Book Review – Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

A cyborg cacophony!

Freak of Nature Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Adventure

No. of pages: 284

From Goodreads:

Donate 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. 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

A nice little book – just nice. It could have been fantastic. I was lead to believe such great things from some fellow bloggers I follow, but it fell way short. Such a great premise for ‘Freak of Nature’ – waking up a cyborg, a clandestine company overlord and forced to perform nefarious stunts for someone else’s regime. There is a lot to like.

Freak of Nature Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleFor me, the biggest part that held my heart from falling in love with Julia Crane’s love child, is that I could not relate to either of the main characters. Kaitlyn’s mentality did not match her predicament. Her reactions varied from fantastic and engaging, to way off base. She was everywhere, and did not make sense to her character. Switching from mature to immature – it left her wishy-washy when I felt a great arc would have been about her rising out of confusion and uncertainty to assume her identity and ideals.

Lucas was the most frustrating. For someone intelligent enough to build a cyborg, he sure was dumb. I didn’t feel any of the chemistry between him and Kaitlyn. His inner turmoil fell flat, and as it was dragged out for so long through the story line of the novel, soon became tiresome. He was in a great position to make this character amazing, with compassion and power, trying to buck the man and a yearning like Frankenstein for his monster, I wanted to experience some torment, angst, and covert operations… and it was there, but just like a whisper in the dark.

Gracie made the most sense, but still her behaviour and manipulations sometimes jumped out of character and left me grinding my teeth. She was allowed too much freedom for it to feel realistic, and the way she fell into fast friendship with Kaitlyn, superficial. She seemed to wave too much control over key players in the plot for me to swallow. I’d really have like to see her challenged and need to test her strength for the sake of her friendships and relationships.

Much of the science around Kaitlyn being a cyborg did not add up and annoyed me throughout reading the entire book. It turned in to a bit of a struggle, and I put it down on several occasions. As did some of the twists at the end… and left me rolling my eyes.

If you overlook the glaringly obvious shortcomings this is a fun escape. Free flowing narrative style, though a bit juvenile for my tastes. It did conclude nicely (also leaving enough open for a sequel), but even that felt a little too trite. I felt this book more suitable for middle graders with the way it was written – but some of the steamier scenes wrote it out of that category leaving it ill placed for its target market.

I really wanted to love this book – but in the end it just felt like a dog’s breakfast.

Overall feeling: Frustrated.

Freak of Nature Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

     Freak of Nature Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

 Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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