Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Univited series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This is the first book in the Uninvited series, the second book in the series will be titled Unleashed, I couldn’t find a release date for it yet. This was a very engaging book, that was very tense and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Davy Hamilton is incredibly smart and a musical genius, she has a very bright future ahead of her and is attending a prestigious high school. Then she tests positive for HTS (homicidal tendency syndrome) and her life comes crashing down around her. Her friends don’t want to be around her anymore because she could be dangerous, Juilliard uninvites her from attending college there, and she is kicked out of her high school and forced to attend a high school that accepts HTS carriers into its midst. Davy is really struggling but then she meets Sean another HTS carrier, he seems dangerous but is also sympathetic…and maybe just maybe he can help Davy get through this nightmare.
I enjoyed the idea of a kill gene and the all of the social implications of people getting isolated and punished before they ever even kill anyone. There is a lot of discussion of what makes someone a killer. Some of the HTS carriers are just plain cruel, but what about those who end up killers because they are protecting their loved ones and have no choice?
The book is very well written and I loved the parts between chapters that were excerpts from newscasts or laws or letters.
Davy is a bit vanilla at the beginning of the book, she just kind of accepts things and tries to make the best of them. However, as the book continues we learn that she is strong in her own way. I kind of wished that she would stand up for herself more, rather than depend on Sean to protect her all of the time.
Sean is your typical noble bad-boy. He is obviously been in trouble a lot, but mostly it seems like he was in trouble for the right reasons. He is very protective of Davy.
However, my main problem with this book is that it wasn’t all that creative. You can’t help but think of Minority Report as you read this novel. The only difference being that this book uses genetic testing to weed out killers. Also it reminds a bit of The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken, kids are separated out and treated in very similar ways. Society reacts very similarly to the kill gene as they do to the special powers presented in The Darkest Minds series.
The plot is very intense and was super hard to put down. The main thing that makes this novels stand apart is that some of the genetic testing is done when kids are very very young. So you can have six or seven year olds, even newborns, labeled as killers before they even understand what’s really going on.
Overall it was a very engaging read and I definitely recommend it. Just don’t expect a story that is breaking new ground. The whole time I was reading it I couldn’t help but compare the idea to similar books and movies that have already been released. It is a well done young adult sci-fi thriller though and I think fans of young adult thrillers will enjoy it.