I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
True Born by L.E. Sterling
Release date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Welcome to Dominion City.
After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.
The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…
And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.
When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, including the charismatic leader, Nolan Storm, and the beautiful but deadly Jared, who tempts her as much as he infuriates her. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?
As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.
True Born was an exhilarating adventure into an apocalyptic world where most of the earth’s population has been killed off by a plague. Those left have fractured into three groups: the Lasters, the Splicers and the True Born. The Lasters are the poorest of the poor and have no hope, they will eventually die of the plague. They are often homeless and starving, ignored by the Upper Circle of society. The Upper Circle are the richest members of the world who can afford protection details and expensive mansions. To survive, they cut and weave new DNA into their bodies. True Borns are immune to the plague, they have evolved. Think comic book style mutations with wings, claws and fur.
The story revolves around Lucy and her identical twin sister Margo. Born conjoined and later separated, the girls had always been different. Lucy possesses the ability to feel what her sister experiences. It’s like a tiny thread is connecting them to each other. Their sheltered Upper Circle life takes a turn for the worse when Margo is kidnapped and Lucy is forced to confront a world of political intrigue, upheaval and hard truths about her parents.
What I really appreciated about this book was that the reader was thrust into this chaotic and dangerous world right away. This book is non-stop. There is no build-up or this the world introduction. Sterling slowly reveals details as the book progresses. So, at first I was had a lot of questions, but this wasn’t a bad thing. It pushed me to read more and more. I devoured each page and hated when I had to put it down.
Sterling also does an excellent job crafting a world on the brink of extinction. It contains all the same elements our world has today, but further exaggerates the divide between rich and poor, mass pollution and religious extremism. It’s very easy to believe this world. Could this be the future? Our future? I loved how the book mixed different elements and genres. The idea of genetic mutations and splicing DNA could be classified as science-fiction, while the True Borns and their animal-like mutations are most definitely fantasy (at least for now).
Lucy was a very likeable character. Yeah, she was rich and came from a very strict household, but she wasn’t oblivious to what was happening around her. Her character grew so much throughout the novel. Prior to her sister’s kidnapping, Lucy had always been the sister who stayed in the background. It was her duty to protect her sister and guarantee that she was the perfect daughter. However, due to the circumstances, Lucy evolved into someone who would standup for herself, she spoke out and became quite the planner.
Jared, the love interest, reminded me of Jace from the Mortal Instruments series. Maybe it was the bad boy on the outside, sweet puppy on the inside persona or the blond hair, I don’t know, but I liked him. He seemed genuine and truly cared for Lucy. Also, bonus…there wasn’t a love triangle. Hurray!
True Born was a strong start to a new series. I am eager to find out what happens next in so bring on the sequel!