GOODREADS SUMMARY | Altered, #3 | Little, Brown BFYR | Hardcover, 336 pp. | January 6th, 2015 | Young Adult | Suspense | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Sometimes, my reading preference is highly irregular and mostly, sporadic. A mystery/suspense book like this has to catch me on a good day; a day when I’m in need of something that elevates my heart rate without moving off the couch. This book certainly had its moments. But it wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as the first two books. Regardless, it was still a satisfactory instalment featuring Nick. He was every bit as mysterious and cranky as I remembered him to be: troublemaker, brusque and slightly unhinged.
The Girl in His Past
(Isn’t there always?) She haunts him in his dreams. A girl he was supposed to kill execution-style in the woods but one that he ended up saving. But due to the aftereffects of the experiments done on him by the branch, he wasn’t sure if he did, in fact, save her. Now, he can’t get her out of his mind. But as the story moves along, pieces become clearer. And the town where he ended up holds more secrets of his past life that he was not willing to face. In the grand scheme of things, he might not have a choice anyway.
The Boy in Her Past
There’s a lot of Elizabeth’s past she can’t remember. Most specifically of that time following her abduction. Every night, she dreams of Gabriel. How he saved her; his eyes and his smell. But she’s ready to move on. She’s found a life after a traumatizing event in her life. She’s surrounded by friends, and a new mother figure who treats her as her own. She spends her time making perfume. Smell is how she associates a person or a memory. When Gabriel shows up in her home town, the recognition and connection was instantaneous. They each hold the key to unlocking certain events in their pasts. But what else would they uncover as they try to piece together their broken lives?
I feel like this book was an extended novella. The major plot didn’t really move other than yet again, they were unable to bring down the Branch. I don’t know how many more books are coming, but if you’re expecting to see the end of Riley, you’ll be sorely disappointed. He is like Jason Vorhees or Mike Myers. You just can’t kill him.
I can’t believe how many fans of this series expected the SS Anna/Nick ship to set sail into the yonder. I mean, really?! Why? I can’t see Anna with anyone else other than Sam. I did want Nick to have his HEA, but really, HEAs are impossible until they get rid of Riley. He deserves his romance, sure. Though Elizabeth, was a bit of a Mary Sue at first, she actually grew on me in the end. I think her quiet disposition matches perfectly well with Nick’s intensity.
We learned a bit more of exactly what kind of experiments they were doing to the kids. Some sort of genetic enhancement program that turns them into the perfect soldiers: fearless, skilled and who are basically super humans. Here, we find out that there are kids who can regenerate cells; they heal fast and are difficult to kill (hence, the title). I think this is the part where it felt like an addendum to the plot in the interest of extending the series. The addition didn’t feel awkward per se, but it does feel like an afterthought considering the arch wasn’t introduced in the first two books.
Three for Three
So far, this series is one of those rare ones that I consistently enjoy. It’s the perfect mix of suspense, romance and action for someone like me who can only stomach a bit of everything in one book. It is unfortunate that this series is not getting much love, but if you’re a fan of stories featuring genetically-altered teens made to be super soldiers, this series is worth a look-see, at least.