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Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1) Kindle Edition
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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.
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.
I walked past this book, everyday, sitting on my to be read book case. Never really feeling it. Now, Im wondering what the heck I was waiting on. This book hit all the right notes for me. This is Hunger Games, Divergent, Dark Angel all rolled into one. Great concept/plotting. The entire premise of creating children to be better appeals to me since I perceive a drastic decline in civility/manners/respect/loyalty/pride/work ethics in todays youth. Great pace. Wonderful character development, especially the genetic concepts behind each of the Deviant Dozen. Incredible writing. I read this in less ten hours. That's how much I enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down. And, I ordered the sequel, today, as well.
Highly recommend for all GR friends who enjoy the YA dystopian genre.