Anna, Sam, Cas and Nick may have caused a lot of trouble for Branch, but they are still not free of its influence or long reach. Nick has been having flashbacks about his past, but they are not very clear, all he knows for certain is that they are about a girl who calls him Gabriel. With help from Anna and his files, he starts to piece together some of the clues about his past and this mysterious girl and he can't help but wonder if she was a target or someone he saved - and he is more than a little concerned about what the truth might be. When he pieces together enough pieces of the puzzle to figure out the place where the events happened he sets of on his own, despite Sam's obvious disapproval.
In small town Trademarr, Illinois Elizabeth is used to being THAT girl - the one who was kidnapped and held for six months. The girl who escaped her kidnappers, but who left without her mother and now lives with a foster parent. There is so much she doesn't know about what happened six years earlier, what she does know is that Gabriel came and saved her that night. She has been in therapy for years, and with the support of her foster mother Aggie and her bestfriend Chloe she gets by most of the time and could even be mistaken for a normal teenage girl. That all changes when Nick arrives in town, because Nick is not the only person looking for Elizabeth - and they have a darker agenda in mind that filling the blanks in their memory.
The Altered saga has been a very interesting read, bringing together elements of classic science fiction conspiracies (in the tradition of the X-files) and mixing it with the feel of a dystopian novel (where there are secrets, betrayal, and danger around every corner). It has been a while since I read the first two novels, but I managed to slip back into the story without too many problems - although it did feel like there was an older teen feel for this book in the series, the language seemed like it was targeted at a slightly older audience (but that may have just been because the book was from Nick's perspective).
The rapid switching between Nick's point of view and Elizabeth's keeps the action moving forward, and also seems to ratchet up the tension because you can see frustration and confusion on both sides. There are some lovely little plot twists to enjoy as well, and some puzzles that quietly work away in the background that you either figure out or get a surprise from (I was a little of both). The Altered saga is a fantastic read that deserves to be discovered, and the best part is that for readers who are just discovering the series now they can jump from book to book to book - unlike early discoverers of the series who had to wait for each book to be published (it was well worth the wait though).
Hopefully there are many more books in a similar vein from Jennifer Rush as she has a knack for blending together action, conspiracies, and human emotions and connections into the perfect storm of addictive reading material. There are some hints that there could be more in store for Nick and team in the future, and while this trilogy has a satisfying conclusion I really hope there is more to come in the future.
If you like this book then try:
- Altered by Jennifer Rush
- Erased by Jennifer Rush
- Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
- Legend by Marie Lu
- Adaptation by Melinda Lo
- XVI by Julia Karr
- Variant by Robison Wells
- Reboot by Amy Tintera
- Slated by Teri Terry
- The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
- Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
- Revived by Cat Patrick
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- Virals by Kathy Reichs
- Unremembered by Jessica Brody
- When we wake by Karen Healey
Reviewed by Brilla