True North by L.E. Sterling

Title: True North
Author: L.E. Sterling
Published April 4th, 2017 by Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

True North picks up four months after the events of True Born. We are back with Lucy, Jared, Storm and the crew but without Margot.

The same mystery remains. What is so special about Lucy and Margot. What are the Watchers after, what is everyone after really. As much as Lucy manages to uncover, she is always hit with new questions. Piece by piece things are revealed and slowly slip into places on a puzzle that is nowhere near completed. I really liked this about the story. Although at times I had to reread parts just to make sure I was understanding. It’s a very submersive plot.

Jared and Lucy. I love the push and pull that occurs between these two. When they have their moments the chemistry is off the charts. When they have their low times, well it’s frustrating as all get out. It was my one major annoyance with Lucy. I could not for the life of me understand why she kept going back in forth about Jared’s motivations. I thought they were quite clear by the end of the first book. I’m guessing much of it stems with her insecurities and distrust of the world. I really like how the love word is not thrown around carelessly either.

One thing I really like about Lucy is despite the fact that she is taking charge of her own life. She doesn’t shed her old one overnight like a bad skin. There are still remnants of the way she was in her personality. Yes she’s learning and changing but you can’t just erase 18 years of life that was ingrained into her. It was often as though her Upper Circle self was battling with this new free version of herself. Again though her habit of falling into a need to the proper daughter would get frustrating.

A new mysteriously fascinating character is introduced. For a minute I worried about a love triangle. I’m not a hater of the love triangle but the way Jared and Lucy’s chemistry lights up a page. There really was no room for one. Which thankfully there is not one. Of course there is more than one Fox girl. Hmmm maybe in the future?

True North was a great second installment. I can’t wait to see where things go. Especially with the ending. So many questions…. It’s good though. Keeping you interested but not holding out on you. I also really like the writing and the flow of the story. It keeps a pretty even pace throughout and of course continues to have the high stakes. I can’t wait to see what Lucy does next.

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

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