Author: Dan Krokos
Author's Website: http://dankrokos.com/
Editor: Catherine Onder
Agent: Suzie Townsend
Released: August 14, 2012
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Challenge: 2012 YA Debut Author Challenge
Miranda wakes up with no memory of who she is, and when she feels threatened, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Then Peter shows up and takes her back home, where, he explains, she's been genetically altered with three other teens and prepared for special missions. She just has to continue taking her memory shots so she doesn't lose her memory again. But when it becomes clear that Miranda and her friends are being prepared for something far more sinister than what they've been told, they're on the run, and recovering her memory becomes secondary to securing their future. But the two may be one and the same...There's something about Miranda's voice that just draws you into the story and doesn't let you go. She has such a matter-of-fact way of presenting things, even when everything is going to pieces, and even a bit of humor. Though Noah provides more of the dark humor than Miranda does. I immediately cared about Miranda, but at the same time, I cared about Peter even when she wasn't sure she trusted him. I think she did, too. And that's the thing - I responded to each of her teammates the way Miranda responded to them, I saw them through her eyes. I love that it happened that way, that I experienced the whole story the way she experienced it.
Miranda's confusion is an important part of the story, of course, but what I love is that Miranda is such a strong, kick-ass character, not just in action, but in her personality as well. She exhibits such strength in dealing with every new situation, keeping her cool, assessing and deciding. All the characters have very distinctive personalities, especially Peter and Noah - which makes things very interesting as things develop. But because Miranda's voice is so strong throughout, I connected to every character and was emotionally connected. Even though the main part of the book is the thriller, the emotion is really strong, too.
The cadence of the way the story is told is perfect, the pacing spot-on, with just enough lulls between the action, and lots and lots of action. I found it interesting that each character seems to have a preferred method of killing - one pushes people off roofs, one snaps necks... But at the same time, they're versatile, and they adapt to each situation. I especially like the way the big fight Miranda fights at the end uses the surroundings to aid and hinder the action. It adds another dimension to the scene.
The way the plot unfolds, with the team uncovering bits and pieces of what's going on and what's in store for them, fits in with the action so that the two work together. It gets confusing, with all the details, but in a way, it's fun trying to keep it all straight. It has to be confusing, that's the point, and it's confusing for Miranda and her team as well. And little clues are dropped so that it builds up until the end when the final bombshell is dropped, setting things up for a much larger and more terrible war for the Roses in the next book...