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Thursday, 19 February 2015

REVIEW: THE GIFTED By Elizabeth C. Bauer


The Gifted 

Synopsis

Decades after a nuclear war devastated the world, two regions were formed—the Elite Region, for the gifted, and the Inept Region, for the ungifted. The people of the Inept Region live as slaves, scared into submission by the unique, often frightening abilities of the Elite, while the Elite live privileged lives, with only one condition—mind control. 

Each year the Elite Region holds a Coming of Age Ceremony for the Inept children who have reached the age of fifteen. In order to determine if the children carry the Elite gene, they are put through a series of brutal tests. This is the year Alexis must cross into the Elite Region, where she finds out the leaders of the regions are more corrupt than the Inept already believe. Through the events she witnesses, Alexis decides to stand against the regions leaders. She knows this won’t be easy, but nothing can prepare her for what’s to come.


MY REVIEW


As a writer myself I'm so conscious of the utter devastation of receiving a bad review, so I tend not to review those books that aren't for me. Even the simple fact that I'm writing this is a commendation in itself!
The Gifted tells the story of a dystopian  world divided straight down the middle by an actual wall,  but also a physiological and psychological one. A quirk in your DNA transforms you into a Gifted ELITE status or an ordinary, or INEPT class, destined to live, work and breathe purely to serve the former. Call me a miserable cynic, but that is not a million miles away from our world today, just in a more obvious and brutally in-your-face kind of scenario. 
The fact that I related to the characters immediately is a testament to the perception of the Author in creating a world with characters who could easily be your brother, sister, mother, friend or father. 
The main character 'Alexis' is just  15 when she is wrenched from her family, as is the norm in this world, and taken over the wall into the privileged world to be tested for her eligibility to remain there. Her particular elitist gift is a unique and possibly world-defining talent which could, if controlled, smash the foundations of this unequal,  cruel and tormented society to smithereens.
I was hooked immediately by Alexis because of my own three children, whom I have no shame in admitting I am totally OBSESSED with, as are most parents. When was the last time you bit your nails to the quick worrying about how YOU were going to get home at 2am? Well, I imagined being the parent of young Alexis who was being taken from my arms to a place I really had very little knowledge about, except for the fact that IF I ever saw her again she would have eyes like a zombie, and not one clue about who I was?!! 
SCARY!!! And Rightly so! Do not think this is a wishy washy affair without a dark side, and some of the evil-doers within the story ie THE COMMANDER (leader of The Elite) – AXEL (basically a psychopath) and many others, who will have you sleeping with one eye open, and thanking the lord that your greatest gift is being able to tie a cherry into a knot with your tongue.
If, on the other hand, you ARE a kid of a similar age to Alexis, in your ignorance of the true situation, you might have a mixture of excited anticipation and paralysing fear of the unknown, but so much MORE than your first job, first kiss, or first other situations which, in my opinion, you shouldn't have until you're 30+ or when I want grandkids. 
Aaaaaaaanyways, the situation over the wall in The Gifted is something unexpected to say the least, and Elizabeth has a way of making you feel the feels as though it were you or your kids experiencing it. I could NOT put it down, and is worthy of my 'oh crap I've burnt the dinner again,' status, as indeed I did while reading it. 
The Author has a similar style to Suzanne Collins, I kid you not, and I guarantee the cocktail of in-depth well-rounded relatable characters + a riveting, seat-of-the-pants storyline, will have you mesmerised! I LOVED IT!! I look forward to Book Two with the eagerness of a child waiting for the ice-cream van on a roasting hot summer day!
I'll leave you with the trailer of the book, guaranteed to whet your appetite and send you speed typing over to Amazon as though COMMANDER AVERY himself were after you: 




  About the Author

Elizabeth C. Bauer lives in Minnesota with her loving husband, cat, and dog. She found her passion for writing at a young age, beginning with poetry and short stories. She began this series in February of 2014 with the hope of inspiring others to follow their dreams. You can connect with her at: 

Gripping Read!!

Dragonman: Face of the UnknownDragonman: Face of the Unknown by Ted Lazaris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an edge of the seat story, which begins smack bang in the middle of an apocalyptic event. The end of the world is a topic which has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time, but in this story it is just the beginning; not the final annihilation of humankind. The foreign object hurtling towards the earth is merely the first sting of a battle that will consume the heavens above and the earth below.
The threat introduces the DragonMan; a superhero already living on our planet, with access to different worlds such as ‘Spellville’; and he is not alone with his incredible abilities, of which more are revealed as the story continues. His family, with which he runs the family business ‘Starr Investigations’, are also endowed with their own fascinating skills, which invite further investigations of their own. Other characters from Spellville include ’Plupee’ and ‘Dooley’ who add a little light comedy in the midst of such dark and dangerous occurrences. Another lead character is Nathan, who has no abilities except for his skill with a pen. Luke and Nathan's lives become intertwined in the midst of the first catastrophe, and when Nathan has a series of personal disasters, he seeks out their firm for help. Thus begins a rollercoaster of explosive tragedies, spectacular fantasy, and murder mystery. The Author leads you through each one in a well written, intriguing and captivating way.

In summary I would advise that you set the scene to read this novel. Get your cocoa, your pyjamas, and go to your private place; switch off the tv and ignore the kids for a while, and step into Ted Lazaris complex and fascinating world of the unusual, the bizarre, and the downright terrifying creatures you are about to meet.


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