Purchased: ARC given by Netgalley
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.
When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.
As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will.
Actually I had mixed thoughts on this book. It was set up nicely I enjoyed the main character. The action didn't occur until midway through when Jess and Jay hack the system and enroll early to the "army" program with the hopes of being a flyboy and intelligence. Only things don't work out that way when Matt see Jess and decides he wants her on her special teams. It was easy to follow the world was bleak and grey and honesty I bought it. After all Jess is only 16 at this point. The part I didn't care for was how childish Jess was for all the training she has. The scenes with her and Matt that should've been sweet were in fact almost too kid like. I get it, she doesn't have experience this is first love and etc... but after how she was raised (her mother hated her) and what she dealt with I thought she would be different when it came to Matt. She was highly insecure unless she was proving something which kind of rang false how are you insecure unless proving something. How and why do you want to prove anything when you're insecure.
It was a very weird time frame for me.
Then the end came with all the mythology and set up for another book. I have to say that it was a good thing and the twist with another member of the team who could be it too was nice, but then again not. The whole "miscommunication" between Matt and Jess got old quick so I was happy when the author quickly wrapped that up. Due to Jess being 16 there is no sex, but a quick hint at everything else but that. Jess even goes so far as to call herself a tease.
Needless to say this is obviously the set up for a series in this world and while I am curious as to the whole ~ ark, angel, seed, navigator, and Eden thing I'm not that interested.
I enjoyed it and would probably pick up the next just to see where she is heading. Definitely think if you like YA and dystopian theme novels you could probably get into this one.
Jess can take care of herself, she is kick ass without being over the top HATE YOU and THE WORLD kick ass nor I am the baddest thing EVER.