True Born by L.E. Sterling
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: True Born #1
Published by Entangled Teen on May 3rd 2016
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, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. 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.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. I haven’t read anything dystopian (that doesn’t involve aliens) in a while, so I enjoyed visiting this genre again. The cover drew me in, if I’m being completely honest, and once I understood it’s meaning, I loved it even more. However, the story inside does not disappoint.
Lucy Fox was a wonderful narrator. The book started off a little slow, and though it took me a few chapters to get into it and understand exactly how the world worked, Lucy’s voice kept a steady pace. She had an even character arc, and since this is a trilogy—yay!—I’m excited to see how her character changes in the other books. She slowly gave me bits and pieces of the life she and her sister had lived. Their connection was peculiar and enthralling, and it motivated Lucy to become the person that I had come to know by the end of the book. Margot, her twin, and Lucy had a great relationship, one that didn’t take away from the other person but built them up and nourished a unique bond.
Are there any fans of Jace from The Mortal Instruments out there? You’ll love Jared! I was on twitter and saw someone talk about Jared being man candy, and my curious mind had to know. I had the book on my kindle, waiting idly for my attention, and it was just the shove I needed. Thank you, person on twitter that decided to talk about this book, you were so right. I loved Jared. Blonde, snarky, transitioning eye color, and an inherent desire to protect Lucy, it was practically impossible not to create a special place in my heart for this True Born. While they didn’t have an incredibly romantic relationship, each kiss and careful caress made my heart race. With Jared came many nail biting moments, and he kept me on my toes practically the entire book—I stayed about as confused as Lucy on where they stood.
The world building had such complexity. Sterling took a general idea—widespread plague—and added a twist. There were Splicers, Lasters, and True Borns, each indicative of where you stood in society. Lucy and Margot, like everyone else but those labeled True Born at birth, waited anxiously to learn where they fell when they turned eighteen. They had been used to living in the Upper Circle, their world skillfully designed to fit a certain mold. I expected science fiction, but felt a lean toward fantasy. The two seemed to blend together in an exceptional way that banished the slight confusion that I had at the beginning. Dominion stood vividly in my mind, and I hope to learn more about the hierarchal division in the next book.
Fans of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy or X-Men will devour this book. Is it too soon to be asking for the next book in the trilogy yet?
Read below for an excerpt from True Born:
“Isn’t it a little weird that we have to do our tests again? Was there some kind of mistake with the first one?” Margot says it innocently enough, a slight twang to her voice to match the nurse’s rabble-like twang.
“Well, hon, sometimes they get mixed signals, you know? Like when you think a boy likes you but then he goes all hot and cold?” She winks. Margot’s fingers tighten on mine.
“Uh huh.” Margot nods. “So there’s a problem with your machines? Or with the staff?”
The nurse frowns. “Not this staff. They’re five-star amazing. Must have just been a bad sample or something. Try not to worry about it, sweetie.” She pats Margot’s arm just before she shoves the needle in my sister’s vein.
I squirm on my seat. The skin on my arm crawls from the sharp pain originating in my sister’s arm. Relaxed beside me, Margot doesn’t move a muscle. She knows what I’m feeling even if she can’t do anything about it. This is just how it is with us.
“How much are you going to take this time?” My voice shakes as our coltish nurse comes around to me and drives a needle into my arm. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as Margot’s did. Our hands stay folded together. There’s a note in our file about letting us. One of the perks of being born us.
“Oh.” For the first time she looks a little dismayed. “I’m sorry, hon. Didn’t they tell you? We gotta go through the whole protocol again. The whole shebang.”
My twin and I did know. We’d been told. Still, it bothers us. A full day’s worth of giving blood, going through tests, having your organs measured and documented. Urine samples, more blood samples, hair samples. We’d already been through this two times in the last two months. We no longer believe they’d gotten “bad” samples—not that we’re going to let on to the nurse.
And funny thing is, each time we come, the Protocols Nurse is new. This is the third we’ve had, each as clueless as the last.
We know better than to ask our parents. The deepening silence and constant rounds of testing and lies must mean the news is the worst. Late at night we lie together, holding hands and whispering under the deep canopy of one or other of our beds. We’ve thought about what it will mean if one of us turns out to be a Laster. We’ve talked until dawn about what we’d want, what we’d do. I tell Margot I’d want to go with her, but she’s against the idea.
“One of us needs to survive,” she said to me, her gray-green eyes as serious as I’ve ever seen them.
“What if it’s not that?” I asked her.
“What do you mean?”
“What if we’re, you know,” the words mere whispers, “True Born?”
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