“The world is the same as it has always been but one split second decision could change everything; one choice to check one box will undeniably change your life.”
I used to watch this show called The Sarah Conner Chronicles. For those of you that are Terminator fans, I’m sure you’ve either heard of it, or watched it for yourself. On this show was a girl named Cameron. She was a Terminator (aka a robot) and her soul purpose in life was to protect one human (who would eventually save the world) while decimating every other threat in her (or his) path. She was a machine, therefore she was supposed to be completely void of human emotion, only… she wasn’t. That’s what made her so interesting to watch.
When I first read the synopsis for Julia Crane’s novel “Freak of Nature” all I could think about was Cameron and her misunderstood existence, and the more I read…the more the connection made sense. Kaitlyn was Cameron. A machine built for the specific purpose of being a total badass, but compromised by the complexities of human emotion.
And…like Oscar Wilde so eloquently put it:
“The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.”
“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.”
As always…I’m going to go a little against the grain with this book. While most of the reviews I’ve read have been outstanding (and yay them…I’m glad they enjoyed it. That’s all that really matters at the end of the day) I was a little let down by this book. Not completely (obviously) because in then end I did give it 3 stars, but I had a few issues with it that I think others were willing to look past.
First of all…there was very little action.
I know, I know…I’m being totally nit picky, but stay with me for a second. Kaitlyn is a super secret cyborg killing machine, she was designed with the intention of (eventually) being sold to the Department of Defense. I don’t know about you, but that little fact alone implies at least four full chapters of Jet Li worthy fight scenes. Instead we get one fight or flight scenario, a game of paint ball (which was actually kind of cool. Rock on Julia) and one back alley brawl with a few wanna be teenage thugs. For most of you (like I said above) this wan’t an issue. But for me, it screamed “Missed Opportunity!”
You have a beautiful/confused/mildly remorseful pile of perfectly molded plastic, do something with it that will blow my mind.
Second (since apparently this review is going to be numbered ala Kindergarten) the characters felt a little flat for me. Kaitlyn’s inability to process emotions and react properly to them was acceptable. She is a robot after all…not understanding common phrases and throwback slang is to be expected. So…I guess Kate was just fine. But Lucas left me a little flabbergasted. To start with…Lucas is a total brainiac. (Move over Steve Jobs, you ain’t got nothing on this 19-year-old prodigy.) But instead of letting him strut his brilliant mind, HIS narration (Did you catch that? That implies that they each had their own voice. Ok, moving on.) was based solely on his inability to form a complete sentence when he was in Kate presence. (Think 14-year-old boy getting his very first peek at a Playboy. Panting included.) I’m going to try not to give anything away here, but let’s just say that Lucas had PLENTY OF TIME to get over his bumbling butterfly situation before the reading audience is even introduced into the story (Hmm…I hope that makes sense.) Because of this, his connection to her emotionally vs physically should have been significantly prominent. And while I’m not going to bad mouth the killer sexy time moments that occurred once the truth was finally revealed, I think having him focus all his energy on getting to those sexy time moments left a gap in reader/book emotional connectivity. (They were really sexy though…for a robot.)
And as far as the plot is concerned this read more as a “set-up” for future badassery than present day baddassery. (Yes! I like that word. Don’t judge me!) Which is where I think the 3 stars comes from. Despite the drag in the middle of the book, the ending alluded to something fantastic (and possibly action packed) for book two. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to learn more about Lucas or Kate’s bff Quess in the upcoming sequel. Maybe…now that she is off her leash (so to speak) the real fun will begin. There’s just no telling. For now? I’m going to deem this a cute little robot/human romance and call it a night. A night that will be filled with robot love dreams and a few Terminators thrown in for pure entertainment purposes.
Overall…solid but not stupendous. I say…wait for book two and then read them at once.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Only you can prevent forest fires. (Oh shut up! I had nothing else….give me a break.)
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