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Redemption (The Spades Trilogy Book 1) by Mike Schlossberg

ISAN - International Sensory Assassin Network by Mary Ting

The world has changed.

Scientists warned it would happen.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
ISAN by Mary Ting, Book Review by: On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received a free copy of this book from XPresso Book Tours on NetGalley and opted to post a review.
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Series: To Be Determined

Review

Have you ever just known when you met an author that you'd love their writing? I have, and it's given me a chance to meet some fantastic people and read wonderful new books.

I met Mary Ting at the Ozarks Indie Book Fest last year. I had the opportunity to chat with her and I learned quite a bit about her books and what inspired her to write them. During our chat, I got this feeling that I would love her writing. Maybe it was her personality, her inspiration, or her word choice that made such an impression on me; however, for whatever reason, I just knew that I found a new favorite author.

After reading ISAN, I am thrilled to say that my intuition did not steer me in the wrong direction. I think fans of young adult dystopian novels will fall in love with it.

I agree with some of the reviewers who thought that the world-building was a bit sparse. I didn't see the lack of world-building as a negative, I thought it demonstrated how limited the girls' lives were and emphasized that they were living in a sterile, institutionalized environment. The dialogue, which is filled with the girls swooning over "hot" guys, seemed appropriate for the setting.

Personally, I appreciate character-building over world-building so I was a little disappointed that more wasn't revealed about Ava in the plot. However, I can appreciate that Ava's history remained elusive as this is the first book in a series, and it wouldn't be appropriate to spoil the series by revealing too much information in the first book. When it was revealed that Ava had lost some of her memories and why she couldn't remember certain events in her life, it demonstrated a vulnerability behind the "kick-butt assassin" veneer.

I enjoyed the dystopian premise; troubled girls being handpicked to become assassins by an agency whose philanthropic intent is dubious at best. You know that something is sketchy about it, but the adventure lies in figuring out what the agency's true intentions are. It's not overly complex; however, I think the complexity will increase as the series progresses. The plot seems to resemble high school society, particularly what one might find in a high school gym class. Physical acumen is prized over scholarship and there is some in-fighting as the different teams attempt to assert their dominance over other teams. While some adult readers will be put off by this, I'm not one of them, and I think this will resonate well with young adult readers.

I fell in love ISAN and I'm anxious to see where Ting is going with this series!

About Mary Ting

Mary Ting, ISAN
Mary Ting, author. Courtesy of Goodreads.
Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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ISAN blog tour sponsored by: Xpresso Book Tours

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