Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1) by Christine Manzari

This is the first book in The Sophisticates series.

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

I enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was good, the plot developed well and the characters are great.

I like the idea behind the story and what makes the Sophisticates different. The group of them which are different with their own special gifts was a nice addition which made the story more exciting. I also liked the twist at the end with the ‘Others’.

Cleo is a great main character. She’s clever and very capable, but not in the sense for the military side. It was good to learn about this side of the program with her. I liked reading about her relationship with Ozzy. He’s a great character. He starts of quite mysterious, but we gradually get to know him and his secrets.

The rest of the group are interesting characters as well, particularly Arabella and Sterling. I also liked the mean girl vibe which went on between her and Quinnie. I’m intrigued to see whether they are able to work together towards the ‘Others,’ or not. They are all part of the Dozen after all.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was good, the characters were great and the plot developed at a good pace. I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 5/5*

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