*Review may contain spoilers*
An intriguing premise for a novel that Workinger carries off with aplomb. I found myself engrossed in Clio's story as soon as I dove into the book, and kept going right to the end. The book hooked me in with a well-written prologue that sets up the direction of the novel. While at the surface, it may seem a sci-fi/fantasy YA entry, I think it can be enjoyed by fans of contemporary YA, realistic fiction, or even romance.
Workinger has a good sense for teen dialogue, and uses it to great effect. I think what really gels this novel together are the main characters. Clio- the protagonist, Bliss, Garrett, Jack, Miranda, (and later Alexis) make for a solid team. They each get drawn out as the novel progresses. The more you delve into the book, the more you grow to like them, and appreciate their wit, their quirkiness, and how they stick together as a team. The attraction and spark between Clio and Jack is palpable, and while they sort of get together, their relationship is not explored or discussed in too much detail after their (romantic) first official date. But I suppose there is more to be discovered in the follow up novel!
The story hits some minor bumps with certain plot developments and twists. As the reader we know to suspect that all is not what it seems; clearly some sinister forces are at work and the super-human teens are all being kept in the dark about something big. There are a few major plot points that are happening simultaneously, and I think some are carried out more successfully than others. I think I was most frustrated with the fact that when the main characters discover their special powers, their reactions are really muted. The power to turn invisible, the power to jump feet into the air with the grace of a panther? Why aren't the teens more shocked, surprised? Where are their intense conversations and/or freak outs about the discovery of what the genetic mutations have done to them? Also, when the group finally confronts their suspicions in a crucial moment, the resulting action doesn't quite take off liked I hoped it would.
Verdict: Overall, good! I enjoyed it. Elements of predictability and some story/plot imbalances are countered with zippy dialogue, genuinely likable characters, and a promise of more intrigue- and romance!- to come. The version I read contained an excerpt from the second book, Settling, which appears to kick the romance up a notch. I look forward to reading the follow-up novel.