Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

nemesis

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

Being an undercover princess on the run from your family can be difficult – but being all those things PLUS being beautiful and having a major secret practically makes you a target for bad things happening.  Sepora is the last known Forger – her body creates and expels spectorium, a priceless liquid that can be made into materials for building, used in creating power, as well as a number of other things that make life run more smoothly.  But she’s tired of Forging for her father, the King of Serubel, who keeps her locked away from everyone so they don’t know she is the source of the precious substance.  And when she threatens to stop Forging for him, he locks her away in the dungeon – but her mother takes pity on her and assists her in escaping, while faking her death.  She doesn’t care where she’s able to run to, as long as it away from her power hungry father.  So she runs…

Being a prince not ready for his time to rule, but forced to be prepared upon his father’s untimely death from a mystery disease that kills with utter swiftness and is making its way through the kingdom of Theoria – hitting both old and young, male and female alike.  For Tarik, the now King of Theoria, his main concern is finding a cure for what is now called the Quiet Plague, and when Sepora ends up captured, sold into his harem, and demands to speak with him – from the moment he meets her realizes she is special in some way.  While he doesn’t realize her to be the presumed dead Princess of Serbel, he also knows that there is something about her – from the way she speaks to him, to the way she treats others.  That is partly due to the fact that Tarik is a Lingot, meaning her can distinguish a truth from a lie, and while Sepora learns how to speak with the intent of truth-telling, Tarik knows that while she is very special, she’s had a hard yet pampered path.  Throughout their trials together, the two begin to feel things for each other – but the fact that Tarik must marry a royal, but will love her is not something Sepora is willing to live with.  And while it’s found out that spectorium is at least a temporary fix for those with the Quiet Plague, never fully trusting Tarik and his intent leads Sepora on an emotional journey – one that could end up leading her right back into danger.  But it’s not a clear matter of right or wrong for Sepora, but rather of what is right for HER – meaning she makes a promise that no one will use her for her Forging powers, unless she deems them worth of such a gift (as she’s been used for it by her father for so long who does not use it for good most of the time).

While I’m not usually into more “historical” pieces (the whole story had a pharaoh mixed with the Middle Ages type feel), I loved everything about who Sepora was and the courage she had to find and make a new life for herself.  She was tough, intelligent, but still full of grace and clever words – enough so to make her way from runaway young lady, to captive, to the King’s harem, to the King’s Advisor’s attendant.  And Tarik, while smart, strong, and handsome, he still knows nothing when it comes to matters of the heart – but he wants to do right by his kingdom and its people, even if that means marrying a women he does not love – when the one he eventually does is in front of his face.  I thought the story was brilliantly written in a split POV between Sepora and Tarik, and their perspectives were important to the entire book.  I know Ms. Banks must have some amazing words up her sleeve to try to outdo the first part of Sepora and Tarik’s story, but I will try to keep my hopes low so she can blow me away once again!

Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

deviation

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

Being two people in one body is difficult – which is the case for Ven, or Raven Rogen as she is known in the real world. But she isn’t Raven; she is Ven, a genetically created clone of the real Raven. And she is living with the enemy, Titus Rogen, her “father” and the brilliant mind behind RogenCorp. They create the clones for anyone who is willing to pay the exorbitant price tag. But he has too many secrets and too many people in high places in his pocket – or if they’ve overstayed their usefulness, a clone of them that is willing to blindly obey Titus’s every order. So when Ven, along with her bodyguard and secret love Linc vow to free all the clones and expose Titus for the fraud and liar that he is, Ven could lose or gain everything she’s been trying to save is she doesn’t stay a step ahead of Titus.

I absolutely love the concept that there is a clone “war of sorts occurring – not that I’d want to live through that – it’s just a great base for a scandalous story. The idea that one person could end up in control of everyone and everything is frightening and vaccinating at the same time. With such a cliff hanger ending, I’m definitely anxious to see what becomes of Ven and the clones!

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

imitation

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

Woken in a lab, grown in a test tube, raised in a warehouse…she knows what she is.  Ven is the Imitation of the real Raven Rogen, created for the rich in case they need anything from a kidney to an incubator for their child.  And while Ven knows that she was created to serve, she still wants more…a chance at a life that she knows can never be.  So when the Authentic Raven’s life is threatened, Ven is brought in to serve her purpose – draw out those responsible, even if it means an end to her short life.  Of course during that time, she will dress like, eat like, and live just like her Authentic.  Which means boys, parties, and lots of fun to be had…or is it?  How can she have fun when she knows that she is the bait to such a dangerous trap?

To make matters even harder for Ven is the young man that is assigned to her security detail, Linc Crawford.  As he believes her to be the Authentic Raven Rogen, he doesn’t think very highly of her – but of course that is not his job…his job is to serve and protect Raven and her ruthless father Titus.  But as her assignment as Raven moves forward, she starts looking forward to “spending time with” Linc – him following her around to lunches, shopping trips, and parties where he tasked with keeping her safe while trying to draw out the attackers that have been trying to get the Authentic Raven.  And as the Imitation, it is her job to not ask questions, but she can’t help but feel like there should be more to their lives – serving and moving on to Relocation to live out the rest of their lives.  They should have a chance to love and live…but Titus has other plans for her, as he is her creator and father, he feels she should bow to his every whim…if only the Imitations could be created without free will.  It may just be Ven’s undoing.

Ven is an interesting character…she’s as book smart as she possibly could be, but given that she hasn’t actually lived her life, she is lacking in the street smarts and the ways of the world.  But once Linc enters her world, she knows that she doesn’t ever want to leave it or him…even if it means endangering her life even further – she just wants to help those like her to be given a chance at making their own destinies.  This was an interesting story – a bit slower at times, but an extremely inventive idea at where our world could be headed – clones to help you along the course of your life.  But it poses the interesting question of are they real people, or just expendable copies of real people?  I would love to see what happens next with Ven and Linc – and how they plan on taking on Titus.  Together, do they stand a chance to change the world, not just for the Imitations, but for the Authentics as well?