Book Review: Deviation by: Christine Manzari

Publication Date: August 9, 2013

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Series: The Sophisicates

Review: DEVIATION features the Sophisticates, genetically engineered humans who were created as a direct result of the terrorist action, called Wormwood, which occurred over 30 years ago. The Sophisticates are property of The Program, taken from their parents as infants and raised to emphasize their modifications: increased intelligence, stamina, strength, and speed. However, there are some Sophisticates out there who are even rarer. Cleo and her best friend Cassie have been friends their entire lives. When Cleo sets her room on fire, she’s sent away from her school (on the former University of Maryland College Park campus) and from Cassie to the Academy. The Academy is the military branch of The Program and Cleo knows she doesn’t belong here. What she doesn’t realize is there are others here who, like her, have been given an extra genetic bonus. She and her fellow deviations have been created as human weapons in the ongoing war. DEVIATION is a great story featuring genetically modified teenagers growing up in a dystopian world. Sure, there have been a lot of these kinds of stories over the years, but I truly enjoyed how different DEVIATION is from the rest. The plot is tight and well-developed, as well as the characters, who all stand out. I always enjoy a story set near where I live, so it added an element of familiarity to the story for me. I am looking forward to finding out what happens to Cleo and her friends in the next book in this series. Give DEVIATION a try – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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