Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vouched Book! Volition by Lee Strauss

by Lee Strauss
Book #2 of the Perception  series
Publication: April 16th 2013 by ESB Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi Dystopia Romance

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What doesn't kill you...

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.

They're in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.

** Warning: Review contains spoilers of book one **
Read the review of book one, Perception

I was so excited to read this since the previous book left a cliffhanger. Volition  picks up right where Perception  ended, with Zoe and Noah fleeing from her grandfather. As they race across the country, trying to stay off the grid and survive, Zoe struggles of having no memory knowing—let alone loving—Noah, and he begins to wonder if his rescuing her was more like condemning her.

Though it was utterly heartbreaking, I loved how the author, Lee Strauss, did the romance in this book. It was ... backward, kind of an anti-romance. Not that the characters fall out of love with each other or anything. Noah still loves Zoe. He will do whatever it takes to protect her. And she has feelings for him. The connection is obviously there with every look, touch, and everything they don't say. But because of the memory loss, she's different. She's not the Zoe he fell in love with. They have to rediscover one another, yet under the circumstances, they have a hard time doing so and achingly seem to drift apart.

Cue in the small love triangle—one that works. Even though there were moments I wanted to shake Zoe on Noah's behalf, her indecision was so well written and understandable that I couldn't blame her for her actions, not entirely. I really liked Taylor Blake. He's a bit of brainiac, has a lot in common with Zoe, and offered her a light, an optimism, in a world of dread. But Noah ... I fell in love with him even more in this book, so to me, there was no question who she should be with.

On top of all the intense emotions, I also enjoyed the different communities the author included. There's a settlement similar to the Amish, an underground boxing ring, a little bit of the rebellion and Noah's viral group, as well as the cyborgs. The action was fantastic. All the secondary characters were strong, too.

The only issue I had with Volition  was the pacing. I felt that a definitive plot was missing. Whether it was Zoe's personal and emotional growth, her relationship status with Noah, the problems with her grandfather—I couldn't tell. It all stayed in a stand-still, a limbo, because nothing goes anywhere. Nothing really changed. Everything felt stuck in one place, one level, until the very end, which is a cliffhanger. I actually loved the cliffhanger, but I wish there was more development on something, anything. Without, it felt like the beginning of a plot, of a book. Because right as we're about reach the climax and the meat of the story, the book ends!

*sigh* That could just be me, though. I loved the first installment of the series and the idea of this one. I was simply expecting to be as satisfied with it. I do think those who have been following the series will enjoy this installment—because I did enjoy it, am even more anxious for all the characters, old and new, and will continue to read the series.

eARC provided by Lee Strauss. Thank you!

— Perception series —

Novels Novella


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