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on June 11, 2013 :
I won a copy of this book in Elle Casey's Springtime Indie Book Giveaway.
Very cool! I liked the heroine, Jade, quite a lot. She's a smart, strong, and sassy kind of girl, who has developed a take-no-crap attitude as a result of having gone through, well, some crap. At the same time, she remains a sweet person without the thick walls that so many "strong female characters" seem to be given by default these days. Although at times -- especially in the first few chapters -- she seems to speak less like a real teenage girl and more like how an adult author would imagine a smart, strong, and sassy teenage girl to speak, she is generally believable.
There are a few parts of this book that are slightly repetitive, such as Jade's later conversations with Director Greene -- enough so that the denouement felt a little anticlimactic -- but overall it's well-written and paced. The secrets and mysteries of this near-future, near-realistic dystopia are revealed in good time. And they are more sci-fi than fantasy!
I enjoyed Jade's friendship with Linc, another student (or "prospect") at the GCE's "school for demon hunters", and how it develops into a very solid friendship regardless of any potential romantic involvement or attraction. I only wish we got to know a little more about Linc as an individual, apart from simply in relation to Jade.
It's understandable, given how much time Jade is contrived to spend studying, that she wouldn't have many other friendships, but it's a little disappointing that the only other student we see all that much of is Felecia, a somewhat typical "Mean Girl" antagonist. I hope to see Jade develop a few more peer friendships in Book 2 - which I've already started reading!
(reviewed the day of purchase)