Deviation four and a half stars out of five.
Most recent customer reviews
Cleo was born and raised in the program. Stronger, faster, and smarter than the average human Sophisticates are the elite, they run the country.Read more
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