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Review: Freak of Nature by Julia Crane (IFICS #1)

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Freak of Nature by Julia Crane Freak of Nature (IFICS #1)
Julia Crane
Published: Feb. 2, 2013 (Valknut Press)
Purchase at: 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

Kaitlyn is a cyborg. She hasn’t always been a cyborg, but she has no memories of anything before the terrible accident that ended her life. She woke up in a laboratory with scientists running tests on her. The more “upgrades” they perform, the more she loses her humanity. What others dont know is Kaitlyn does have flashes of her past, and the only glimmers of feelings she has are for Lucas.

Lucas is a boy genius who went to work at IFICS right out of college. He’s the scientist responsible for the coding associated with Kaitlyn’s cyborg form. He’s been with Kaitlyn since before she woke up as a cyborg. He’s grown to care about Kaitlyn and it kills him that with every upgrade she loses more and more of her personality.

Taking place in present day Virginia and told in alternating points of view between Kaitlyn and Lucas, there’s very little action that happens in Freak of Nature. Instead, the book focuses mainly on Kaitlyn coming to terms with who/what she has become and trying to figure out the lab’s purpose for her. She fears that if the scientists find out she still experiences emotion they will take them away. She keeps this fact a secret; even from Lucas, who has to work through his own conflicted feelings. He wants nothing more than for Kaitlyn to look at him without the blank stare in her eyes. On the other hand, he thinks it is best that she doesn’t know what has become of her, or about the life she left behind.

Kaitlyn has been at IFICS for a few months, and she has found a friend in Quess, the main scientist’s granddaughter. Kaitlyn, usually under lock and key, has a supporter in Quess who takes her out for walks and even goes so far as to get her grandfather to insert a “slang chip” so Kaitlyn can finally understand everything Quess talks about.   You can’t help but feel sympathy for Kaitlyn’s situation. The fact that she has little remembrances of the life she had before doesn’t help but she needs to understand what her life was to be able to move on into this new life that has been created.

The attraction between Kaitlyn and Lucas is basically the basis of the story. They are both of the mindset that what they feel for the other is wrong. Kaitlyn because she shouldn’t have feelings in the first place, and Lucas because he was one of the people who took her feelings away. I like that Lucas didn’t care that she is a cyborg, that she’s different, it was the guilt of his involvement in making her that way that tore at him.

I would have really liked to have seen more external conflict in the story, and while it is there somewhat, the majority of the conflict is internal (for both Kaitlyn and Lucas). I do understand the importance for Kaitlyn and Lucas to go through everything they do in Freak of Nature. They grow and change and by the end they are ready to begin going forward. This sets up things nicely for the series to continue.

Sexual Content: Sex; Rape

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