Early Review: True Born by L.E. Sterling (True Born #1)


True Born by LE Sterling // VBC ReviewTrue Born (True Born Trilogy #1)
L.E. Sterling
Published: May 3, 2016 (Entangled: Teen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

The Plague was not born out of the recesses of disease; it’s something that is in our very DNA. Growing slowly at first, it soon evolved, attacking us from the inside out, decimating the population. On the heels of near-world extinction, people were split into three categories. Splicers are those wealthy enough to get, what I would term, DNA transfusions. Replacing the plague-ridden genes with healthy ones whenever need be. Lasters are those without the financial means to get the splice, they’re ticking time bombs just waiting for their bodies to turn on them, to die from the Plague. It’s only a matter of time, there is no cure. Then there are the True Born. True Born are people who’s DNA hearkens back to a time before the Plague so they are immune. With such old DNA, however, True Borns also exhibit other qualities that make them almost decidedly unhuman, and cause them to be both feared and reviled.

In Dominion, eighteen is the age when you have your big “Reveal” and are lumped into one of the above three categories. As twins Lucy and Margot’s 18th birthday draws ever closer, and as they undergo more tests than the average person, they realize there’s something different about them. When Margot disappears, Lucy springs to action, having to trust in Nolan Storm and his team of True Borns. In their search they uncover a conspiracy revolving around the twins, but what is so special about them? Will they be able to find out before things boil over between Dominion’s wealthy Upper Circle and the dying Lasters?

True Born has a very interesting premise, and there are moments in the book where everything works really well and fits together perfectly. Then there are moments where from one scene to the next characters and their actions feel very disconnected. I feel like the world-building suffers from too many elements being thrown in at once with little by way of explanation. There’s not a lot of focus. Too many aspects cloaked in mystery, and by the end we have to mostly make do with veiled answers. A lot of secrets and sidelong glances.

Lucy, as our narrator, had a very disconnected feel for me as well. I loved her unwavering resolve to find her sister and when she would flex her tenacious muscle. Lucy’s perspective on the life she leads changes with her sister’s disappearance—a lot of deceptions are brought to light when this happens—so I would scratch my head when she would revert to her way of thinking/acting pre-disappearance. As though her eyes weren’t just opened to very real and ugly sides to Dominion. Like maybe certain scenes were changed around in the editing process but weren’t made to fit.

One of the bright spots of the book was Jared Price, a True Born in Nolan Storm’s employ. He is, of course, our romantic interest, and while the insta-love dramatics bordered on too much, I did like that he wouldn’t let Lucy use her naïveté as an excuse. I loved that he was the common sense and the reality check she so often needed. They certainly have a spark between them, and I think if they can move past the first stages of angst they could be a great couple.

As with Lucy and Jared’s relationship, I really feel like this series has a lot going for it. I’m hoping that now that it’s got its footings set with this first book, the rest will come together a bit easier. I’ll most certainly be reading the next book.

Sexual content: kissing

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