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 North by L.E. Sterling
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.
While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning?
As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.
True North is the second book in a series based in an apocalyptic world where much of the earth’s population has been killed off by a devastating plague. Society is divided into three distinct groups: the Lasters, the Splicers and the True Born. You definitely don’t want to be a Laster since you will for sure die of the plague, the Splicers have tons of money and use it to replace diseased DNA and the True Borns are immune to the plague and have evolved into what I can best describe as mutants.
The story picks up where the first book, True Born, left off. The main character Lucy is abandoned by her family and taken in by Nolan Storm and his group of militant True Borns. Storm has promised to help Lucy find her twin sister Margot, who she shares a special connection with. However, he isn’t as forthcoming as she would like and this sets her off on a dangerous journey to Russia.
I was a huge fan of the first book. It was non-stop and totally engrossing. I honestly hadn’t read anything like it! So, as you can imagine, I was very much looking forward to reading True North. I had so many questions that needed to be answered! The book was good but it lacked the special something that its predecessor had. I wasn’t as eager to turn the pages or engaged with Lucy’s struggle. Truth be told, the first quarter of the book featured very little action. There was a lot of time spent explaining key events from the first novel. I understand why authors need to do it but it was all a bit too much for my liking. I was starting to feel kind of put-off but thank goodness I held on because at around the 40% mark things really began to pick up!
As much as I loved Lucy is the first book, I have to say she was different in this one. Her character wasn’t as consistent, almost as if the author wasn’t sure what to do with her. She’s shallow and flighty one moment, then confident and empathetic the next. The characters that really shone were the True Borns. I’m glad we got to learn more about Jared and Storm, two characters who were prominent in True Born, but not really explored. I actually really wish we could have had chapters from their POVs. Now that would have really added some action!
So, while I did enjoy True North, it was ultimately unable to recapture what made its predecessor so amazing. The plot and storylines were drawn out and the characters uneven. This trilogy could perhaps have been made into a duology? I don’t know, but this book has left me with enough questions to want to read the series final.
Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi
Release date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, novella
He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.
Death and Night is a prequel to the gorgeous novel The Star-Touched Queen. If you haven’t read it yet then get on it! Seriously, the descriptions are beyond beautiful!
Anyway, this novella explores the relationship between Maya and Amar. One of my issues with them in The Star-Touched Queen was just how quickly they fell in love. It’s explained why in the novel but I won’t go into detail about it here. I don’t want to give anything away and spoil the book. It was just too insta-lovey-dovey for me, so thank goodness for this short story because it was PERFECT! I LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT!!! Maya and Amar are just so…so…I don’t even have the words to say how romantic and beautiful their love for each was. Oh, and their banter was spot on. I smiled and sighed A LOT. And it’s all in a novella! *jaw drop* I know right?! It’s really a credit to just how talented Roshani Chokshi is.
I highly recommend this novella to those who have already read and enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen. It’s a wonderful prequel and has definitely made me move the companion novel, A Crown of Wishes, further up my TBR list.