NetGalley|Book Review: Cipher (The Shadow Ravens 1/3) by Aileen Erin

Cipher Book Cover Cipher
Shadow Ravens 1/3
Aileen Erin
YA Sci-Fi Fantasy Romance
Ink Monster, LLC (14 Oct. 2014)
May 13, 2014
DARC
330
NetGalley

In the not-too-distant future, the color of your helix tattoo shows exactly how your DNA was modified-green for super-smart scientists, black for pumped-up warriors, white for the immortal Seligo-but Cipher's red helix is a death sentence. It's a sign of unstable DNA, which is probably the reason she can manipulate electricity. When she was eight years old, Cipher made the mistake of showing her uncle the tattoo. In return, he killed her parents and tried to kidnap her. She's been on the run ever since, and twelve long years later, Cipher is tired of hiding. Survival isn't enough anymore. She wants her life back. Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn't seen him in person since she started running, and Knightly 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile. For a girl like Cipher, trust doesn't come easily, but Knightly makes her yearn for a life she knows she can't have, especially when every secret she reveals endangers them both.

Disclaimer: I received this book for review via NetGalley but this has not affected my feelings about it in any way.

This is the first book in a heroine-led series that is going to be written by three separate authors although it is set in the same world. I loved this book immediately because it literally started with bang as the red helix heroine Cipher’s unstable DNA manifests itself by daring electricity which means she keeps blowing the power grids whenever she’s stressed or panicked. She has been struggling to control it for years and running when ever she looses control so she wont get caught by the organization that wants her to research her – The Selegio. However for the first time in her life she isn’t running because she has a friend who she doesn’t want to loose her. Surely it wont hurt to stay somewhere for another few weeks.

There were plenty of both good and bad things about this book which are discussed below.
The Good

I loved the fact that the author chose to write the book in a dual first person POV because it meant that you not only got to know both of the main characters a well as all the other characters as through their eyes. Both of the main characters were strong, well developed and beleivable; and their voices were different enough that it wasn’t confusing in anyway. It was great that they had their own skills.

The futuristic world in this book was intriguing and all the technology we were introduced to was amazing although it wasn’t explained enough for me as the reader to completely understand it.

Female friendships in books is a big discussion point at the moment within the social media world and I really pleased that the friendship I this book between Cipher and Mona was so strong that she didn’t ditch Cipher on finding out what she was. Usually I don’t enjoy reading about characters like Mona as they come across as being really shallow due to interests being make up, clothes and flirting with boys but she is in fact a person who has a kind loving heart and sticks by her friends a very commendable trait.

I found I was able to connect with all the supporting characters because they were all written in a way that they really were believable and strong in their own ways.

The romance in the book was both one of the best and worst thing because the dynamics between Cipher and Knight were great, especially when they were joking with each other. There was a definite connection between them BUT at times it was hard to say whether from Knights side it was more due to the fact that he had been genetically paired with her to act as her stabilizing force.


The Bad:

The romance wasn’t install love although there were times when it seemed to intense for the length of time they had known each other particularly from Knight. The ‘now that were together she’s the only one for me’ element of it did become a bit much at times and with out it the romance would have developed slower and more realistically. This may have been helped if this element of the story had only been told from Cipher’s point of view.

The whole element of Knight being tied to Cipher to control her abilities was never explain in any depth so it wasn’t overly clear why it was necessary. Because if this it may have been better if it had been made that Knight wouldn’t die being around her.

I loved the whole Helix part of the story but it would have been better if there’d been more discussion about how the reds were born the way they were?, Why the DNA was unstable?, why some were double helixes and others weren’t?, The abilities that the non blue (mind-control), white (uv) (technology geniuses) and black (fighters) helixes had?, How those who weren’t born with the Helix were modified later in life?.

I would have liked a little bit more of a build up before the last battle rather than the time jump there was between it and what happened before hand. This would have been helpful because they said something would be impossible but then it just seemed to happen without much of an explanation as to how it happened.

When I got to the end of the book I felt that there were some things in the world building that could have been discussed more: How did the world get to be the way it is now? How is the government set up? The Structure within the Seleico Organization and the Shadow Ravens organization? These may be discussed more in the next book because if they had gone into detail about everything in this book it would have become over whelming.


In Conclusion                                                                                                            
It may seem like there were more negative things than positive things about this book but it is a good book which is written appropriately for the YA age range. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Sci’fi Romance stories but they need to be aware that is very heavily romance based so if their not that into romance they should avoid it.

I enjoyed this book so much that as soon as I finished it Stared reading