Altered by Marnee Blake #Review

Altered by Marnee Blake #ReviewAltered by Marnee Blake

Series: #1 Altered
Genres: New Adult Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Entangled Embrace on December 28, 2015
Pages: 221
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      three-flames

A small town and one stranger are encounter something beyond imagining.  Those who survived the illness are changed and now on the run.  If they hope to survive, they must master and used their new gifts, but they must also learn to trust each other.

Blue Michaels thought she would always live in Glory though she dreamed of more.  She was the small town girl with the notorious dad who committed suicide and the flaky mom who lived off grid.  Now she must put her trust in a stranger.  Losing everything else was hard, but trust doesn’t come easy.

Army specialist, Seth Campbell, has known hard all his life.  Losing his friend and feeling responsible has been eating him alive.  Now, a small band of survivors is looking to him for leadership.  Their unwanted gifts have put them on the run and he’s their biggest chance for survival.

While on the run, Seth and Blue share an attraction that only grows tighter, but they can’t let it distract them.  Each avenue of escape is blocked, even friends and family are suspect either because they are under surveillance or they can’t be trusted.  They need answers and they need help, but who and where?

This one was exciting.  I enjoyed the way the author built suspense by trickling out the answers and the band of gifted survivors being forced to figure things out and keep moving.  The gifts were X-Men type things and watching the group learn what they could do and use them as they fought to stay ahead of the organization out to capture or kill them.

The group dynamics was well written, too.  Each character was defined with a strong backstory and presence.  Not all the secrets are in the open, but enough is known to make things interesting.  Each member of this put together rag tag team have strengths and weaknesses and come together and pull apart as a result.  Seth, the soldier, and Jack, the athlete, tend to be alpha dogs with Blue the emotional drive, Luke the analytical computer nerd type and Kitty the one keeping watch over them all.  Their emergent gifts reflect their strengths and what drives them.

Seth and Blue are the romantic pair in this one.  They both struggle with trust issues for their own reasons.  They are on the run, but there is still time for the sexual tension to mount even as their relationship connection slowly strengthens.  They both pull back a lot, but are never quite able to abandon their feelings.  Seth may be a natural leader, but Blue is stubborn and likes to go her own way particularly when Seth is in danger.  I liked that little something I saw as a possibility for Kitty, and I wonder what is in store for the others, as well.

This is a new adult story and definitely has that feel with the characters, but it’s not high-angst.  These guys are on the run and fighting for their freedom and lives plus there is a lot they don’t understand so that occupies a great deal of the story.  I liked the feel of it all, the pace, and where things seem to be headed.  As the pages started running out, I realized that this was just the opening gambit.  It does end on a few cliffies, but there was an intense big-money scene near the end with a little denouement.  Things are in a bad way for all involved and got even more complicated near the end.

So, all in all, this was a great start to a series.  It’s New Adult, but it has a broader feel so that it would appeal to those who don’t normally pick up new adult books, but love X-men style sci-fi worldbuilding and slow burn romance.

I received this book on Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #173 NA
New to Me #71 author/series
Mt. TBR #74

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Debbie Haupt

    nice, thanks Sophia Rose

  • I like the sounds of this. X Men type gifts and a romance…what’s not to like.

    • I know, and it was all mysterious b/c they didn’t know what was going on and sort of stumbled through figuring out their gifts and getting away from the mercenaries that were after them. It was great. I hope she writes book two soon.

  • I wondered about this one and ended up turning it down, now I wish I would have read it. It kind of reminds me of the BBC series Misfits.

    • You sound like me. I decide I can’t fit a book into my review schedule and then I see a review or two and groan that I should have snagged it anyway. 🙂
      I’m not familiar with Misfits. I’ll have to check it out.

  • Ohh xmen style work, yes!

    • Most definitely yes for the X-Men. 🙂 Can’t wait for book two.

  • I am definitely pro Xmen, so I think I may enjoy this one. Great review!

    • Me, too, Lekeisha! It was neat how it was all from the beginning when they get the gifts and have to figure everything out even while evading the mercenaries sent to track them down.

  • Now this is a NA I could sink my teeth into! Hello X-men style read!!

    • No kidding! My interest was perked right up when this one landed in my emailbox for review. Now I am impatient for her to get on to book two so I can find out what happens next after the big exciting scene at the end.

  • your share buttons are missing..either that or my meds are messing with me..LOL

    • Shari Delighted Read

      They are right below Challenges Met when I look. Let me know if you can’t find them.

  • OH man. That sounds good! I hadn’t seen this one. Man there are just too many good books that have come out. Love that each of the characters is so developed and unique. That’s always nice to find 😀

    • That is the truth. We are so spoiled for good, newer releases that it is impossible to get around to them all.