Altered by Gennifer Albin Review

Monday, September 30, 2013

Title: Altered
Author: Gennifer Albin (Twitter)
Publisher: FSG BYR
Publish Date: October 29, 2013
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher

Life. Possibility. Choice. All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.
Adelice's life has gone from bad to worse. Once forced to live a lie to save herself, she's now fated to run from those who seek to hunt her down. Though the Guild wants her back, Adelice knows she needs answers. She can't go back now. It's her turn to fight for what she believes in and what she knows is right. But the truth is often hidden by the best kept secrets - and the ones we trust aren't always the most trustworthy. Will she learn who and what to believe in time?

Crewel, the predecessor to Altered, made a big splash in the blogosphere about a year ago. Though I enjoyed it, I also had a few qualms with it, so I was hesitant to actually give this sophomore installment a try. Gennifer Albin, it seems, has seriously stepped up her game with this novel. Upping the ante tenfold, Altered whisks us into an already broken and corrupt society and gives us a heroine in impossible circumstances. Equal parts whodunit mystery, gentle love and raging action, this book has it all, and it will grip you from start to finish.

It isn't often that you'll hear me rave about the second novel in a planned series. Too often, books fall prey to the sophomore slump, so I generally don't invest my time and energy in them anymore. Altered, however, completely caught me off guard. When I reviewed Crewel, I remarked that the biggest flaw of the novel is that we're given this incredible setup to a broken society, but the world-building never really took off. In fact, I felt it took a back seat to the plot in book one, and it definitely bumped my review down. Altered, however, gives us everything we could want and more. We finally understand why the world is the way it is today, we can fully sense just how dangerous the society is in which Adelice lives, and we know why she needs to run. Because of this, I was able to find myself wholeheartedly invested in her journey and her plight. Adelice, too, becomes a more powerful female protagonist. She seems to be discovering her own strength as the story progresses, and it gives us this wonderful sense of satisfaction when we see her hold fast to her beliefs and refuse to back down when things get tough. In terms of the romance in book two, I was actually pleased to see that it too a bit of a back seat to the rest of the story elements. There is just so much happening throughout the novel that too much romance would probably actually remove us from the story. As it is, Altered commanded my attention from start to finish. Whereas my mind wandered a bit in the first book, I was riveted this time around, and I'm so excited to find a series in which I can truly become invested again.

Overall, I really just loved Altered. It is a fantastic follow-up, and it's such a strong story that even the most diehard against series will love it. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian and science fiction stories.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

8 comments:

  1. Awesome! So glad to hear this surpasses Crewel as I had some problems with it, too. Now I can't wait to read this one. Thanks, Melissa!

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  2. Wow, I'm glad this is far better than Crewel was! I really wasn't a fan of Crewel, so I'm not entirely sure I'll be picking this up, but yay for a strong sequel!(: Great review, Melissa!

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  3. I definitely agree with your assessment of the first book so I'm totally on board with this one, now. I wasn't even going to make the effort because the first one, aside from the gorgeous cover, didn't really impress me. And I'm thrilled that the romance took a backseat. That really irritated me in the first book!

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  4. The worldbuilding is so much better in Altered! Glad to see that you found this sequel to be more enjoyable :)

    Great review!

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  5. It's nice when a book series just gets better. I was hesitant to pick up the first one because the description just didn't appeal to me. Glad to see you're enjoying this, Melissa. Wonderful review! :)

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  6. I actually really liked the first book in the series and I'm beyond excited for this one now. It's always awesome when the second book surprises you in a good way and Gennifer seems to have done exactly that with this book.
    The world-building sounds terrific. You've definitely got me excited, Melissa!
    Fabulous review! :)

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  7. Ohh, I do so love it when the sequel outshines the original! I agree though, it's rare that the second book is better and without issues. I haven't read the first book yet, but I loved the idea behind it (even if many people seemed to think the execution was off). So to hear you say such good things about the sequel is encouraging indeed! Thanks for this review, Melissa.

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  8. I know exactly what you mean by those disappointing sequel, that is why I don't jump on them when they're out. I usually see it's reaction in the blogsphere and go from there. I haven't read Crewel because of the hype and also, I wasn't into dystopian last year, but I'm so happy to hear that the sequel was a success and answered every question. I might give it a try. Wonderful review, Melissa!

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