True Born (Book #1) by L.E. Sterling

26114621Welcome 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.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Amazon ebook 304 Entangled: Teen YA/SFF Dystopia May 3rd, 2016

Riiiight…. I saw a really good review for this book and I loved the cover immediately so I decided- me wants!

The book itself has mixed reviews. Some DNFd it because they said it ‘romantizises violence’, some readers found the love interest guy to be a complete wanker, some readers questioned the scifi aspects of the story… Me? I quite enjoyed this read even though it had its small niggles.

The YA characters definitely are a far cry from axe wielding men I so enjoy reading about, but I did get my fix of suspenseful moments from the book thanks to the True Borns, so I’m not really complaining.

Margot is the fire: bright and ready to burn out of control. I am the less exciting twin, the responsible twin.

Margot and Lucinda, the twin daughters of one of society’s most powerful men. Their Father is intense, powerful and ‘rules’ with an iron fist. It’s no surprise that we have Margot that wants to ‘break out of the prison’ their Father has created for them- act like they’re told, do what they’re told. It’s no wonder the girls upbringing creates the perfect conflict in the storyline. When all you’ve ever known about you and your family, that first step to realizing that what is your ‘duty’ may actually be wrong can seem like a huge leap off the cliff towards uncertainty and feelings of guilt.

This is Dominion, after all. The Plague has escalated the last few years, sweeping over the world on its dark horse and boggling everyone with its diamond teeth. Whole sections of the city are kept under constant martial law to prevent the lawlessness that comes with rising body counts.

The city is in shambles… The Lasters, or the people who are slowly but surely succumbing to the Plague, are wreaking havoc. When you’re starving and dying and have nothing to lose, you will try to find ways to survive. And of course they have a religious sect ‘guiding’ them… The more dire someone’s existence, the easier it is to have them follow deities. and prophets.

Evolve or die.

Even though there is a threat for eveyone in Dominion, there’s something about the twins’  blood that many are out to get from the two girls. Their Father hires a group of True Borns for extra security, even though being seen mingling with True Borns is frowned upon in the ‘high society’… It must have something to do with their mysterious background.

Thus we meet Nolan Storm, Jared Price and the crew. Larger than life characters, with divine animalistic ‘powers’. I normally steer clear of shapeshifting characters. It must be because the werebears, -lions, -dinosaurs, -wolves on the covers of my ebook newsletters have slightly made me gag, but hey, whatever rocks your boat and in this case we’re dealing with two totally different genres. No bear paws on boobs in True Born. It’s YA! We’re safe!

I guess this is as good a time as any to say that I really enjoyed the scenes where Nolan Storm was involved. His power and character truly leaped off the page and delivered a few of my favorite intense moments. I guess, the one word that comes to my mind when trying to describe his presence is majestic. Just the aura a stag with mighty antlers would present you with. Aye, antlers.

This leads me to Jared Price… another intense character. His animal is a panther. I may need to elaborate here… when the fight scenes come up, he turns into a human panther… or something. All very weird. And Lucy, our sensible twin, is smitten by him from the moment they meet. So, there’s some ‘swoony moments’, mention of varying eye colors, you know- the usual YA romancy jazz! Now, that romance might have caused an uproar by some of the readers, and not in favor of Jared. Granted, at certain points Jared acted like a control-freak dad more than a security detail. But I think there was only one moment when I thought- oh tone it down, you high-strung shapeshifter and don’t patronize! Yes, Jared and Lucy were at each other’s throats majority of the time, but first of all, it takes two attitudes and perspectives to tango. Not to mention that Lucy herself was far from perfect with her attitude. Adding to the tension in between those two was the fact that they’re from different social backgrounds. Jared has lived the bad and the ugly, while Lucy herself has only ever had to deal with living up to her family’s expectations in luxurious settings, feeding her knowledge on controlled information.

So, indeed, while the romance aspect was an innocent guilty pleasure, the dialogue and descriptions around Dominion’s politics were what really delivered for me. The writing, even though at some parts a bit clunky and slightly repetitive, truly did deliver whenever a ‘riot  scene’ came up. It felt like I was standing on the rubbled streets with the characters, witnessing the chaos. Additionally, the ‘behaviour’ of the Upper Class society in this dystopian setting was at the same time as tasteless as it was typical. Parties and hosting important visitors just to get one up is just something powerful people do.

The Reveal was one of those Upper Class shindigs that offered that contrast to the dystopian setting.

