by J.L. Spelbring
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: ARC provided by publisher
The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
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My Thoughts: This dystopian novel takes place in the United States approximately a century after the Nazi's won the war. Ellyssa and her genetically engineered brothers and sister are Hitlers idea of perfection. Her father and her creator, Dr. George Hirch, Der Vater, has devoted his life's work to creating the perfect soldier formed in the image Hitler believed to superior - platinum hair, blue eyes, porcelain skin, having superior strength, intelligence, as well as "special abilities." She has lived inside the Center all her life and has done what her father has asked of her, masking her emotions, no questions asked. All of that changes when a dark haired imperfect stranger speaks into her mind and she discovers things about her father, his plans for her, and his plans for society that disturb her so much that she escapes. On the run from everything she knows, everyone and everything she has believed to be true, Ellyssa faces the most difficult tests of her life. She not only meets a groups of people, renegades as they were known, who she was always taught were a menace to society, impure, and barbaric, but she comes to know, love, and must learn to trust them, but will they trust her? Will the danger be too great? Will the Center and everything it stands for destroy any hope Ellyssa may have at freedom?
I enjoyed Perfection. It was a bit slow in the beginning and it took me a while to really get into it, but when I did, I was fully engrossed in what was going on. The novel is told in the third person, but you also get multiple POVs from the other characters in the story, which I found interesting. Ellyssa is the main character. I didn't connect with her immediately. She was robotic like and determined, masking her emotions, in her speech and actions. As Ellyssa began to come out of her shell, open herself up to people, learn to trust, and even to fall in love, I grew to really like her and enjoyed watching her character develop. Rein, the romantic interest in the story, I just loved, and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. The other secondary characters all played important roles in the story as well. I especially like Matthew, Jordan, and Woody. They help her to see what truth really is in relation to what she has always been taught. Ellyssa's father, her brothers and sister, however, I did not like at all. They were really evil, as was the detective that pursued Ellyssa.
As the danger and threats the Center and what it stands for begin to close in on Ellyssa and those she is with, she sets forth on a course of action, determined to save the ones she loves, and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it. Perfection has plenty of action, danger, conspiracy, evil villains, and romance, and takes place in postwar setting in which the Nazi's were the ones who won the war, instead of the way we know it. The ending was satisfying and I was pleased. It was also a little disturbing, especially the epilogue (in a good way), setting the stage for a sequel, which I will definitely check out. If you are a dystopian fan, Perfection is different from many of the dystopias out there, and is something you might want to check out.
J.L. Spelbring - lives in Texas, where she wanders out in the middle of the night to look at the big and bright stars. Besides knocking imaginary bad guys in the head with a keyboard, she enjoys being swept away between the pages of a book, running amuck inside in her own head, pretending she is into running, and hanging out with her kids, who are way too cool for her.
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