Aileen Erin, author, book, book reviews, books, characters, Cipher, Cipher by Aileen Erin, fiction, Netgalley, novel, read, reader, review, romance, sci-fi, science fiction, scifi, writer, YA, young adult
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Hackers, Gamers & Modified DNA
Series: Shadow Ravens 1
Point of View: First (Cipher & Knight)
Released: October 31, 2014
Predictability: 5 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
My Rating: 7/10 Stars
Age Rating: Swearing
In a world where people have scientifically altered DNA the color or your Helix tattoo reveals what you can do. White Helix, also known as the Seligo are the elite. They don’t get sick and they don’t age. Black Helix are warriors with superior strength and stamina, greens have super smarts, blues are mysterious, but have some sort of mind control abilities. Then there’s the red helix, which are said to have unstable DNA. They have out of control powers and are to be captured or killed on sight.
Cipher is a renowned hacker and gamer, but she’s also a red helix with the ability to manipulate electricity. Wanting a normal life she hacks into the most guarded mainframe to learn about the red helix. In the process she loses control of her emotions and not only zaps her computer, but causes several transformers to explode. She knows she should run again, because they’ll be coming for her, but she’s finally made a friend here.
Knight is a double helix, black and green. He’s only working with the government to get information for the Shadow Ravens, the group working against the government to free the red helix and protect them. Everything he’s done he’s done to find a girl who befriended him as a child and stood up for him, to find her and return the favor.
I read this book in a day and stayed up past one in the morning to do so. It’s short and quick paced, if a bit predictable.
The Dual perspective worked and I actually liked both of the main characters. (A rarity.) Their voices were different enough that I didn’t get them confused (though I didn’t put the book down much) and they each had their own special skills. It’s great when both of the main characters kick butt!
The futuristic world was awesome! I loved the technology we got to see, but being told by people who live there it wasn’t explained much.
I’ve seen female friendships discussed on several blogs recently and I’m happy to say I’ve found another book with a good friendship! Cipher has a good close female friend in Mona. (Who happily doesn’t get tossed aside when a man comes into the picture.) Mona’s not a character I’d usually like, because she really cares about how she looks (the whole clothes and makeup thing) and she’s really into flirting with guys, but she stuck by Cipher and genuinely cared.
I really liked all of the minor characters, they weren’t in the book much, but I still found myself caring about them.
The romance is one of the best and worst parts of the book. The dynamic between Cipher and Knight was great, especially when they were joking with each other. I did feel the connection between them BUT
Though the romance wasn’t love at first sight, it seemed really intense too quickly, (Especially from Knight’s perspective.) I could’ve done with a bit less ‘now that we’re together she’s the only one for me’ bit and had it progress more slowly. I think if it were only told from Cipher’s point of view it would’ve been better in this instance.
I didn’t like the whole tied together to control her abilities thing. (Not a spoiler, told about in the second chapter) It wasn’t explained much and I didn’t really see the point, it would’ve been better if Knight was just made so he wouldn’t die being around her.
There was a little time jump right before the ‘last battle’ and I wanted a tiny bit more beforehand, because they said something would almost impossible and then poof it happened with no explanation. (Sorry trying not to spoil anything and probably no one else even noticed this.)
I wanted a little bit more at the end. I was left with lots of questions. How did the red helix’ start? Everyone else was modified later in life, so why are reds born this way? How did the world get to be how it is? How is the government set up?
Okay, that seemed like a lot of bad, I promise this is a good book! I’d recommend it, but you have to like romantic science fiction and not just plain sci-fi.
The Shadow Raven’s series is going to be written by three authors and there will be four books in total. They’re all set in the same world, but with different heroines. Each author will tell their own heroine’s story and then the last one will be by all three. Doesn’t that sound cool?!
How do you feel about two first person perspectives? I’m personally a big fan of dual first person, but it can be hard to pull off, because if the characters aren’t unique enough I won’t know who’s telling the story when I set the book down and pick it up again. There’s also the problem when the characters are together, picking the right one to tell the story at the right time, (So I’m not wishing I was in the other head) and not repeating thing.