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Most Helpful Favorable Review
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
posted by 12582890 on January 21, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
First and foremost let me just say that Altered was a 3.5 star b
I found a lot of things I adored about Altered but a few things, personally, just didn't sit well with me. I, like many p...
I found a lot of things I adored about Altered but a few things, personally, just didn't sit well with me. I, like many people, have grown up completely desensitized to guns and violence in general. I understand that Altered is a young adult book, so I tried to push my personal experiences to the side. Key word was tried. But before I jump to that, lets start at the beginning. :)
Altered was one of my most anticipated releases of January 2013. I counted down the days, I admired the cover on a creepy level, I stalked the Goodreads statuses for reviews (which were all stellar) and I read the blurb obsessively. When I finally got the book in my hands the happy dance I did was so epic, I can only describe it as a mix between the running-man and that one thriller move.
I was all over my house doing my epic new dance, singing the "look what I got" song. Yes it took some time for me to get to read it but hey, it was in my possession and if someone tried to take it, blood would have been drawn. But I'm getting off track. (Damn my squirrel like attention span!)
Altered started off fairly slow, showing Anna's day to day life working in a secret underground lab with her dad and their four human "test" subjects; Cas, Nick, Trev and Sam. This is probably my biggest pet peeve about the book but I will cover that in a minute. Anna doesn't know exactly what the boys will be used for, or why they are locked in her basement but she is always happy to see and interact with them. And by interact I mean the only time she had physical contact with them was after she knocked them out with sleeping gas.
This is where my "what the heck?!" face came in. You see as you read the book you find out that Anna is ridiculously curious and equally stubborn. Yes I know these are good traits for a main character but I felt it was always inconsistent when it came to Anna. She has a underground secret lab under her farm house in heaven-only-knows where NY, that has FOUR men locked away, and she only attempted to get information a handful of times? But she is willing and ready to knock on every door and search every corner of the world to find the meaning behind some scars on Nick's chest? It just didn't jibe with me, but I was able to look around that "little" irritant.
The next thing that aggravated me was Anna's "logic". I'm not a daddy's girl so maybe I'm the one with the issues, but she repeatedly reminds herself, and us, of her unrestricted and unwavering trust in her dad and "the program". Even though she doesn't know what the program is, what it's suppose to test, how long it's been running, or when it will be over. So strike one to Anna's logic there.
Next in Anna's suppose "logic" is her self preservation instinct. Or lack there of in this instance.
I have been taught my whole life to defend myself in the event of an altercation that gets out of hand before I can walk away. I don't have to start the trouble and I definitely don't have to go looking for it but I can definitely finish it. Anna, has had combat training her ENTIRE life, but as soon as a gun is pulled on her she stands there staring down the barrel. At first I thought maybe I was overreacting, it's only logical for people to be afraid when they see someone aim a firearm at them and mean it. So she gets a pass on that one. But then she was attacked by this trailer trash redneck chick and she froze AGAIN! Did I miss something? You have trained to defend yourself your entire life! Did you think it was just a hardcore way of exercising? Strike two against Anna's "logic".
The final blow to the "I hate Anna's logic coffin" is a bit of a spoiler so I won't go into detail. Let's just say it involves an old abandon house in the middle of nowhere, that required a 5 mile hike in the freezing ran.
Doesn't sound pleasant does it? Because it is not pleasant nor SMART!
I just couldn't understand how this extremely book smart (as we say in the "hood") girl made so many stupid and petty decisions. I wanted to like her. I really really tried to! I loved the idea of a new kind of heroine! One who wasn't all kick ass, or pumped full of crazy superpowers; what I got was a girl more concerned about her jeans, love life, and her dead/undead mother.
The men chasing her with guns? Forget about it.
The years of lying from her father? Who cares!
The complete lack of money, passports, or reliable and legal transportation to get away alive? Not on her radar.
But it wasn't all bad for me. I promise! :)
I seriously loved and enjoyed each of the boys, except Chase who I was mostly indifferent about (like a younger brother). Nick was my all time favorite! Nick and I had a lot in common and I just connected better with him. For instance, he despised and mistrusted Anna, so we have that in common. But more than that he had good instincts, and instead of going back and forth or pretending to be someone he wasn't he went with his gut and did what was best for his, and the boys, survival.
The mystery, was mind blowing. I would have never guessed, like EVER guessed that ending, or middle for that matter. And believe me, I can figure out the ending to a movie/book 20 minutes in and be damn near spot on so this was a refreshing and surprising experience for me.
The writing as a whole gave just enough to grab my attention but never to much to lose that attention. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure that Rush was some type of undercover super spy once upon a time, because there is NO WAY she just thought up those fight/shooting scenes! No ma'am that just isn't possible with the amount of detail and precision written into those scenes.
