[REVIEW] Freak of Nature – Julia Crane

ImageSummary
Characters – 2/5
Plot – 3/5
Style – 4/5
Science – 2/5
Overall – 3/5

In a Tweet
“Teen robot/human hybrid keeps her emotions secret, until her feelings for a handsome doctor spill out as she finds out she must leave him.”

Review
Kaitlyn is no longer human. After donating her body to science, she’s been upgraded with the most advanced technology available and her memories have been wiped in order to hone her into the perfect killing machine, ready to be sold to the highest bidder.  Except Kaitlyn isn’t all robot; she can still feel, and her confusing emotions are never more apparent than when Dr Lucas is near.

I was initially quite excited to get my hands on FREAK OF NATURE, with a gorgeous cover and an intriguing plot it looked like a book I could really enjoy, although it wasn’t long until I discovered it wasn’t really my ‘thing’.

The developing relationship between Kaitlyn and Lucas is really what drives FREAK OF NATURE forward. Admittedly while I expected some romance I was definitely hoping for more science, however nothing was explained in any depth or seemed to have any boundaries. If Kaitlyn needed to be updated all it took was a few taps on the keyboard and an upload to the device in her back. I feel like FREAK OF NATURE is a gentle introduction to the scifi genre than a true member; with romance as the main plotline.

The romance itself was interesting enough to make me want to keep reading and the pace and flow of the novel was handled quite nicely. I found FREAK OF NATURE really easy to digest thanks to a light and simple style of expression; although I’m not a huge fan of romance novels I still found it a reasonably enjoyable read.

Kaitlyn and Lucas weren’t extraordinarily complex characters. While they both had a few internal struggles related to conflicts with their relationship ultimately their behaviour felt predictable and the secondary characters were quite one dimensional. This usually bothers me as I place a lot of value on a strong cast, however, as they were all easy enough to like and the plot was unashamedly romance driven, I let it go.

However, there was something about FREAK OF NATURE that I just couldn’t let go. References to popular culture and modern society really irk me as a reader as I feel it immediately dates the novel. The repeated mentioning of ‘Facebook’, ‘Siri’ and ‘iPhone 5’ really bothered me; I guess it’s just a pet hate!

I found myself disagreeing with the way some of the more mature content was confronted at points in the book. Sexual experiences, both consensual and non-consensual, were handled sensitively for the most part but not consistently, sometimes being thrown in for seemingly no reason. I think discussing content of this nature for a young teen audience is a difficult line to tread and while I don’t believe there was anything disrespectful or upsetting about the way it’s handled in FREAK OF NATURE, I do feel it could, and maybe should, have been limited.

I’m no romance expert but everything was played out very sweetly between Kaitlyn and Lucas, rounding things up satisfyingly at the end FREAK OF NATURE caught me off guard and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Overall, I did enjoy the novel despite it subverting my original expectations. I wouldn’t recommend FREAK OF NATURE to hardcore scifi fans; I feel it’s more of an intermediary novel bridging the gap between contemporary teen literature and science fiction.

I received FREAK OF NATURE for free from the lovely people at Indie Inked. My reviews always represent my own honest opinion. 

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