The Reveal is … for lack of better comparisons, like one of those American reality TV Sweet 16th Birthday parties (don’t ask me how I know this 😀 )… except, our characters have it when they turn 18 and that’s when they’ll find out whether they’re Splicers or Lasters or True Born. So, really, at the end of the day, no matter how rich you are, if your genetics are not up to scratch, you can’t buy life. But, what kind of freaking morbid ‘fun’ is it to throw a party to tell your child in front of invited party guests: Sorry, dah’lin, but you’re royally screwed! Here’s tix to around the world travel which you probably won’t survive because you’re more than likely to die in about… oh… soonish! 

Overall, True Born was the kind of read that was just enough to be entertaining but it did leave me with some questions:

Why is The Reveal held on the 18th birthday?

Who are the True Borns actually? Because the explanation I got, made me more confused than gave me a clear picture.

Would I recommend the book? Sure, if YA is your thing, I’d say you should give this a try.

My rating for the book is 3***. It can’t be helped that I will more than likely read Book #2- True North, where I am hoping to find out about the True Borns a bit more plus I think it’ll be, in some parts, set in Russia so color me intrigued!

 

30 comments

  1. Well we know my view on Y-A it’s most definitely not a genre for me, nope, no thank you, I like my fantasy visceral, gory, blood soaked and foul mouthed! 🙂

    Great review as ever, lol at w#nker made me smirk and then we come to this pearl of a sentence “No bear paws on boobs in True Born. It’s YA! We’re safe!” OMFG Lizzy, the PC brigade mightbe after you for that but damn that sentence made me laugh, f#cking classic! 🙂

    Lol at antlers too, mighty antlers, no comment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know right? The cover is just faaaabulous!
      Also- I think this book probably has too much teenage relationship tip-toeing to be of something of interest to you? I think if this trilogy was in adult genre, with no teemagers it would kick ass! The dystopia, the scifi, the True Borns…

      Like

  2. I saw this and original was super interested. So of course I was pleased to see you reviewed 😉 Your opinion of books seems to fair well with my own. But I have been avoiding YA. I am still open to it, as it is silly to completely miss out on great books due to some negative experiences, but reading this review I think maybe I should not add this to the tbr? Thoughts? How did it fair compared to the frequent YA tropes? Notice many?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm… you know, if you have ton of interesting books in the near future to read, then if I was you I would give this a pass… there are SOME great moments, but I don’t think it’s polished enough… writing here and there was a bit clunky…
      Tropes? Ah.. the typical teenage homrone-fuelled thoughts… while there’s ‘insta attraction’ Lucy and Jared don’t act on it right away… the conflict created in character development by way of guilt, meaning Lucy is so bound on duty towards her family (who don’t deserve it) that her POV is slightly tilted.. it creates some tension points, but it’s nothing new, really. I am planning to read book 2 over the next couple of months… if that turns out well (and better than) book 1, I would probably recommend this to you 🙂 I’ll let ya know 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 🙂 Agreed- YA can be just so overly dramatic with the relationship dramas… ugh… but it was great to throw it into the mix of books I’ve been reading… If I went back in time and had a chance to decide again whether to read it or not? You know… probably not, as I wouldn’t miss a whole pile… at the same time, I don’t regret time spent on it either… a bit contradicting… XD

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  3. Well that was a funny review 😆

    Sadly definitely not a book I want to read , I haven’t had a good time with a YA book for a long time now so I’ve just made a rule to stay away from them and your review although does make it’s case for the book , it really doesn’t make me feel like its a book of my liking

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  4. Nice review! I think I’ll probably prefer reading your much-much-more entertaining reviews than this YA series though. 😀 Loved that bit about ebook newsletters… Gosh, the effort they put into those designs though… Sucks that the romance was… well… guilty pleasure at most. Hopefully book 2 will answer your questions ASAP, otherwise.. I fear it’ll only add another set of questions to the pile!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Color me intrigued, as well! I haven’t heard of this review, but it sounds like I *might* enjoy it. Sometimes you just need a fun romp in a demi-fantasy world. I appreciate that you jumped for this book based on reading a glowing review (and falling for the cover)– I don’t feel like enough bloggers do that. We all seem to have our own TBRs and agendas. There isn’t a ton of room for spontaneity. How long was this on your shelf before you got to it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right.. there isn’t a lot of room for spontaneity, but if I see something that really intrigues me, I’m willing to make time for it quite quickly. I normally get the book straight away and then read asap… This one was on my Kindle from discovering it to reading it, for about 2 months I think? which isn’t too bad 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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