Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review: Freak of Nature (IFICS, #1) by Julia Crane


16136176Donate 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. ~ Goodreads

Review:
Kaitlyn is a human/cyborg hybrid who's memories have been wiped and her humanity stripped away after a deadly accident. Yet she can still feel unbeknownst to her owners, a shady organization called IFICS (which is Sci Fi spelled backwards). Kaitlyn reminded me of Data from Star Trek: TNG. I love that whole set up of a machine that is supposed to be cold and heartless struggling with emotions like love. It's both sad and humorous as she tries to meld those two worlds together. For example, although Kaityln is brilliant she doesn't understand commonly used phrases so the scientists upgrade her with a slang chip so she can blend into society better.

Lucas is the scientist that programmed her but is having second thoughts now that he believes there still might be a real girl inside. For some reason from the summary I pictured Lucas as a good looking but geeky type and I was looking forward to their awkward exchanges and slow building romance but the lusty thoughts come on fast and furious once he learns Kaitlyn's secret.

This is where Freak of Nature didn't work for me. I wouldn't say it was insta-love between Lucas and Kaitlyn but it was hot and heavy. One kiss and they're inseparable. This is definitely a YA but their thoughts of each other teeter on the side of New Adult - she envisions licking down his body etc, not to mention that Kaitlyn can sense that men are aroused around her - it happens a lot. I don't know why but the mix of innocence with the more overt sexual tone didn't work for me. I do want to point out that it wasn't overly graphic, mostly implied. I was not offended at all - I like my sexy times! - I just felt like it was too much for the overall tone of this book.

I also felt like there was a missed opportunity to address several moral issues. The romance takes over what could have been an intriguing plot exploring tampering with human life, altering memories without consent, creating cyborgs as weapons…It's all touched on but is second to the romance.

I have mixed feelings about this book. When I was enjoying it I couldn't put it down but there were several lulls and as we head to the big conclusion the focus of the plot abruptly switches gears which I believe is a set up for the next book but left me disappointed. A new, very important character was introduced with little to no fanfare and I felt like I missed a few pages.  There is also a "To be continued…" Not a huge cliffhanger or anything but an abrupt ending.

Final thoughts: This was a short novel, at about 167 pages on my Kindle, and I'm glad I read it but I wish it was either longer so the author could really explore this fascinating world she created in depth or spent less time setting up the next book. At $2.99 I would give it a try if you were a fan of Cinder by Marissa Myer, Eve & Adam by Michael Grant or enjoy sci-fi with a heavy dose of romance.

Author: Website | Twitter
Source: Purchased – Kindle version
Buy the book! Freak of Nature

Julia is participating in a huge multi author Kindle Fire/Amazon/Paypal Gift Card Giveaway – you can check it out  here. Ends 2/28/13

23 comments:

  1. Dunno, I mean it sounds good, but I do not want be wanting more when it's short

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    1. It's interesting but I wish it was longer rather than to be continued. The major storyline was wrapped up - too quickly for me but it is.

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  2. Hmm, the jury is still out on this one. Perhaps a book I'd pick up if I saw it in the library but alas not one I'd buy. Great review, thanks.

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  3. Bummer! I just bought this one the other night. :( It doesn't sound like one I'll like and I really, really don't like cliffhangers of any kind. Great review, even if you depressed me. LOL

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    1. Don't let my review dissuade you. It got a lot of 5 stars on Goodreads. It's not so much a cliffhanger as a literal "To be continued" The major storyline is wrapped up and is set up for book two. I just felt like the conclusion was rushed when there was still more to explore.

      That was kind of vague but I don't want to spoil anything. If you do read it, let me know what you think.

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  4. I discovered this novel on Goodreads, put it in my to-read list, browsed through the first few reviews, and then...kicked it out from said list. It sounded like the story bordered too much on the romance lines for my tastes, and you're comfirming that. Also, you're the first to mention "the mix of innocence with the more overt sexual tone"...um. Not my cup of tea either. I'm in love with the Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman (though it got some mixed reviews), so I had great hopes for this one... *sighs*

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    1. I hate to turn people off to a book that they were wanting to read. So many people really loved it so I would give it a shot. I think you'll know early on whether it works for you or not. Plus it's a short story anyway.

      I'm still glad I read it - I just didn't love it as much as I thought I would.

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  5. Oh, darn! It sounds like this did not at all go ijn the direction I was hoping. I wanted the focus to be the sci-fi moral issue with just a side of a more innocent romance :( Now I don't know if I should bother with it or not....

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  6. I love cyborgs (and Data! I love that you mention Data!) and this premise sounds intriguing, but yours is definitely not the first mixed review I've seen. Sounds lie this might be a good read for a rainy day, but with so many other books to read...

    Thanks for the honest review, Karen!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. It would be fine for that - it's such a quick read and if you know up front what you're in for it's fun. Just heavier on the romance than I was hoping for. Or I least thought the guy would be geekier lol I wanted awkward, nerdy exchanges :-)

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  7. I like the premise but it seems there was plenty of room for executing it a bit better.
    Great review.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  8. My face looked like this O.o at the licking part. I haven't heard of this book before but I like that it's about cyborgs. Unsure if I would like the romantic aspect of the book though. Thanks for your honest review!

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    1. For me....I thought it was weird how far their minds went when thinking about each so early in the story, They do have a very nice romance & connection but it overpowered the sci-fi IMO.

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  9. I've read her first novella in the Keagan's Chronicles series, COEXIST, and felt it had similar issues - a solid world, but the romance with insta-love flavor took over everything. I'm still on the fence of whether or not to continue THAT series, as the covers are gorgeous..

    Needless to say, I think I'll wait and see if this comes on sale before I take the plunge to purchase it. Sorry that you didn't like it more, even if you don't regret reading it. >.<

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    1. That's good to know. I was thinking of checking that out because I heard it was quite different (premise wise) than this book. I'll probably pass though.

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  10. hmm, i'm definitely intrigued by the cover and concept. sounds like it might have lost it's way a little though.

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    1. I don't think you would like it Carrie 0 but if you got a deal on it, it's so short it's worth giving it a try. I don't regret reading it.

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  11. Nooooo...I was so excited when I started to read this review because it sounds SO INTERESTING! And my excitement just kept dimming the more I read, lol. Such potential, like you said. Oh, well. Thanks for the honest review, Karen!!

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    1. Hey, it's just one persons opinion. There are quite a few 5 star reviews on Goodreads so don't just go by mine. It might work better for you.

      Can you tell that I hate when my reviews turn someone away from reading a book?? lol

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  12. I think your assessment is great. I can see what you mean by the "sexy tiems" being inappropriate. The premise sounds good though...how horrific to wake up as a robot.

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  13. I am really curious on how the story goes. The book sounds refreshing to read about robots and stuff. I am definitely going to check this book out.

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  15. Really enjoyed reading your review. Freak of Nature sounds like a really interesting read, I will have to hunt it down.

    Cleo Rogers (www.turnberrytowers.com)

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