Available July 16th
The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
4 stars - Chilling and provocative, these characters will get to you.
So I should start be saying that dystopia is not really my genre of choice. It's been a while since I loved one. This one comes close to being loved.
It started slow for me. I think that was because it really took a while for me to make that connection with Ellyssa. But as I think back on it, it's really because Ellyssa was changing. She was robotic and used to hiding her emotions at the beginning of the book. It took a while for that to change. As she changed, I began to like her.
The other really hard thing for me about this book was that it's written in third person from multiple points of view. Ellyssa is the most common but the story is seen from the almost every important characters POV at some point in the story. I usually struggle with that and I did at first. But as the story developed, I became comfortable with it.
The pacing was a similar experience for me. At first, it felt slow but picked up as the book went along. Getting used to the strangeness of the world, the characters and the multiple POVs really had me putting it down a lot. But once it picked up for me, I really did enjoy it.
While I normally focus on the two main characters in a story, this book has so many. I have to mention more. I really loved Rein. By far, he is my favorite. He feels real to me. His gut instinct on Ellyssa is questioned but he learns to trust it. Genuine and intuitive, he's a great guy that I was seriously worried about as the story came together. Ellyssa is also a favorite. I love her growth over the course of the book. She learns from the "inferior" people outside her protected life. It was nice to be long to watch her rebirth into humanity. I liked Woody and I'm still worried about him. Jordan was incredible and I just loved him. He broke my heart. The rest of the characters that touched me were all in the bad way. The detective is just frightening. The thought of a person with her personality traits is disturbing. The creator, Der Vater, is equally disturbing and demonstrates some very good life lessons for us all. Lastly, there are the "siblings" of Ellyssa. I saw so signs of redemption from them and I didn't care for them at all. Truly, this cast of characters makes for an interesting read.
The ending is equally satisfying and unsettling. I wanted a little more but I guess I see a sequel coming. I'm up for that.
Coming from someone who doesn't really like dystopia, this is great read. If you like these types of books, then definitely pick this one up. If you're looking for something a little different where the characters will weasel their way into your heart, then pick this one up.