Even though Altered wasn't a five star knock'em dead book for me I really did enjoy reading it. I felt that the world building, the writing and character development was phenomenal. I loved the mystery and suspense involved with looking for the clues and uncovering the truth. Yeah I didn't like Anna but Cas, Sam, Nick and Trev were able to overshadow my disappointment in Anna. ~Octavia of Read. Sleep. Repeat.~
posted by Love_My_Nook-2 on February 21, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2014
Altered clearly fits into the science fiction & thriller cat
Altered clearly fits into the science fiction & thriller category of books, and features plenty of action to keep its readers on their toes. And seeing as it features four guys among its cast of main characters, it's unsurprising that Altered also features some romance mixed in there as well!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Reasons to Read:
1. Fast-paced action:
This is ALWAYS a good reason for me to read a book. I love excitement, and while I'm a reader who can appreciate a thoughtful, slow-paced book I also love them amped up and heart-pounding! It picks up early on in the book and never really stops. Plenty of chase & fight scenes, plot twists, and thrilling moments.
2. Level-headed heroine:
Anna is, surprisingly, level-headed and reasonable for a girl thrust into an unlikely (and honestly, pretty implausible) situation. Her entire world (as she's known it) is thrown into chaos and she's left unsure about who she can trust and how to uncover the secrets she's just beginning to uncover. People react to situations differently, but I appreciated the fact that Anna was willing and able to take a step back and tried to think things through objectively. Yet she still comes across as young and scared at times, too. That's a really tricky balance to make, but it makes Anna into a very interesting character.
Altered was a fast-paced, quick read for me and although I enjoyed it, it also left me desiring more from it. I think that has more to do with me as a reader though, because I just feel like I've read similar books that won me over more. In one way or another they stood out, and I was hoping for Altered to bring something totally fresh and exciting to the table and it just felt lacking in that area.
I did like that Altered was just pulsing with adrenaline (for a book) and that the whole story didn't entirely revolve around romance. There are some incredibly strong friendships in here too, and they're so important to Anna and to the story line. But I definitely wanted more from Altered, which I'm hoping will come through in the next books.
ARC received from HBG Canada for review; no other compensation received.
Posted January 12, 2013
There¿s a lot of books I want to read for a few different reason
There’s a lot of books I want to read for a few different reasons. There’s the sequels or continuations of series I already love. There’s books whose concepts interest me but don’t completely sell me yet. Then there’s the debuts such as Altered, that capture my interest right way through a combination of a intriguing concept and stand-out cover. I awaited Altered‘s arrival for months, had it pre-ordered and checked the tracking info probably 50 times a day once it was shipped. I was that anxious for it to arrive. I planned to rip right into the packaging as soon as I got my hands on it. I didn’t even care that it was close to 10 p.m. when I started Altered because I had pre-convinced myself that I’d love it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
And then, about 30 pages in, something happened. With only a couple chapters in, my excitement began to wan. I was still interested in delving deeper because the plot had raised a lot of questions that I wanted answered. However, early on I became detached. Detached from the characters and detached from the emotion. Throughout the whole book I felt like there was general lack of emotion. A lack between father and daughter and a huge lack between two individuals who were supposedly in-love or close enough to becoming. Even the premise says, “Sam who’s stolen Anna’s heart” a concept that Rush tried to convey throughout the story, and one I just couldn’t buy.
By the time Altered begins we’re already told that there’s feelings brewing between these two, or at least, on Anna’s end. She’s known Sam for about 5 years and harbors strong feelings for him. Why, is a question I asked myself over and over again. Sure. He’s hot and pretty nice and Anna has seen him pretty much everyday for the last five years. But besides some late night chess matches, it seems like Anna really doesn’t know him or hasn’t gotten close to him, not like she has towards one of the other boys, Trev. Trev, who she considers one of her best friends is someone she talks to all the time, opens up to, not Sam. The connection between Anna and Sam didn’t make sense to me. It felt physical not emotional and so because Rush pushed so hard for it, that was a loss of one stake itself.
The second problem I had was the plot. At its basis Altered is about 4 boys with altered abilities and memories along with a girl, running from an uber-bad corporation. To be honest though, this corporation called “The Branch” really didn’t strike fear into me. Yes, there was a lot of guns and violence involved but I had too many questions. Where did this company come from. What was its agenda a.k.a. why were the boys involved, or Anna for that matter. I really didn’t understand Anna’s lack of questioning when her house was quite literally built on top of a secret laboratory housing 4 boys in glass and brick cages. Sure, at times she mentions wishing the boys were free, but she seemed awfully complacent for someone in her position. If it were me, I’d be a whole lot more curious and less accepting.
This is one of the most critical reviews I’ve yet to write. I believe this one in particular is so critical because I felt so let down. I wanted to love this book SO BADLY but because of the detachment, I couldn’t. I didn’t understand the motivations, decisions or actions of any of the characters. I couldn’t get a grip on any of their personalities whether it be virtues or flaws. They all just fell flat, which for me, made the whole book fall flat. Sure, the story itself is great, but the characters that are supposed to navigate it, were not.