Overview: If I could only read one genre for the rest of my days, I probably wouldn’t choose “Sci-Fi Futuristic Dystopia”… though I would really, really miss reading them. This unique niche was born out of novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 and has since exploded with books (and subsequent movies) like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and most recently, Ready Player One. Teenagers like dystopian novels because author speaks in a way that treats the readers as adults—which is both a blessing & a refresher amongst the typical YA section today, overridden with themes of sorcery, high school romance, and the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite…
Adults like dystopias because it takes a LOT to faze us.
The Titan Strain definitely fazed me. I must give credit to the author & mastermind, Virginia Soenksen: it’s becoming more and more difficult to come up with an original idea—let alone publish it—and The Titan Strain does that while maintaining a storyline that makes it impossible to put down.
Our heroine Liane, a semi-human black ops-esque secret agent & certified badass, is impossible to dislike. An orphan whose earliest memories include being ‘adopted’ by the ominous “Agency” and then consequently trained into a high-powered killing machine, the struggles she goes through in her fight for freedom feel incredibly real.
Though Liane is the leading lady, the focus shifts between her, Seth (the do-gooder police officer), and Damian (Liane’s “Handler”, aka a cross between her father/boss/dominant), at a speed that keeps you enthralled until the very end. The details of her past, and how it shaped her into the young professional assassin we meet, are both intriguing and follow a logical sequence of events… though I fought against rolling my eyes when Seth offers her a pizza, to which she responds “Pizza? I’ve never had it before!”
It is already a quick read, but my inability to put it down made it fly by. The steadily creeping buildup creates undeniable suspense and anticipation that has us begging for the climax, and when it finally happens, the narrator immediately switches to a different character’s perspective, forcing us to trudge through the next chapter to obtain a feeling of closure.
Novel Thoughts: I was able to preview this book before its big release this Tuesday May 29th, and MAN I'm so ready for it... I need to discuss with someone!!
Recommendation: A steadily captivating read not just for scifi-fantasy fans, but for any reader who is down with a post-apocalyptic-set story, complete with advanced genetic mutations, a corrupt government, and a dash of love & betrayal.